Wood Glue: 13 Things You Should Know

Wood glue is a popular adhesive that has been used for centuries. From artisans to woodworkers, it’s a staple in many people’s toolboxes. Wood glue is versatile and can be used for both simple and complex projects.

In this blog post, we’ll cover 13 things you should know about using wood glue.

1. Wood Glue: The Basics

Wood glue comes in a variety of formulations, so you’ll need to take durability, application method, and surface type into consideration when selecting the right one for your project or hobby.

Here are some tips that will help you select the perfect wood glue:

  • Be sure that there is enough time between applying the adhesive and clamping it together—you don’t want to clamp the pieces together too soon or you’ll end up with a mess!
  • When clamping, use even pressure on all sides of the glued-together pieces. This will help to create an evenly-strong bond.
  • If you’re using wood glue for an outdoor project, be sure to select a waterproof formula.
  • For large projects, it’s best to use polyurethane adhesive instead of wood glue.

2. Wood Glue: The Right Formula for Your Project

Choosing the right type of wood glue can be difficult, especially if you’re working with multiple types of surfaces or materials that require different formulations.

Here are a few tips on how to select one that’s perfect for your project:

  • If you’ll be applying the adhesive to rough or uneven surfaces, choose a formula that’s thick and will adhere well in these conditions.
  • If the surface of your project is very smooth, something like Gorilla Wood Glue may work better because it’s more porous than other wood glues (so it can grip onto rougher objects better).
  • If you’re working with metal surfaces, a cyanoacrylate adhesive (such as Krazy Glue) is a good choice. It dries quickly and forms a very strong bond.
  • Select an adhesive that’s easy to clean up if you’re working on a project that will be handled or touched often. Titebond’s III Ultimate Wood Glue is a good option because it’s water-based and therefore can be cleaned up with just soap and water.
  • When working with porous surfaces, such as wood, always use an adhesive that will penetrate the material well. This will help to create a strong bond between the two pieces of wood.
  • Polyurethane adhesives are often a good choice for outdoor projects because they can stand up to all weather conditions.
  • Your best bet is always to read the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to ask an expert at your local home improvement store or woodworking shop.

3. How Do You Use Wood Glue?

Woodworkers use several different methods to apply glue, depending on the project at hand.

The first method is probably what you’re most familiar with: applying directly from a tube or jar of wood glue onto your materials. You’ll need to use an applicator tool for this—either a brush-style one specifically made for gluing wood, or something like popsicle sticks or old paintbrushes that you’ve cut the handles off of.

When using a brush, be sure to keep your glue as thin as possible for maximum penetration. This will make it easier to spread evenly across surfaces and prevent excessive dripping or pooling in areas where you don’t need much. You can apply too much wood glue—if this happens, you can use a damp cloth to wipe it away.

Another method is to mix the wood glue with an equal part of water before applying. This will make the adhesive runnier and easier to spread, but it also means that you’ll have less time to work with it before it sets.

A third option is to apply wood glue to one surface and then hold the two pieces of wood together until the adhesive sets. This is often done with clamps, which apply pressure to the glued surfaces and help them adhere more securely.

4. Wood Glue vs Gorilla Glue: Which One Should You Use?

Wood glue can be used for a variety of woodworking projects. It’s available in several different forms and is made from a range of materials. The type you choose will depend on what you’re trying to accomplish with your project, as well as the specific properties each has to offer.

Gorilla glue is a brand-name wood adhesive that has become somewhat of a household name over the past few years due to its popularity. It’s a polyurethane glue, which means that it can be used on both wood and metal surfaces.

Gorilla Glue is also waterproof, which makes it ideal for outdoor projects or applications where the adhesive will come into contact with moisture. It’s also non-toxic, which can be important if you’re using it in a household or workshop setting.

However, Gorilla Glue is available in only one type, whereas wood glue comes in a variety of formulations. That means that you’ll need to take durability, application method, and surface type into consideration when deciding which one is right for your project.

However, when it comes to gluing wood, neither type of glue is inherently better than the other. Wood glue is more versatile. It can be used on a range of materials, including paper, leather, and fabric. Gorilla Glue might not work for some applications because it’s only available in one type that has specific properties best suited to woodworking projects.

5. What’s the Difference Between Wood Glue and Polyurethane Glue?

Polyurethane glue is a type of adhesive that can be used on both wood and metal surfaces. It dries quickly, which can be an advantage if you’re working with tight timelines.

