Add an Easy Accent to a Plain Project

How to Use the Glue-Resist Technique with Stain

I’m sure you’re wondering what the heck the “glue-resist technique” is… You’ve seen it, and probably inadvertently done it. It is where you are building a masterpiece out of gorgeous wood, you’ve taken your time building – no errors, everything is square. It is time to apply the beautiful stain you’ve picked for this project and BAM!! There is a spot of glue right in the middle of this gorgeous piece you though you were completing to perfection!! Stain doesn’t hide it, nothing will! (It happens to me all the time!)

This can work to your advantage but only before staining… Otherwise, other creative measures will have to be used!

use glue resist technique with stain SANY2541

Anyway, I wanted to add a little flair to an oak plywood box I am building and thought this technique would fit the bill! Here’s how I did it:

First, I cut all of the pieces for the box and thoroughly sanded them. Pretty, huh? I used PureBond plywood.

use glue resist technique with stain SANY2533

Then, I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut a couple of stencils out of vinyl. Regular stencils can also be used by taping them in place with masking tape.

use glue resist technique with stain SANY2534

I applied my stencils, then used wood glue to fill in where I didn’t want the stain to take to the wood. Any type of glue should work, even Mod Podge or Elmer’s School Glue.

use glue resist technique with stain SANY2535

use glue resist technique with stain SANY2536

I let the glue dry, then removed the stencil. I stained my pieces using (my favorite!!) Rust-Oleum’s Ultimate Wood Stain in Kona.

use glue resist technique with stain SANY2539

use glue resist technique with stain SANY2538

Check that out!! Isn’t that great?? Think of all of the creative things that you can use the glue resist technique with stain on – cabinet doors, drawer fronts, etc! I have plenty of plans listed on the site that this technique would work well with. Try it and show me what you did – cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com.

use glue resist technique with stain SANY2540

Disclaimer: All of the products I mentioned are products I own and use. I was not asked by any of the companies to make remarks about their products. All opinions are my own whether favorable or unfavorable. I do regularly stalk these companies!!

40 Comments

  • Christine says:

    Not sure how I ended up here on your page, but it’s absolutely what I’ve been looking for! I have stripped 6 antique doors and 6 kitchen (cherry) cabinets. I wanted to do something subtle before aging them. This is perfect. Thank you for putting this out there!

    • CherTexter says:

      Thank you so much! I am so glad you stumbled upon my page… It is such a fun technique! I have another technique similar to this that I’d like to try so please check back soon! THANK YOU again!

  • […] a few special hot sauces. I am planning on building a couple out of oak Purebond plywood using the glue resist technique on the front for a special […]

  • […] This is a pretty cool  media stand… As drawn, the plans to build an Emmett Media Stand feature four drawers and a shelf. There are also a few alternate options for this stand – the drawers can be omitted and it can just have the shelving, a couple more of the larger drawers can be built so that it is full of drawers, or it can be a combination of both in any form! That makes it easy, right? This would be fabulous built in oak plywood (PureBond would be an excellent choice!) with the drawers decorated using the Glue-Resist Technique! […]

  • Noel Ware says:

    Awesome job, I love love love the way it turned out!

  • Ohmygosh . . . what a cool technique! I love this–thank you for sharing.

    • CherTexter says:

      Thank you, Shannon! I really appreciate it! It is really neat – especially when used on different species of wood! I’m glad you stopped by!

  • […] would look great in any decor with any type of finish. It would also be really unique using the glue-resist technique, especially if staining. Have any questions about the Akron end table plans? Let me know at cher […]

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  • Cory Ahern says:

    How did you get the glue off? I tried this, and couldn’t get it off!

    • CherTexter says:

      Hi, Cory! The glue isn’t supposed to come off… It is what creates the “resist” so the stain doesn’t penetrate it thus creating the design. Hope this helps!

      • Cory Ahern says:

        When you are done, you don’t want the glue there, do you? I don’t like the look of the yellowy goopy glue – it wasn’t clear. Goess I could try clearer, but I didn’t think I wouldn’t be able to get it off.

        • CherTexter says:

          Maybe I’m not understanding… The glue is applied over the stencil, then the stencil is removed leaving glue design on the wood. The glue creates a barrier (the resist) so that the stain doesn’t penetrate that area. Mod Podge or regular white glue like Elmer’s may be used though I am not sure it would have the same effect, as I haven’t tried it.

          • Cory Ahern says:

            No, that’s right, but I want the wood surface there, whan i am done, not glue.
            Ok, no biggie. 🙂

          • CherTexter says:

            Oh, OK, I understand! I can’t think of any other alternative… It would look really cool, nonetheless!

