Liquid Nails is a terrific tool you can use to apply wall panels without the use of nails or screws. It allows for a seamless finish, and it’s easy enough for most DIYers to apply without prior knowledge. But what happens when it’s time to redecorate, and you need to get rid of that thick residue?

If you want to know exactly how to save your drywall from Liquid Nails, then keep reading. This article will cover the basic steps you should follow and offer alternatives for those who find their Liquid Nails is more stubborn.

1. Use a Heat Gun to Warm the Area Gently

The very first step you want to take is to acquire a heat gun. You can find these at your local hardware store or online, like this Heat Gun 1800W Heavy Duty from Amazon. It’s heavy-duty and comes with four different nozzles, so you can get to harder-to-reach areas.

Before turning it on, make sure you read the instruction manual because it can be dangerous if you misuse it.

Now, take the heat gun and apply it to the Liquid Nails. This is easiest when done in smaller sections, as the top will likely start to cool once you reach the bottom (on larger walls).

After a few minutes, you should notice the whole area warming. When that happens, the Liquid Nails should change consistency.

Once the texture changes and it gets kind of drippy and oozy, grab a putty knife and start scraping. Be gentle, though, as you don’t want to damage the wall.

If the Liquid Nails isn’t coming away easily, reapply the heat gun to soften it further.

As a note of reassurance, your drywall should not be permanently damaged by the Liquid Nails. This is because the Liquid Nails sticks to the drywall’s paper and does not penetrate further than that.

It may create a stain, but I will discuss what to do in this situation later in the article.

2. Apply Mineral Spirits and Leave for Twelve Hours

If you can’t find/don’t want to buy a heat gun, or if you tried that method and it didn’t work, the next thing to try is mineral spirits.

Mineral spirits are a clear liquid used for painting. Not only are they handy in getting your painting job cemented on the walls of your house, but they can also help you out with your Liquid Nails situation.

Klean Strip Odorless Mineral Spirits is odorless and designed to clean painting tools without any fumes. It also comes with a set of gloves to help keep your hands safe from chemicals.

To use them on your walls, take a brush or sponge to spread the mineral spirits on the Liquid Nails. Apply gently and delicately, and then let them do their job.

You’ll need to wait around twelve hours before you can check, so grab a cup of tea and relax.

After the waiting period, grab your scraper check a small section to see if it worked.

The Liquid Nails should come off quite easily, but if it does not work as well as you want, you can try the step below.

3. Apply Petroleum Jelly and Wait for Up to Twenty-Four Hours

Petroleum jelly is a handy product to keep in the house. It helps in many different situations, especially in regard to painting.

In your case, petroleum jelly can be a lifesaver when it comes to removing Liquid Nails. I definitely recommend trying it.

To remove Liquid Nails with petroleum jelly, start by applying it over the entire area. It is straightforward to do and should take you no time at all.

Wait for a couple of hours and check the status. It should look like it’s coming loose, and the texture is changing.

Now, leave it be for 24 hours and be patient because you may even need to wait for a couple of days. Let the petroleum jelly work its magic, checking back every few hours to test a small area.

Once you are positive the petroleum jelly has efficiently done its job, grab your scraper and get to work scraping off all the Liquid Nails.

4. Scrape the Area With a Putty Knife

In some cases, all it takes to remove Liquid Nails is a bit of elbow grease and a putty knife.

Depending on the area in question, you may need something bigger to make the job faster. This 4Pcs Spackle Knife Set has four sizes, so you can work in different areas more easily.

Hold the scraper in one hand, and very gently try to get the edge under the Liquid Nails. It is essential not to apply a lot of pressure or brute force because you could potentially damage your drywall.

You should hopefully see the Liquid Nails slowly chip away.

If not, then you can try the following step below.

5. Apply Baby Oil and Leave for Twelve Hours

For this step, baby oil will hopefully be the magical material to resolve your issues.

Remember that baby oil can and will stain your carpets and floors if you spill, so it’s best to cover the area with plastic.

Also, work in small areas to avoid having too much oil on your rag. That way, it shouldn’t drip onto you or the floor.

Once you get the baby oil, pour it on a rag. You’ll need to soak the rag because oil doesn’t absorb like other liquids, but make sure it is not so damp that it’s dripping. 

Just like the other methods, apply the baby oil to the Liquid Nails. Do this by dabbing and holding the rag on the area to ensure it’s saturated.

Now you get to the easy part. The waiting period! Set your alarm for twelve hours, and then take your scraper and gently scrape off the liquid nail from the drywall.

You should notice it coming off very quickly and smoothly.

Tips for Removing Stains Left Behind by Liquid Nails

As mentioned, Liquid Nails should not penetrate your walls, meaning the structural integrity should be fine. But it’s possible that the area can stain, especially if the Liquid Nails has been in place for years.

To remove these stains, you’ll need good old-fashioned white vinegar. Apply it to the area in the same way you did the baby oil and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Using a damp cloth, try wiping the site clean.

If the stain remains, repeat the procedure with vinegar and consider adding a spoonful of baking soda to the mix.

The last resort will be to repaint the area completely.

Final Thoughts

Liquid Nails is a construction grade, heavy-duty, multi-purpose adhesive used to bridge gaps in walls and help fit everything from drywall to large bathroom mirrors.

It’s designed to last years, but unfortunately, that means it can be a pain to remove.

The best method is to use a heat gun to soften the thicker areas and then gently scrape it off with a putty knife. If that fails, try applying petroleum jelly or baby oil to the site and try to scrape it again.

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