How to Remove Nail Glue from an Acrylic Coffee Table

Having an acrylic coffee table can be a stylish addition to your living room decor. Acrylic furniture gives a modern and sleek look. However, these tables also require a bit more care and maintenance compared …

How to Remove Nail Glue from an Acrylic Coffee Table

Having an acrylic coffee table can be a stylish addition to your living room decor. Acrylic furniture gives a modern and sleek look. However, these tables also require a bit more care and maintenance compared to traditional wooden tables. One common problem many acrylic coffee table owners face is getting nail glue stuck on the surface.

Nail glue is a strong adhesive used for nail enhancements and nail art. Its adhesive strength makes it notoriously difficult to remove from surfaces it gets on accidentally. Attempting to scrape off dried nail glue from your acrylic coffee table can potentially cause deep scratches or damage.

Removing nail glue from an acrylic surface takes patience and the right technique. With the proper methods and products, you can get rid of stubborn nail glue without ruining your table. This article provides step-by-step instructions on safely removing nail glue from acrylic furniture.

Assessing the Nail Glue Stain

Start by examining the nail glue stain closely. Note the size of the affected area and how thick or dried out the glue deposit is. This will help determine the level of effort needed to remove it.

Glue that is still moist or only semi-dried will be easier to peel off. Hardened glue that has cured completely on the surface will take more work to dissolve and scrape off.

Also, check if the stain has started to yellow or discolor the acrylic underneath. Long-term glue contact can sometimes permanently mark the acrylic. But you won’t know for sure until you try removing it.

Read Also: 11 Best Acrylic Coffee Tables for a Modern Look in 2023

Choosing the Right Nail Glue Remover

Using the right adhesive remover is crucial for getting nail glue off acrylic without ruining the surface. Avoid harsh solvents like paint thinner or turpentine as they can damage and crack acrylic.

Here are the best options for safely dissolving nail glue from an acrylic coffee table:

  • Acetone – This is the primary ingredient in most nail polish removers. The acetone in nail polish remover can help melt away nail product residue. Opt for 100% pure acetone instead of generic nail polish remover.
  • Isopropyl Alcohol – Another mild solvent like acetone that dissolves nail glue effectively. Isopropyl alcohol evaporates quickly and won’t leave behind any oily residue.
  • Adhesive Remover – Look for a commercial adhesive remover formulated specifically for use on acrylic surfaces. Most are acetone-based and gentle enough for acrylic.
  • Goo Gone – This mild adhesive dissolving gel works on many surfaces. The citrus-scented formula is safe for acrylic.

Softening the Glue

Before attempting to scrape or peel, you need to soften up the dried glue to separate it from the acrylic surface. This makes removal much simpler.

Apply a small amount of your chosen nail glue remover directly onto the stain. Acetone, alcohol, and adhesive removers can be poured directly onto a cotton ball or swab. For Goo Gone, use a swab to transfer some gel onto the glue deposit.

Let it sit for 1-2 minutes. This gives the solvent time to penetrate and dissolve the hardened glue. For better results, cover the area with a wet paper towel or cloth soaked in the nail glue remover. This keeps the surface wet for faster softening.

The glue should now have a gummy, softened texture that can be slowly scraped/peeled off. Rinse with water and dry to see if any residue remains. Repeat the softening process until all traces of the nail glue are gone.

Scraping Off the Glue Gently

Once sufficiently softened, you can start scraping off the gooey nail glue gently.

Using a plastic scraper is ideal to avoid scratching the acrylic surface. An old credit card, gift card, or similar plastic card can also work.

Carefully slide the edge of the scraper under the glue deposit to lift it off the surface. Try not to gouge or dig into the acrylic. Work slowly and gently for the best results.

For glue residue in crevices or small spaces, use a toothpick or non-abrasive brush to dislodge and scrape it away bit by bit. Q-tips can also help remove glue from tight spots or edges.

Avoid using metal scrapers or razor blades as they can scratch up the acrylic. Work patiently with your plastic scraper instead for safe glue removal.

Cleaning Up Residual Glue

Once the bulk of the nail glue has been scraped off, there may still be a thin glue film or residue left behind on the acrylic surface.

Use a lint-free microfiber cloth dampened with some nail glue remover to wipe the area down. This will remove any last traces of residual glue.

You can also mix a solution of warm water and mild dish soap (1-2 drops per cup of water). Use a clean rag dipped in the soapy water to wipe off residue.

For fine glue remnants in crevices, use a cotton swab dipped in remover or soapy water to swab out the area. This gets rid of glue stuck in cracks or edges.

Rinse the area with plain water once done and dry thoroughly with a microfiber towel. This leaves your acrylic coffee table clean and free of nail glue marks.

Preventing Future Nail Glue Stains

Your acrylic coffee table looks as good as new after removing the nail glue stain. But chances are, you will need to deal with this issue again in the future. Here are some tips to avoid or minimize nail glue marks on your acrylic surfaces:

  • Apply nail glue carefully far away from furniture surfaces. Have a paper towel or foil under your hand.
  • Clean up any nail glue drips immediately before they have a chance to dry.
  • Consider using nail forms or tips instead of applying tips directly with glue.
  • Invest in nail glue with a precision applicator to reduce mess and accidental drips.
  • Always have pure acetone or adhesive remover on hand for easy glue clean-up.
  • Use a protective tablecloth or placemats during nail sessions.
  • Keep the acrylic surface clean and dust-free for easier glue removal.

With some care and the right technique, getting nail glue off your acrylic coffee table doesn’t have to be difficult or damaging. Follow these steps, be patient, use the recommended products and you can easily restore your acrylic furniture’s pristine, glossy look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use nail polish remover instead of pure acetone?

You can try it, but pure 100% acetone works best for dissolving stubborn nail glue off acrylic. The other ingredients in generic nail polish remover may not be as effective.

What if the nail glue leaves permanent marks or discolors the acrylic?

Unfortunately, if the glue has fused to the acrylic or causes etching/discoloration that can’t be buffed out, the damage may be permanent. You can try lightly sanding and polishing the area, but this doesn’t always work.

How can I avoid scratching the acrylic while scraping off the glue?

Always opt for a plastic scraper or soft brush rather than a metal scraper. Take your time and apply light pressure while scraping. Don’t dig or gouge at the glue deposit.

Is it okay to use acetone nail polish remover on acrylic furniture?

Yes, as long as you use 100% pure acetone. Avoid acetone formulations with additives, which can leave behind residue. Test a small hidden area first to be safe.

What glue is safest to use for nails around acrylic furniture?

Cyanoacrylate nail glue is best for acrylic surfaces, as it can be easily removed with acetone. Avoid two-part epoxy or UV-cured glues which are harder to remove.


  • Assess the nail glue deposit first before attempting removal.
  • Use safe solvents like acetone, alcohol, or adhesive remover to soften the nail glue.
  • Gently scrape off softened glue with a plastic card or scraper.
  • Clean any residual glue with soapy water and microfiber cloths.
  • Take precautions during future nail sessions to avoid more glue stains.

With some persistence and care, you can successfully tackle nail glue spills on acrylic coffee tables or furniture. The results are worth the effort to keep your beautiful acrylic surfaces looking pristine.

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