How to Get Fingernail Glue Off a Finished Table

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A relaxing night of doing your nails can quickly go wrong when you accidentally get nail glue on your finished table. Don't despair; this mistake can be fixed with patience. When dealing with fingernail or super glue, the best adhesive remover for wood is acetone. With care and precision, you can clean up any accidental fingernail glue spills and get back to a peaceful night of pampering.


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Difference Between Super Glue and Fingernail Glue

Fingernail glue and super glue contain a super adhesive ingredient called cyanoacrylate, making them high-strength and fast-bonding glues. While they have similar components and require similar methods to remove them from surfaces like wooden tables, you should never substitute one for the other. Besides cyanoacrylate, nail glue contains ingredients specifically for nails, while super glue includes elements that can be harmful when applied to your body or skin.


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How to Get Fingernail Glue Off a Finished Table

Step 1: Use Acetone Safely

Work in a well-ventilated area whenever you're using acetone and keep it well away from any heat sources as it's very flammable.

Step 2: Dampen a Cotton Ball or Swab With Acetone or Nail Polish Remover

Make sure not to drench your cotton ball or swab in acetone or nail polish remover, as you only want a small amount to avoid wiping spots without glue on your table.


Step 3: Carefully Swipe the Glue

Because acetone can discolor finished wood, you'll want to make sure to go slowly and only wipe the cotton ball or swab on the spot with glue. Once your cotton ball or swab feels dry, toss it out and grab a new one. Dampen it with the acetone or nail polish remover and continue dabbing at the glue until it becomes loose. You may need to repeat this step multiple times.

Step 4: Gently Remove the Glue

Once you've loosened the glue enough with acetone, gently scrape it off the table's surface using a plastic putty knife or an old plastic card. Make sure to take your time to avoid removing your table's finishing. If the glue is difficult to remove, repeat step 2.

Step 5: Wipe Off the Table

Grab a washcloth or paper towel to wipe off any remaining residue. Use a wood-safe cleaning spray to make sure you remove any leftover glue debris or acetone.


If you’re worried about acetone ruining your wood table's finish, try using mineral oil to loosen the glue and then scrape it off with a plastic putty knife.