I am using and caring for a set of wooden chairs (hand-carved backs) belonging to a family member.
I need to add new felt pads to the feet of most of these, as some have had old ones fall off (the remaining pads now crushed, means all must be changed on a chair).
Last year I did this. However, some of the pads fell off as there was old adhesive and debris that prevented the new pads from adhering properly.

Today I tried sanding with 400 grain paper, but the adhesive on some of the feet is just too thick. I was thinking about something like Goo-Gone (citrus based) or Murphy's Oil Soap. However, these are very nice chairs with a lovely dark-red-brown color and shiny finish (don't know what kind of wood), and I don't want to change the color of the 'ankles' or risk a droplet running down the side that might burn away the darkness in a line on one of the legs after only seconds. I've searched a couple forums, but thought I'd expand my .SE network membership here.

The only thing I've found is that some people caution against using Murphy's on wood floors, and some advise it.

4 Answers 4


If the glue is really thick, it'll take a lot of remover and work to remove. 400 grit paper is much too fine to remove adhesive. Use something closer to 100 grit sandpaper. Use a sanding block so it doesn't cut into the leg edges, and be careful to match the angle of leg end so you are just removing adhesive, not wood. In particular, do not allow the paper to cut wood in a direction that could cause the wood to splinter outwards. This is unlikely a problem as long as you are not too aggressive, because the wood is probably hardwood and not prone to splintering. If the paper gums up with glue, change to fresh paper.

Even taking your time and being careful, this will be much faster than chemical removers. As soon as you see you are starting to cut into wood, then switch to chemical remover to get the rest. Depending on the new adhesive, if there is any, you may need to seal any raw wood to provide for maximum adhesion.

The nail on pads work well, but they are more visible, so not always suitable.

  • How would I seal the raw wood? (acceptance imminent) Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 16:09
  • 1
    Depends on the adhesive, there should be recommendations in the instructions. If nothing is mentioned, then no sealing is probably required. For instance, it's common to seal the end grain of wood to receive common woodworker's glue simply with a light coat of glue, then letting it dry, prior to actually bonding whatever using the more of the glue.
    – bcworkz
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 22:58
  • Ah, I see. Don't think there were any instructions, I'll check again. Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 4:53

Because you have to deal with a lot of movement, I would suggest using a nail on glide instead of an adhesive one:

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  • Thanks, BMitch, a great idea, I know people who use these, they are great. Unfortunately, I forgot to mention that the preference of the actual owner of the chairs would likely consider this 'damage' b/c wherever they go next might be carpeted, as was the case from whence they came, and therefore pads might be unnecessary. I actually thought of this a couple days ago but mention why this possibility was precluded. An excellent suggestion nonetheless, when I get 15 rep I'll +1. Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 16:07

You won't need a lot of whatever remover you are going to use, be it goof off, Murphys. Just use a little bit on a folded up rag and only apply to the "glue" till it rubs off. The next step is important, after the adhesive is off, you need to clean off any oils left over from the glue/cleaner, for this we use denatured alcohol. Wipe the leg bottoms with a rag and alcohol and let dry then you can apply the new felt "dots"

  • Thanks gunner, I'll try to figure out of I need to clean remaining oils of how you suggest, or if I just need to 'seal' it as suggested in a different answer. Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 16:09

I found that if I draped a micro cloth over the foot of the bar stool foot and poured a small amount of lighter fluid on the cloth. Using vigorous pressure over the area with the old glue, the glue came off into the cloth. I let it dry, and used rubbing alcohol on the feet to remove any extra adhesive. I have just put new felt covering on the feet of my bar stools. It worked more effectively than using goo-be-gone. Good luck.

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