Correcting Stain Problems Caused by Glue on Wood

Where the trim installers glued their joints and wiped off the squeeze-out, stain may not take properly. Here are ways to cope with the problem. December 27, 2006

Iíve just stained a room with cypress trim (crown, chair rail, frames) with Minwax penetrating oil. The wood was installed before I could stain it. When the trim men installed, they applied glue to all joints and wiped off excess glue. I sanded all wood with 180 grit but was not aware of glue problem until I stained. The stain, of course, did not take to these areas and it looks unsightly. I am scheduled to apply (by brush) 2 coats of oil satin poly today and tomorrow. How can I blend these areas where the glue is? These areas are mainly all inside and outside joints. Can I mix same color stain with poly and spray (HVLP) the problem areas? Time is of the essence.

I will try to heavily sand outside corners and re-stain. . However, the inside corners, particularly on the heavily moulded crown, is a problem. Advice?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor A:
I use touch up markers for small glue spots that get missed. It usually works well especially if they didnít know it was there to begin with.

From contributor B:
Do you have any dry powders in your finishing kit? If so, mix the powders into some of your top coat and carefully brush it on top of the glue spots.

From contributor C:
If your stain on your piece is still wet, dip a piece of sandpaper in the stain and wet sand the glue out. Make sure to use same grit as your finish sand.

From the original questioner:
I was able to sand out and re-stain most of glue areas, even the inside corners. I will try a marker to finesse areas that need it. Can I use the marker between coats of polyurethane? I applied 1st coat of poly already with 2nd coat scheduled for tomorrow.

From contributor D:
A stabilo pencil also works well (it's one of those pencils that writes on any surface). I find that it works great for glue marks and it's incredible for sand-throughs.

From contributor E:
Tell me more about the Stabilo pencil. Are you able to duplicate stain color with several pencils? When you say sand-through, I'm assuming your talking plywood. Do you use them prior to sealer and top coat? What can you teach me about this?

From contributor D:
I use mainly the black and brown pencil. You don't need to match the color exactly you need to match the value. Final color can be adjusted with shading lacquer or markers, usually itís not needed. The great thing about the pencil is with a light touch you can shade in an area to match that would be much more difficult with a brush. Before sealing you can use prismacolor pencils which are available in many more colors, however after you have a finish of any kind on the wood the Stabilo works best.