What is PVA Glue and Why You Need It?

When you want to do some wood work, the best glue that anyone would recommend is the PVA Glue.

Not that this glue is bad or anything of the sort, but would you be comfortable working with something you know nothing about?

I bet not! That is why in this article, we go deeper into unveiling the ABC of the PVA Glue.

Notably, this article will explore the uses and benefits of PVA Glue, its types and features, its alternatives and usage.

Before we get to all these, let us get to understand what we really mean when we say PVA Glue.

What is PVA Glue?

If you were curious enough and went googling, your search must have indicated that PVA Glue is an abbreviation for polyvinyl acetates.

Forget this technical and huge word, PVA glue, in the simplest of terms, is a form of adhesive that experts would recommend for wood crafts.

This is because of its two words ‘polyvinyl and acetates’ which refers to a colorless and odorless material applied in adhesives, and are highly effective on wood projects. Now that we know this bit, let us take a look at the specific uses of this amazing glue.

What is PVA Glue Used For?

Judging from the little information that we have given you so far, you can almost guess that one of the use of this glue is wood work.

However, this is not the only use of this glue as it is multipurpose in nature. Notably, this glue is highly efficient in these areas listed below:

Wood joining: The PVA Glue is primarily used in joining two pieces of wood together irrespective of their sizes or/and joints.

Work Book Binding: You can also use your PVA Glue to neatly bind your book as the adhesive is strong and flexible enough not to interfere with the balance of the paper.  

Carpentry: One major sector here wood work comes into play is the carpentry sector. That goes to show that PVA Glue, as a result of its effectiveness in wood work, can also be used in handling carpentry projects.

Paper sticking:  The other use of PVA Glue is in paper sticking. Here, the glue allows sticking of papers together in case you are undertaking a paper packaging process.

Crafts: You can also use the PVA Glue in some of the DIY crafts especially the simple ones due to the level of adhesiveness offered by this glue.

Types of PVA Glue

Although you may not be aware, there are three different types of PVA Glue. These three types of PVA Glue are as follows:

1.PVA-Polyvinyl Acetate

Silk in appearance, this is the type of PVA Glue you want to consider for your painting, book binding and box sealing projects.

Not only does it form a permanent and flexible bond after drying which means no brittles over time. It is equally acid-free, quick in drying, white in color and dries clear.

The best part about this type of PVA Glue is that it is highly economical thus suitable for anyone working on a budget..

2.PVA Wood Glue

The second type of PVA Glue identifies as the PVA Wood Glue otherwise known as the aliphatic resin. It is perfect for those wood to wood crafts and has been praised for its incredibly strong bond especially when clamping is applied.

The only flip side of this PVA Glue is that it gives a yellow finishing as it is a yellow-based adhesive thus quickly absorbed by the wood.

Good examples of the PVA Wood adhesive are the Titebond Original wood glue and the Elmer’s Carpenter’s wood glue

3. PVA Water Resistant Glue

This last type of PVA Glue is specific to interact with water. Why am I saying this?

Well, its main distinction from the other two is that this type of PVA Glue displays admirable qualities when interacting with water.

Primarily, the PVA Water Resistant Glue will either withstand water submersion like the PVA type I glue (water proof), or resist any interactions when it comes into contact with water like the PVA type II glue (water-resistant).

Benefits of PVA Glue

Using the PVA Glue goes beyond just getting your project done.

There are various approved benefits that all users are bound to experience when they opt for the PVA Glue. These merits include but are not limited to:

Commendable strength

One of the main reasons why PVA Glue continues to thrive in modern-day is because of its adhesiveness. The glue has been created in a manner that it offers a permanent that will stick most materials with a proficiency of 99%.

This is to mean that it is in extremely rare occasions that the glue will fail to form a desirable bond.

Notably, do not use the glue on plastering plastics because it is not designed to work effectively on these materials.

Other than that, the strength of the glue will keep your surfaces bonding for the longest time ever as the strength was designed to last just like the weld strength.

