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Spring Cleaning: How To Remove Stickers From Furniture

03/23/2012 09:03 am ET | Updated Oct 11, 2012

Whether you're repurposing a thrift store find or trying to salvage your old childhood dresser, don't waste time tediously peeling off timeworn stickers. With our adhesive removal tips, you can soak, heat and scrape your way to a sticker-free surface in no time.

Off Wood. Soak a paper towel or cloth in white vinegar and lay it over the sticker. Let the vinegar absorb into and around the sticker for five minutes. Then, gently peel the sticker off your wood surface. If it's still tough to remove any remnants, repeat the steps again. When you have removed all the remaining adhesive, wipe down the surface with wood polish.

Off Glass. It may be tempting but do not try to scratch off the sticker or decal; you could damage the glass. Simply cover the undesirable area with an oil-based substance, like baby oil or vegetable oil and let it sit overnight. It should peel right off come morning. Or, you can repeat the same process with nail polish remover. But, be careful to only let it soak for half an hour at most.

Off Metals. Gently scrape off as much adhesive as you can. Apply a small amount of WD-40 or another water-displacing spray onto a cloth, and rub until you can easily peel off the sticker or decal. Next, mix a few drips of dish soap into a bowl of warm water and wash the area. Rinse the surface with clean warm water and dry.

Off Plastic. Heat the area around the sticker with a hair dryer until you can peel one side up. While holding the loose side up, aim the dryer where the adhesive meets the surface. As it heats, slowly peel the sticker off. Don't let the temperature get too hot, as it could melt your plastic surface. Finally, wash the surface with a dish soap solution and dry with a clean cloth.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that you can remove stickers with nail polish. However, unless you want to add to the mess you're trying to remove, you should actually use nail polish remover.

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