7 Tips on Using Wood Glue

Wood glue is a popular adhesive for woodworkers and DIYers alike. It allows you to fill gaps, attach panels, and repair broken parts on your projects. However, many types of wood glue can be used in different situations.

To help you decide which type is best for your project, we compiled this list of 7 tips on using wood glue.

Tip 1: Read the Instructions

Always read the instructions carefully before applying any type of adhesive. The manufacturer usually recommends where it should be applied and how much should be used based on its viscosity or thickness.

Tip 2: Apply on Both Surfaces

A general rule of thumb when using liquid glues such as white PVA (polyvinyl acetate) should be applied to both surfaces before joining them together. The glue will be the consistency of water.

For example, you should apply it to both wood pieces before joining them with clamps or brads.

Tip 3: Apply One at a Time

If you are using a glue stick, a type of solid adhesive, it is best to apply it to one surface and then press the two pieces of wood together. You can also use a damp cloth to help spread the glue evenly.

Once the surfaces are joined, you must hold them in place for at least 60 seconds to allow the glue to set.

Tip 4: Clamps Are Your Friend

If you are using clamps, applying them as soon as possible after joining the surfaces together is best. This will help keep the pieces in place while the adhesive sets.

You should use enough clamps to put pressure on all the glued surfaces. If you are using a clamp on one end of the piece, it is helpful to use a weight on the other end.

Clamping is also important when gluing end grain as this is more likely to split apart.

Tip 5: Leave It Alone

Once you have glued your project together, resist the temptation to touch it or move it around. This will only increase the chances of the pieces coming apart.

Give the adhesive time to set, and then you can begin to use or handle your project as normal.

Tip 6: Do Not Use Your Fingers

Do not use your fingers to spread the liquid as they are likely to leave marks on either surface that won’t go away once dry. Instead, a disposable soft cloth can be used to apply the glue evenly.

Tip 7: Apply a Thin Layer to the Wood

To get the most out of your adhesive, it helps to apply a very thin layer. If you use too much, it will run and drip while drying, which can make a mess or damage other parts of your project.

You should also avoid applying large amounts in one place since this may warp or cup the wood.

Related: Gorilla Wood Glue vs Titebond: Which Brand Should You Choose?

Types of Wood Glue

There are many different types of wood glue on the market, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Here is a quick breakdown of some of the most common types:

  • White PVA Glue – This is the most prevalent type of wood glue you can find at your local hardware store. Once it dries, it will be clear and perfect for general gluing.
  • Epoxy Glue – This type of glue is very strong and can be used on various materials such as metal, plastic, and glass. However, it is more expensive than other types of glue and can be difficult to use.
  • CA Glue (Cyanoacrylate) – This fast-drying, superglue-like adhesive is great for small repairs. It can be toxic if ingested, so be cautious when using it.
  • Hot Melt Glue Gun – This glue is perfect for lightweight bonding materials such as paper, fabric, and plastic. It is easy to use and comes in a variety of colors.
  • Bondo – This type of wood putty can be used for filling in gaps or repairing damage on your project. It is available at most hardware stores.

Now you are ready to tackle your next woodworking project.


Now that you know the basics of wood glue, you are ready to tackle your next woodworking project. Be sure to follow the tips listed above for the best results. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask a knowledgeable associate at your local hardware store.

Happy gluing!