by Jennifer Borrego January 05, 2017


Do you use Pinterest? I am willing to best most of you probably arrived here from a post on Pinterest, Welcome. Pinterest comes before Google when I am looking for many how to's in my DIY life. You may remember my talking about snowing felt when I worked on this desk. It was a mess and it is still lodged in my sander. Got the job done albeit the hard way. A recent project I was working on also had a dank felt liner that had to be removed. This liner however was not on a flat surface without sides. It was in a drawer with dividers. Great for storing silverware, not for removing felt from. It was hidden under a bizarre picnic looking shelf paper. SURPRISE! Not easy to wedge an electric sander in a 3 inch space.


So to Pinterest I headed, I found post after post of get a putty knife, get to scraping, then sand it, and then either live with any fibers left over or scrape again. I might have painted the dank liner before embarking on that mess! I got to thinking & in the past I have used a combo of water & a heat gun for removing veneer. I assume that the glue for old veneer is probably the same or a similar glue for old felt. I decided to wet/saturate the liner and hope that it was the same animal hyde based glue. (Does picturing glue from animal hyde makes you uncomfortable too? Blech!!) The bonus of this glue is that it is water soluble. Guess what it was a good idea & it worked which is why we are talking about it now.

Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 

  • You will need: 
  • Room temperature water
  • Something to pierce and get the liner lifting with. (I used a tool that is meant for turning eyelet screws. You could also use an awl, or maybe even a fork.)
  • Scrub sponge

Pretty easy list right? You're welcome.

saturated felt liner

Photo shows saturated felt liner, be glad it's not scratch n sniff. Room temperature water was poured in and allowed to penetrate to the point where the felt was soaked. Then poured the remaining water out & allowed to sit for about 2-3 minutes.

I pierced the felt and began lifting up. At first I was worried (you will notice in the video at the bottom that it looked to be breaking and tearing & I was hoping for pull it all of in one swoosh) For this one I got it started with the awl type tool & then used my fingers to pull and lift out. The felt was very old & worked better with the hand tugging the piercing tool was just shredding it when I tried to pull back.

Once all of the felt was removed I expected to need to sand it, instead I got a scrubber with hot water and gave a light scrubbing. Less than you would a pan with baked on stuff. The whole process was less than 10 minutes and required no real hard work. I actually returned to Pinterest to see if anyone had told these well intentioned scrapers that there was a better way. Sadly none had, just many thankful comments who were thrilled to learn the scrape method:( note:scraping would have been a better choice than my "hmmm, if I have to scrape it, maybe I can paint it.") I wouldn't have actually done that. But, I would have not finished my project today either. Below you can watch a basic video of the process. Remember when I started I was not sure it was going to work. There was a chance you would have never even seen this video so it's a little cheesy & I call a trowel a spatula because I have a little bit of amnesia with words sometimes... Anyhow I hope my embarrassingly imperfect video helps you:)

Tada the after, a clean feltless drawer

Pinterest Pins:

The Easiest way to remove felt liner from old furniture/wood

Jennifer Borrego
Jennifer Borrego


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