New to DIYs? Here’s What You Should Know About the Different Types of Wood Glue

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Home DIY renovation projects have become popular during the pandemic. According to a BNN Bloomberg article, Canadian businesses selling DIY equipment have seen increased sales during COVID-19. If this is your first time trying DIY projects, knowing the types and uses of different wood glues is a great way to start. Please keep reading to learn about the various types of adhesives and how to use them.

The Main Types of Wood Glue

As a beginner in woodworking, choosing the right type of wood glue can be mind-boggling. However, once you have a clear grasp of the main classifications, it becomes easy to decide which one to use for your DIY project. There are five types of wood glue:

  • Polyvinyl acetate (PVA)
  • Hide glue
  • Epoxy
  • Cyanoacrylate glue
  • Polyurethane

Polyvinyl acetate (PVA)

PVA is perhaps the most readily available glue. Most PVA glues are water-based, appear white or yellowish, and are easy to apply. This glue is most suitable for biscuits or rubs joints. Also, due to its rubbery formula, it’s perfect for chair joints. One thing to note is that once cured; it’s not reversible. It is for this reason that you should immediately clean off the excess glue to avoid staining. Also, avoid applying PVA on veneer joints.

Hide glue

Hide glue and other animal glue types are the oldest forms of glue traceable to 2000 BC. To prepare hide glue, one has to heat the hide granules in hot water. Hide glue has a strong smell and takes a long time to prepare.

However, unlike PVA, it is reversible and is biodegradable, making it environmentally friendly. It’s ideal for people looking to switch to sustainable lifestyles.


Epoxy glue is waterproof and extremely strong. It consists of two parts: a hardener and resin, mixed in an equal ratio to ensure it sets. It is perfect for filling gaps in timber. Also, due to its irreversible nature, it works well for lamination.


Cyanoacrylates are perfect for furniture DIYs. It’s ideal for cracks and also stops the wood from splitting. Due to its availability in different consistencies, it makes for great multipurpose wood glue. It takes a short time to cure. Furthermore, if you are in a hurry, you can even add an accelerant to allow the glue to set more quickly.


Just like epoxy, polyurethane is a water-resistant glue. It’s ideal for wood and other materials such as metal and plastic. It is for this reason that more woodworkers use it as an exterior adhesive. One thing to note is that it makes the skin turn black. To get rid of the stain, you may use acetone.

Key Things to Consider 

Now that you know the main types of wood glue available, here are some key things to look out for before selecting a specific type.

Glue bonding strength

The bond strength refers to how strong the glue becomes when cured. While epoxy is considered the strongest, you should only use it in wood joints that you believe require permanent gluing.

Clamp duration

Clamp duration refers to the time required to place the wood blocks together for the glue to set. Other factors to consider when selecting wood glue include the setting speed, tack, and shelf life.

Understanding the five types of wood glue is essential for everyone doing DIY renovations. This knowledge not only ensures you don’t mess up when gluing but also guarantees satisfactory results

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Written by Amanda Howard

Amanda Howard, a LA native, is one of Dine Magazine's writers with a focus on lifestyle, food, wellness, and cannabis. When she's not traveling the world for the next best eat, she focuses her time writing and snuggling her overweight Pug.


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