Cost effectiveness

Whether you like it or not, the economic times of today are not anything to joke around.

That explains why you will have to consider working on a budget while shopping for an adhesive. Fortunately, the manufactures of PVA Glue had you in mind as they avail their glues at affordable prices.

According to the recent charges, you can find yourself a PVA Glue from as low as $20 and as high as $25.

While compared to similar glues in the market and the type of quality the glue offers, there is no doubt that the prices are pocket friendly.

Human Safety

Not all good are ideal for indoor use. This is usually because of the smell they produce that is harmful to human health especially in enclosed areas.

Since the PVA Glue has been made using non-toxic substances that means that it is 99% safe for use whether indoors or outdoors.

The only problem is that it can cause health issues while eaten, thus, avoid any mouth contact while handling the glue and keep it away from children.

Ease of apply

Some of the glues will require that you under take some preparations before you can start your sticking process.

For example, while some will require that you clean the surfaces, others may require that you first moisturize the surfaces of the surfaces.

Lucky enough, there is no such experience when it comes to the PVA Glue. This is because it comes ready to use.

All you need to do is get your surfaces ready, open the glue and have an applicator like a brush for an even easier experience. The easiness of its application also helps in saving time.

Easily accessible

You will not have to go shopping for the PVA Glue in various shops before you can find it.

The level of demand of this glue is too high making the manufacturers produce more of the PVA Glue products frequently and have them distributed in various glue stores.

That means that you will not spend much time searching for the glue even if it is your first time and you are not sure which glue store is likely to have the glue as it rarely misses on the shelves.

Highly neutral

The PVA Glue is very neutral. This is advantageous especially when it comes to work book or paper projects.

This is because an adhesive that has a highly neutral ability means that it is unlikely to interfere with the pH balance of the papers.

Beyond glue service

It is true that the main role of the PVA Glue is to bind relevant surfaces together. However, the composition of this glue allows it to be used for more than the gluing purpose.

This means that besides gluing, you can use the glue for removing nail polishing, removing the splinter from your skin, tiding your shoelace and filling holes.

You can also use it to make slime and seal open wounds on pruned branches.

Features of PVA Glue

Most, if not all of the benefits pointed out are not an automatic occurrence.

They are influenced by the features possessed by the PVA Glue. As a result, we have sampled and the top features of this incredible adhesive as below:

Permanent Bond

The PVA Glue provides high tacking power that helps the glued surfaces to remain intact for a long period of time.

This could not have happened were it not for the permanent bond that the PVA Glue offers as a result of its superior strength.  

Water proof

The Type I PVA Water resistant glue comprises ANSI/HPVA Type I. This means that one can this type of their PVA glued surfaces submerged into water and they will not experience any damage because the glue is highly resistant to water.

Water resistant

Besides being waterproof some of the PVA Glue, especially those falling under the Type II PVA Water-resistant glue are water-resistant.

As a result, you do not have to panic when the glue or the glued surfaces come into contact with water.

The difference is that in PVA Glues having the water-resistant features, they may not be as effective when submerged to water for longer periods unlike in the case of the water proof ones. 

Dries clear

In case you missed this point, the PVA Glue is white in color. However, you will notice that once it is set and dry, the finishing that it gives is clear.

Therefore, it does not make your glued surface any uglier as its drying clear attribute enables it to blend with all type of woods as well as paper crafts irrespective of their color.


You can almost smell nothing when using the PVA Glue. Championing this is the lack of any ingredients that produce smell used in the making f this glue. Hence, it is suitable for using even in enclosed areas or indoors.


The PVA Glue has been constructed using safe to use ingredients. That said, the glue does not pose any harm to the human health.

For example, you can use it with your bare hands without having to worry about burns and allergic reactions.

Also, you can use it even in enclosed areas and not suffer any respiratory conditions like breathing difficulties.

This goes to show that the glue is therefore safe for indoor as well as outdoor usage and this only happens because the adhesive was constructed using safe ingredients.


People often think that the PVA Glue is only used for wood work. As seen in the usage section, however, the use of PVA Glue goes beyond wood work.

