How to get stickers off wood for good

Removing stickers off wood can be quite challenging. There are many methods that can help you to get rid of stubborn sticker residue. So, rest assured you will find the one that suits you.

How to get stickers off wood for good
How to get stickers off wood for good

Why can it be difficult to remove stickers off wood?

It happens because the structure of the wood surface is very porous. The sticker residue gets into the pores of wood. That is what makes it a mission to get rid of.

Some manufactures care about their customers and use the stickers with a special layer of glue, which is easy to remove.

But most of the time it’s the case of breaking the bond between the sticker and the surface of wood in order to remove the sticky adhesive.

How to remove stickers off different surfaces

Stickers stick better to clean and smooth surfaces, such as finished wood furniture. It looks almost impossible to remove sticker residue without leaving any marks of a leftover paper layer. Unless you read our guide with all the methods described on how to do it.

Removing stickers off wood furniture

 It can be very frustrating especially when you just bought a brand-new piece of furniture from the shop. There is a chance you might damage the surface of the wood in your attempts of getting rid of nasty stickers. Do not worry, there are ways of doing it fast and efficient.

How to get stickers off wood for good
How to get stickers off wood for good

Removing stickers off wood paneling

The most difficult part in removing stickers off wood paneling is that they leave a lot of residue on the wood. You have to be prepared for that, and to know the steps you have to follow in order to remove stickers from wood so it looks like it has never been touched before.

Removing stickers off wooden picture frames

Whether it is a frame made out of untreated raw wood or a varnished wooden frame, it is possible to remove stickers without leaving paper. Please, try one of the ways described below.

Removing stickers of painted wood


The difficulty with taking stickers off painted wood is that there is a possibility of removing part of the paint with it. The methods described in this article are all suitable for working with such wood.

How do you remove sticker residue from wood?

It doesn’t matter what method you are going to be using to remove stickers from wood, the remnants of the gluey layer is another problem to address.

Get some rubbing alcohol. Soak a sponge with rubbing alcohol and gently rub the residue to make it soft. Then just remove it with a final swipe of the sponge.

To prevent the stains forming on the surface, make sure you remove any leftover adhesive and alcohol with a wet cloth.

How to remove stickers from wood

Now let’s look into the different ways you can try to remove stickers. Some ways will bring a fast and efficient result. In some cases, it can be quite difficult to accomplish the result you want. You just need to find the one that will work for you.

The sooner you remove the custom stickers off the wood furniture the less effort and time it will take.  The sticky residue won’t go that deep into the structure of the wooden material.

It is usually hard to tell which method of taking stickers off wood will work for you. So, you might need to try a few before you find the right one.


Thermal methods

1.     Using a hair dryer or a heat gun

  • Heat the sticker for a few seconds using the maximum temperature
  • Lift up a corner of the sticker using your nails
  • Heat it again, holding the hair dryer 2 inches away from the surface
  • Gently start pulling it off while heating until you remove all of it
  • Using a soft cloth wipe the area of the remints

It is important to not exceed 10-15 seconds of heating time, as it can cause damage to the top layer of wood.

2.     Using hot water

  • Add some dish soap to water and heat it up
  • Take a sponge and apply some water onto the sticker
  • Wait for about 15 minutes
  • Apply more water if the sticker hasn’t soaked through
  • Scrape the sticker off the surface using a spatula or some other object, or even just your nails
  • If any sticker glue is left on the surface, add a drop of baby oil and rub it in using a dry cloth

Mechanical methods

1.     Using adhesive tape

This method doesn’t guarantee a successful result and works in only 50 percent of cases when the stickers are fresh and sticker glue isn’t old.

  • Stick the tape onto the sticker
  • Holding the tape tightly, rip it off with a fast move
  • Repeat the process until everything is removed off the wood piece

2.     Using a school eraser

It will be more efficient to try it out on freshly attached stickers on  relatively small areas.

  • Wet the sticker using a damp cloth
  • Remove stickers from wood using a rough sponge
  • Let it dry
  • Remaining residue can be removed with an eraser

3.     Using sandpaper

This method can only be used on raw unfinished wood as it scratches the top layer of the wood surfaces. You have to be careful when sanding the sticker down. If it doesn’t help you to remove the stickers from the wood, use other methods described in this article. 


Chemical methods

1.     Using vegetable oil (including olive oil and sunflower oil)

  • Layer it out onto the entire sticker using a cotton ball or a piece of paper towel
  • Rub it in and leave for a few minutes to soak through
  • Scrape the sticker, using a spatula or nails
  • Remove the leftover residue and paper using hot water

The advantage of this method is that almost any household has some cooking oil in the kitchen. So, it’s easy to try it out.

2.     Coconut oil/melted butter

  • Same process as with vegetable oil.
  • Apply some coconut oil onto the stickers
  • Wait a few minutes for the adhesive to start dissolving
  • Peel the sticker off and wipe the oil that is leftover

It is also possible to use products with an oily base such as peanut butter, baby oil or mayonnaise following the same procedure.

