LIQUID NAILS® Construction Adhesives: Tips & Tricks

How to Remove Construction Adhesives

Occasionally you may wish to separate objects bonded with LIQUID NAILS® Brand construction adhesives, such as two boards, two bricks, or in some cases, two of your fingers! There's no one adhesive remover that works for everything, but here are some tips for getting out of the stickiest situations. (Remember, LIQUID NAILS Brand construction adhesives are designed for durable bonding — this isn't supposed to be easy!)

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Removing LIQUID NAILS Brand Construction Adhesives From Skin

First, check to see if the adhesive is solvent or latex-based.

For Solvent-Based Construction Adhesives:

  • Gently rub petroleum jelly, vegetable or mineral oil onto the skin. Repeat applications may be needed.
  • Remove any contaminated clothing and be sure to wash before wearing again.

For Latex-Based Construction Adhesives:

  • Wash thoroughly with soap and water.

Removing LIQUID NAILS Brand Construction Adhesives From Building Materials

What you'll need:

  • Windshield Cut-Out Wire (also called music wire), available at most automotive parts stores
  • Safety gloves and/or handles for the wire to keep hands from being cut
  • Safety goggles or a face shield
  • Two screwdrivers to prop parts into an open position
  • Wire cutters

What you'll do:

  • Cut a length of wire about two or three feet longer than the width of the part to be removed.
  • Starting at one corner, work the middle of the wire under the edge of the part. Connect the handles to the wire, if you are using handles. If not, be sure to wear heavy safety gloves to protect your hands.
  • Saw back and forth with the wire, using moderate pressure. This should start cutting the adhesive. After a few inches have been cut, use the screwdrivers to prop open the gap. This is done to prevent thermoplastic construction adhesives from re-adhering, which can happen as friction causes significant warming.
  • Continue sawing, moving the screwdrivers as you go. Continue until the part is loose and can be removed.
  • Scrape away residual adhesive. If the adhesive is too hard to scrape, apply a light layer of baby oil to the adhesive, wait an hour, then scrape. Repeat if necessary. NOTE: Do not use baby oil or any other softening material if painting of the surface is planned, as it will stain.