However, polyurethane glue can also be more difficult to work with than wood glue. It’s thicker and less forgiving, so it can be more challenging to get an even coat without any drips or bubbles.

Wood glue is a better option for most woodworking projects. If you’re working with metal as well, try using epoxy instead of polyurethane glue. It has the same advantages of drying quickly and adhering to multiple surfaces, but it’s less likely to drip.

6. Wood Glue vs Liquid Nails: Which One Should You Use?

Liquid nails is another brand-name wood adhesive that’s popular due to its affordability and ease of use. It comes in both a standard formula and quick-dry formula, which is ideal for tight timelines.

Liquid nails dry clear, so it’s less noticeable on your woodworking project than other types of glue. However, the adhesive isn’t waterproof—it will become soft when exposed to water.

So while it’s a good option for quick projects or ones where you don’t mind if the adhesive is visible, it’s not as durable as other options and shouldn’t be used in applications where it will come into contact with moisture.

Wood glue is still the best choice for most woodworking projects. If you’re looking for an adhesive that dries quickly, epoxy is a better option. It’s available in many formulations, so you can choose the one that best meets your needs.

7. Wood Glue vs Hot Glue: Which One Should You Use?

While hot glue isn’t technically wood glue, it can be used to attach some types of wood surfaces together—and for good reason. It’s easy to use, dries quickly, and is available in a variety of colors.

If you’re looking to start some arts and crafts, check out our reviews of the best hot glue guns.

However, hot glue isn’t as durable as wood glue. It’s also not waterproof, which means that it can’t be used in applications where the adhesive will come into contact with moisture.

Wood glue is still the best option for most woodworking projects. If you need a waterproof adhesive, epoxy is a better choice.

8. What’s the Difference Between Wood Glue and Super Glue?

While both types of adhesives are strong and bond wood surfaces, they also have their differences. Wood glue can be easily removed from the skin with soap and water while superglue must be filed off—and it will stick to anything!

Superglue is a cyanoacrylate adhesive, which means it dries quickly and forms a very strong bond. It’s ideal for bonding small pieces of metal or plastic together.

Wood glue, on the other hand, is a polyurethane adhesive that’s specifically formulated to adhere wood surfaces together. It dries slowly, allowing for more time to adjust the pieces if needed, and forms a strong bond that can withstand everyday wear and tear.

9. What’s the Best Way to Clean Up Wood Glue Spills?

The easiest and most effective method is simply soap and water. If this isn’t available, you can use an adhesive remover such as Goo Gone for a quick fix.

You can also try heating up any hardened residue with hot water until it becomes soft enough to scrape off. Just be careful not to damage the surface underneath.

10. How Long Does it Take for Wood Glue to Dry?

It usually takes 24 hours for wood glue to fully dry, although this may vary depending on the type of adhesive you’re using. Polyurethane adhesives need more time to cure than other types.

11. What are the Best Adhesives for Outdoor Projects?

Outdoor woodworking projects require a specific type of glue that can withstand moisture and environmental changes. An example is polyurethane adhesive, which provides great strength but remains flexible so it won’t crack or break when exposed to rain or sunlight.

12. Is Wood Glue Toxic?

Wood glue is similar to edible gelatin and poses no threat if ingested. It’s still used in specialized applications like musical instruments (lutherie), for replica furniture, or conservation-grade repairs on antique woodwork today.

13. What Are Some Adhesive Alternatives?

If you want to avoid using an adhesive altogether, dowels and biscuits are two alternatives that can be used in place of adhesives or glues. Dowels are round pieces of wood that are inserted into pre-drilled holes in the two pieces of wood you’re joining. They provide extra stability and strength to the joint.

Biscuits are small, square-shaped pieces of wood that are also inserted into pre-drilled holes in the two pieces of wood you’re joining. Biscuits are less visible than dowels, but they aren’t as strong.

If you’re working with metal surfaces instead of wood, screws provide an easy way to attach two pieces together. You can purchase specially-designed screws that will fit into pre-drilled holes in both types of materials or simply use a drill to create your own hole through the metal.

If you’re planning on using screws to attach two pieces together, be sure that the drill bit size is a little smaller than the head of your screw. You don’t want to create a hole in one piece so large that it goes through both.

If you have several woodworking projects planned for the coming weeks or months, consider investing in a Kreg Jig. It’s an easy-to-use tool that helps to create pocket holes for joining pieces of wood together.


We hope you’ve found this blog post helpful to learn more about wood glue and the different ways it can be used. It is important to use a good quality adhesive for your project, as well as knowing how much surface area will need to be covered.