3.     Using alcohol-containing products (rubbing alcohol, cologne, vodka)

Be careful when using liquids that contain alcohol. They can damage the painted or vanished surface of the wood. Test it on a small area first to see, whether it is suitable for your type of material.

  • Put some rubbing alcohol onto a cloth
  • Rub gently
  • Wash off the remaining glue

This method should be considered as a last resort when nothing else has worked.

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4.     Using acetone (including acetone-based products such as nail polish remover)

This method should also be followed cautiously. Depending on the wood surface, test it out on a small sticker spot first.

  • Remove manually whatever you can
  • Apply some acetone using a soft cloth
  • Rub the area with stickers until the glue starts dissolving
  • Rinse the area with water afterwards

If nail polish remover doesn’t have an acetone formula, it is also worth giving it a try.

5.     Using solvents

Not everyone has special products to remove stickers. They are easy to find in hardware stores though. The advantage of this way is that all the products were already tested on different types of wood surfaces. Just read the instructions carefully.

  • Spray the solvent onto the stickers that have to be removed
  • Leave it on for a few minutes
  • Wipe the area with a soft cloth removing sticker residue

6.     Using lubricants

Another way that can be quite effective. The WD-40 lubricant is a well-known brand, easy to find in any store.

  • Spray the lubricant all over the stickers
  • Wait for 10 minutes
  • Scrape it off using a spatula or a bank card

7.     Using white vinegar

One of the most popular methods that gives pretty good results. White vinegar is affordable and easy to find in any household. It is possible to use the vinegar just by itself or in conjunction with other ingredients that create an even more powerful substance to fight the stubborn stickers. 

Step 1


Put a soaked in white vinegar cloth onto the stickers you want to get rid off

Step 2


Wait ten to twenty minutes to achieve a better dissolution of sticker glue

Step 3


Remove adhesive of the stickers with a plastic scraper

Step 4


Wipe the surface with a damp cloth

Step 5


Repeat the process, if necessary

The recipe for creating a homemade sticker spray to remove stickers


  • 11% white vinegar concentrate
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap

Get a spray bottle. Add 1 tb spoon of vinegar to warm water along with a few drops of dish soap. Shake it well until the suds start forming. Your homemade spray is ready to be used.

  1.       Spray the soapy water over the sticky residue on the wood surface
  2.       Wait a couple of minutes for it to soak through
  3.       Remove stickers from wood using a scrapper
  4.       Sprinkle some baking soda on top of it
  5.       Spray the soapy solution all over the sticker again
  6.       Wait for one minute and remove the remaining adhesive
  7.       Repeat the process, if any sticky residue is leftover
  8.       Clean any remaining spray off the wooden surfaces as it can cause some stain marks

This spray can also be successfully used to remove stickers on a metal surface.

How do you get stickers off wood without removing paint?

You have to be very careful when trying to remove stickers of painted surfaces. There is a chance you will take some of the paint with it. That is why you have to choose the most delicate method of removing the stubborn stickers.

Two methods are considered to be less harmful for wooden furniture. Using vinegar or a hair dryer.

  1.    Warm the vinegar up in a microwave
  2.    Apply some vinegar onto the painted surfaces using a sponge
  3.    Wait for a few minutes.
  4.    Gently peel off the remaining stickers off the wood
  5.    Repeat the process, if needed

If you decide to go with a hair dryer:

  1.     Carefully blow hot air onto the sticker
  2.     Lift one corner of a sticker with a putty knife
  3.     Remove the rest of the sticker

It is important to restrain yourself from using too much heat as there is a chance of damaging the painted surface.

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How do you remove old stickers from wood doors?

The sooner you remove stickers from the wood the better the result will be. What to do if you have some old stickers attached to your wooden doors?

Bare in mind to be careful working with painted and varnished surfaces of the doors. Use a less harmful method to prevent damaging of the surface – white vinegar.

  1.      Lay a soaked in vinegar cloth over the stickers
  2.      Leave it for around 5 minutes
  3.      Remove stickers with a plastic scraper
  4.      Repeat, if any remnants are left
  5.      Wipe the surface down with wood polish

The process can be time consuming, but the result will surprise you.

To summarise

We hope that we have answered the question how to remove stickers from wood, wooden furniture, wooden doors, wooden floors and any other wooden surface.

There are many different ways for any wooden surfaces and situations. From removing fresh custom stickers, price tags and product labels to battling with old adhesive, heavily penetrated into the structure of the wood.

Anyone can find the method that will work in their particular situation.

In the same way, leaked wood glue and heat stains from furniture can be easily removed with home remedies.

If you have any questions about how to remove stickers from wood, leave them in the comments below. Share this article with friends, family members and colleagues that might be in a search of an answer to this question.

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