Best wood glue for you

PVA glue  for the carpenter in you

Learn about different types of wood glue before you start your next project. PVA glue, polyurethane glue, as well as epoxy can all be used as wood adhesives. Get the facts so you make the right choice.

The many types of wood glue

If you are tackling a wood-working project or repair, you’ll want to have the best wood glue for the job handy. There are several choices, so here is a quick summary:

PVA glue, or polyvinyl acetate, is the most common wood glue and is often called carpenter’s glue. This type of glue, which is usually white or yellow, works great for dry wood and tight-fitting joints. It is generally used for indoor projects which are not subjected to a lot of moisture, but there are exterior or water-resistant versions of PVA glue.

Polyurethane glue is best suited for outdoor woodworking projects. It forms a strong, water-resistant bond and can be used with wood that is not well-seasoned or kiln dried.

Epoxy is also used for some woodworking projects. It generally comes in two parts, a resin and a hardener. When these are mixed, you have limited time to use the glue before it hardens. The main advantage of epoxy: it provides an extremely hard bond. It also can fill gaps when the joints or pieces being glued together do not fit as precisely.

PVA glue—the pro’s choice

What is PVA glue? PVA stands for polyvinyl acetate and is a synthetic adhesive that works very well for joining two pieces of dry wood or other porous materials. This is the most common type of wood glue as it forms a strong bond, dries quickly, and is inexpensive.

How strong is wood glue? When PVA glue is used properly, the bond will be stronger than the wood itself. It helps keep surfaces bonded without an excess of nails or screws and can prevent gaps from forming.

The right way to use wood glue

Using PVA glue is easy if you follow these basic steps:

  1. First, test fit the two pieces of wood to make sure they fit together correctly. Make any adjustments needed before getting out the glue.
  2. Apply some wood glue to both surfaces to be joined together. Spread it out evenly with a cloth or an old paint brush.
  3. Fit the pieces together and install nails or screws if necessary.
  4. Wipe away any excess glue with a damp cloth.
  5. Clamp the pieces together (if needed) until the glue dries.
  6. Wait until the glue has dried. Check the label for drying time.

Cleaning up after using wood glue is easy. Just wipe it away with a damp cloth. Be especially careful if the wood you are working with will be stained rather than painted because stain will not penetrate through a film of hardened glue.

If the glue has started to set and becomes rubbery before you are able to clean it away, try using a putty knife to scrape it away. Then wipe with a damp cloth.

If the glue has already dried, you will have to sand it away with sandpaper.

Choosing a quality wood adhesive

So now that you know the steps for using wood glue, you will want to choose one that is high quality, effective, and of great value.

As mentioned above, PVA glue is very common, but it has a few drawbacks. PVA glue is meant for tight fitting wood joints and often requires clamping until dry. Pattex Fix Nail Power is a great alternative. It provides a high-strength bond with great initial grab. The pieces stay repositionable for about 2 minutes. It reduces the need for bracing and nailing and cleans up with a damp cloth.

If your project requires an epoxy adhesive, we recommend Pattex Power Epoxy Instant Mix. This fast-curing epoxy dries crystal clear in just minutes. It is a two-part adhesive that comes in a convenient dual syringe for easy application. This versatile glue can fill gaps and bond rough surfaces, making it ideal for many types of repairs.