Leather portfolio stuck severely to a wooden shelf?


My daughter's leather portfolio has been stuck severely to a wooden shelf for a few years in the attic. This portfolio has her photos and is extremely important. How can we easily remove it?

  13 answers
  • I would try to slightly lift an edge and get some olive oil between the two. Use a plastic scraper or old credit card to keep lifting while adding oil.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on May 12, 2021

    Can you remove just the pictures? The portfolio would be secondary to the contents. Then try as Ann suggested, use olive oil and a scraper of some sort to loosen and none of the oil on the pictures.

  • Janice Janice on May 12, 2021

    You might try using a hair blow dryer to "warm up or soften" the contact between the portfolio and the wood. The olive oil could then perhaps be used as well.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on May 12, 2021

    As odd as it may sound, I would heat the area with either a blow dryer or low temp on heat gun. Add a lubricant like WD40 to help the process along. The case is most likely a lost cause but at least you can possible save the photos. Although, once exposed to high heat they may also need restoration. I have a friend who does it on his computer as a hobby so I'm sure there software available to assist you.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on May 12, 2021

    I agree with the heating up idea, it was the first thing that came to my mind as well! Can you use a hair dryer underneath the shelf?

  • Em Em on May 12, 2021

    Try a butter knife gently between the leather and the wood apply gently upward pulling as you do.

  • Mogie Mogie on May 12, 2021
    30 Easy Ways to Unstick Something That's Stuck


  • William William on May 12, 2021

    Spray some WD40 underneath. Use some Goo Gone applied with a small paint brush

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on May 13, 2021

    Hello agree with the heat idea with a plastic nylon type spatula or pancake flipper to help ease it off the shelf.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on May 13, 2021

    Hi! Can you remove it from the attic? Even with good ventilation most attics aren't the best for delicate or valuable items. Once you have it in a more climate controlled environment, I would try to gently work it loose. The main problem I have with WD40 for example, is the smell. Since it's leather you are dealing with, I would try Goo Gone or a leather cleaner working from the edges. No matter how carefully you remove it, it may be damaged. I would remove all the photos before working on it. Good luck!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on May 13, 2021


    Try heat to soften the polish/varnish. Best wishes. I would remove the Photo's etc. first.

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on May 14, 2021

    Hi Deb, so sorry to hear that. I would remove the photos first if possible and then run a thin piano wire or possibly even the wire you use to hang pictures gently between the leather portfolio and the shelf, wriggling it softly as you go. Best of luck

  • Deb Mahoney Deb Mahoney on May 14, 2021

    Worked on this problem and finally Goo Gone worked. Thank you

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