          • Christine says:

            She could try using some matte varnish (by Beautiful or Decoart) or using some flat, dark (#4 or 5) paint base. It goes on white, but dries clear and do matte, you can’t figure out where it was applied. Until you stain… I’ve used this on peeling and chippy pieces where I wanted them to stick, but didn’t want any shine. Just a thought. Or she could just sand the stuff off.

  • Nanette says:

    Would be great if the glue could be peeled off or washed off. Maybe hot glue would work, if it were thin enough.

    • CherTexter says:

      Hi, Nanette! That sounds like a great idea… Let me know how it works if you try it. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Christine says:

    HI! I’ve got you pinned and came back to take another look. I want to do som,e drawer fronts before I stain them. Been thinking of this forEVAH! I’m not a stenciler, so I wanted to ask how you prevent the bleeding under the stencil, even with the tape? In the past, I’ve tried pouncing, painting, dabbing, gluing the stencil down with spray sticky stuff and a few other methods, but I always end up with bleeding. What’s your suggestion with glue? Thank you for your time!

    • CherTexter says:

      Hi, Christine! I use vinyl and cut the design out of that. I always have bleeding issues with stencils (and am actually horrible at it!) and honestly have not figured out a way around it. Thank you for the varnish suggestion – I was thinking about that as well! Thanks for stopping by!

      • Christine says:

        Since I wrote this morning, I’m thinking really thick glue. White glue dries clear, plus it could be sanded lightly and it’s invisible. Maybe thick won’t bleed. I’m going to test a few pieces. I have some unfinished oak, maple and cherry drawer fronts to play with. Thanks!

        • CherTexter says:

          That is a great idea using the awl! I was thinking of trying out various other items such as white glue, washable glue, or even Mod Podge to see how they would work! Thank you so much for the ideas!

  • […] or mirrors can be used as the panels in the doors. The doors would also look awesome using the glue-resist technique and a neat damask pattern instead of the carved pieces. Have questions or a comment about the DIY […]

  • […] plain and simple cabinet can be finished any way you choose and would be really awesome using the glue-resist technique on the doors! Have any questions about the free plans to build a TCD Sheffield cabinet knock-off? […]

  • […] front of the drawers can be painted with chalkboard paint or given a really neat design using the glue-resist technique! Have any questions about the plans to build a Drake chest? Leave a comment below or contact me at […]

  • […] be fabulous with a chippy painted finish, a weathered stain finish, or stenciled with paint or the glue-resist technique! This is a super-easy build and can be completed in a […]

  • […] white paint. A woodburning tool could be used to create a design (before staining) or even the glue-resist technique can be […]

  • […] that it has so much storage! The table would also look great with a dark stain and a stenciled or glue-resist pattern on the top… Have any questions about the DIY plans to build a Round Shelf Coffee […]

  • […] can be stenciled, painted, stained, decoupaged, upholstered, or even made beautiful with the glue-resist technique! A router and a decorative bit will be used to create the upper trim. The plans are written for a […]

  • […] a variety of ways… The door panels can be stenciled, decoupaged, or even decorated using the glue resist technique! Have any questions about the DIY plans to build a Les Tulips Cabinet? Leave a comment […]

  • […] colors!! I am all for color so I chose “Gulf Stream” (a turquoise-y blue!) and used the glue resist technique to add a nice design to the front of the box and drawers. Instead of a dowel for a handle, I used […]

  • Carol Castellow says:

    i wonder if you could use the stencil to paint your design then when dry put your glue over top of that and then stain, would it have the same effect?

    • CherTexter says:

      Hi, Carol! I’m not sure but it would be worth a try! I would think that white glue would have to be used because it dries clear and not yellow like wood glue. Thanks for stopping by!

  • queenopearls . says:

    Beautiful and so smart! I am enjoying your site… do you have an email list?
    Thanks, Christina in FL

  • […] white paint. A woodburning tool could be used to create a design (before staining) or even the glue-resist technique can be […]

  • […] This is a pretty cool  media stand… As drawn, the plans to build an Emmett Media Stand feature four drawers and a shelf. There are also a few alternate options for this stand – the drawers can be omitted and it can just have the shelving, a couple more of the larger drawers can be built so that it is full of drawers, or it can be a combination of both in any form! That makes it easy, right? This would be fabulous built in oak plywood (PureBond would be an excellent choice!) with the drawers decorated using the Glue-Resist Technique! […]

  • […] can be stenciled, painted, stained, decoupaged, upholstered, or even made beautiful with the glue-resist technique! A router and a decorative bit will be used to create the upper trim. The plans are written for a […]

  • […] self-adhesive paper in a marble pattern for a look similar to the original or a large stencil. The glue resist technique could also be used on the […]

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