Maybe you own or have see one of these – a padding press with so much old padding compound built up that it looks like an elephant sneezed on it. I apologize for the gross visual, but I know I’ve seen some in that bad of shape. This issue is a question that we seem to get every once in a while: “How do I remove old, dried on padding glue?”
The honest answer is that removing old padding compound buildup is an awful lot of scraping, I mean A LOT! Using a heat gun will help to slightly soften the mess, but you must take care to not heat your press up too much as to bubble up the paint finish or cause damage. We have actually tested a huge host of chemicals including blanket wash, adhesive removers (like Goo-Gone) and various solvents – none of these help at all. To be honest, if it has collected and built up over years, it’s likely you may not get it all off.
The ideal solution is to not allow it to build up to that level. Ultimately, it starts with the application – neatly applying the proper amount of compound should reduce wasted slop over spillage and it cuts down on the glue dripping down onto the press. Additionally, folding a paper channel to catch any dripping glue under your stack of sheets will keep your press clean (see the video link below & go to 3 minutes, 48 seconds into the clip).
We highly recommend using a plastic putty knife immediately after unloading your padded job to remove any padding compound left behind. Then use a damp cloth to scrub away any residue while it is still somewhat water-soluble before fully curing. This will keep your padding press looking good as new.
Do you have any tips or tricks that you use when padding? Please share in the comments below.