“So, where do you put your chewing gum?”

May 25, 2010

Dear Bruce,

I recently discovered that the old armchair I found in a house is a Gustav Stickley Dining Arm Chair, #349 1/2. As I was cleaning the dust and dirt off, I uncovered the “Als ik kan” decal (not a paper label, not a brand) under the right arm. Unfortunately, there is also a wad of gum stuck to the arm, covering a portion of the decal.

An antiques dealer suggested leaving the gum there, as attempting to remove it might pull up the finish and/or part of the decal. But he also suggested that I contact you, as you might have some good advice.

Is there a safe way to remove gum from furniture without damaging the finish and, in this case, the Stickley decal?

Thanks in advance for your help,


May 26, 2010

Dear Michael,

Yours is a first!!!!

The only safe way I could suggest would be to carefully freeze the gum with an ice cube, dabbing up melting water immediately with a paper towel.

Then apply safe pressure with either your thumbnail or a plastic credit card (nothing metal!) to the frozen gum and see if it pops off.

Then you have to email me and let me know what happened!

Good Luck,


August 4, 2010

Hello, Bruce –

I promised to let you know how your suggestions worked. I’m pleased to say that I was able to remove the gum from the bottom of the chair’s armrest, using ice and a credit card, without damaging the decal.

I don’t know if it was the ice or the credit card, or the combination, but it was a good suggestion.

Thanks again,