The Simple Trick You Need To Get Stickers Off Of Wood Surfaces

Whether it's a simple price tag or your child's creative handiwork, stickers of all shapes and sizes can be tricky to remove from most surfaces. How you get rid of them will actually depend on the material they're stuck to. While hydrogen peroxide will loosen stubborn stickers on plastic, an iron can help remove sticker residue from clothing, while nail polish remover can lift stickers from glass decor items. But what about wood?

The first thing you'll want to try is rubbing the sticker with a washcloth soaked in warm water and a few drops of dish soap. If that doesn't work, look closely to determine the exact type of wood you're dealing with. If you have an expensive or antique piece, you'll want to pay extra attention to avoid damaging it. For finished and unfinished wood, a simple trick to getting stickers to peel off easily is using a hair dryer. The heat it emits can melt the adhesive and help you peel it up in no time. However, do not, under any circumstances, use this approach on anything that has a lacquer finish, as the heat will actually melt the lacquer, too. Here's how to properly use your hair dryer to lift off pesky stickers from wooden surfaces.

How to properly use a hair dryer to remove stickers off wood

Once you've determined that your wood surface isn't lacquered and it's safe to use heat on it, simply turn on your hair dryer to the lowest setting and aim it directly at the sticker. Keep it about two inches from the surface and constantly move it around to ensure you don't overheat the area or possibly burn it. Do this in 30-second intervals and try to pry up a corner of the sticker after each half-minute pass. Once you can start peeling it away with your fingers, slowly slide a plastic scraper under the sticker to remove it wholly. Remember to never use anything abrasive, like sandpaper or steel wool, as this will damage the wood irreversibly.

If your scraper hits a sticky spot, heat the underside for 30 seconds to melt the rest of the adhesive, and keep pushing it away with your plastic tool. Once the sticker is gone, you may find some leftover sticky patches. Simply soak a cloth in warm water and dish soap and wipe away the remaining glue.

Other ways to get stickers off of wood surfaces

If you're unsure about blasting your wood surface with direct heat, there are a number of other hacks you can try. White vinegar can work wonders for painted wood as its acidity can neutralize adhesives. Just soak a paper towel or cloth in vinegar, then let that sit on top of the sticker for about 30 minutes. Come back to your surface and rub the sticker with the cloth in a circular motion, watching it lift away. If it doesn't quite budge, let it soak for another half-hour. Once the sticker is gone, you can wash away any residue with warm, soapy water. Do not use this method on stained or treated wood, as the vinegar may strip away the finish.

You can also soak the sticker in a few drops of vegetable oil for two hours, which should allow you to scrape it off easily. Keep in mind, though, that oil can darken unfinished wood. Alternatively, you can cover the sticker with a thick layer of petroleum jelly for eight hours or a few drops of WD-40 or baby oil for two hours. Once the adhesive is loosened, use a plastic scraper to lift up the sticker, removing any sticky residue with warm water and dish soap.