You can equally use the glue for school and simple crafts, paper work as well as carpentry. Additionally, one can also use PVA Glue for non-gluing roles as depicted in the benefits section which shows the versatility of this glue.  

Alternatives to PVA Glue

With the rise in demand of the PVA Glue, you can at times fail to find the glue on your physical or online stores. In such a case however, you do not have to panic or put your urgent project on hold.

This is because there are various alternatives to PVA Glue you can consider. Of course, they will not offer the same services as that offered by the PVA Glue.

Nonetheless, the difference is not something big. These alternatives to PVA Glue include the Epoxy and Polyurethane Glue.

1.Epoxy Glue

Unlike the Polyurethane, Epoxy Glue is very common in the market and it might not be the first time you are coming across the name.

The glue is known for its strength and that is why it qualifies as an alternative for PVA Glue.

The only difference is that Epoxy Glue needs preparation prior to application and is slightly expensive while compared to the PVA Glue.

2.Polyurethane Glue 

The strength of the polyurethane glue matches that of the PVA Glue and especially on the material that PVA Glue handles which explains why it is an alternative. However, the two glues are distinct in the sense that the Polyurethane Glue is more versatile and like the Epoxy, it will need some preparation like moistening your surfaces first.

Differences between PVA and Elmer’s Glue

There is a lot of confusion among glues buyers on whether PVA Glue is the same as Elmer’s Glue. The answer is that the two are distinct from one another.

Mainly, the PVA Glue works on long term and projects you can sell while Elmer’s Glue only lasts a short while.

Moreover, the Elmer’s glue is prone is breaking down and turning yellow over time. Irrespective of all these differences, it is important to point out that Elmer’s is a PVA-based adhesive.

This is to mean that it comprises one or some PVA component and that is why many assume that it is one and the same with the PVA Glue.

Nonetheless, due to its composition of only one component of PVA you are bound to notice differences even in terms of odor, viscosity, usage, strength and tackiness.  

How to Use PVA Glue

You may understand what PVA Glue means. You may even be well conversant with its types, features, uses, and benefits but here is one fact.

If you do not know how to use the PVA Glue, all these information narrows down to nothing especially if you are using it on your project

This is because to experience the good results of the PVA Glue primarily depends on knowledge of its application which is what we are going to talk about.

There are five simple steps that you need to know and master for the quality application of the PVA Glue. They are as follows:

Step 1

Surface Preparation-This is the first step and it involves assembling of the surfaces or pieces you want to glue.

Here, you have to roughly arrange the surfaces or pieces in a manner that is comprehensible to avoid making mistakes once you start off with the gluing process.

Step 2

Glue Preparation-After you are sure that the surfaces are well arranged, the next step is to prepare your glue. Remember there are three types of PVA Glue and each comes with specific instruction.

Thus, this is the time where you need to go through the specific glue you bought and understand its guidelines. Doing so will help you have an easy time during the application and foster desirable results

Step 3

Application-The third step of using PVA Glue involves the actual application of the Glue.

Here, users need to carefully squeeze the glue from the bottle onto the respective surfaces and spread it smoothly before clamping the surfaces together.

While clamping, it is recommended that users should perform some rubbing on the surfaces. The aim is to ensure that there is no trapped air that remains in between the surfaces.  

Step 4

Curing-Although this is option, you can always help your surfaces to dry faster. There are a couple of ways you can do this.

However, the best is through the use of clay. This helps the surfaces to experience a shorter period of curing compared to what is ordinarily expected from the PVA Glue.

Step 5

Sanding and Cleaning-No matter how keen you are, you are always bond to overspread glue during the sticking process.

Fortunately, you can clean this up during the last step. Here you only need to carve any excess spillage using either a knife or a razor blade, especially in carpentry and wood work before you can clean the entire surface using a damp cloth. This will get the end product looking as fine as new.

How To Make PVA Glue


Additional application tips and Clean Up

The above process is not anything challenging. However, you can make the process a lot easier and fun through some hacks I will share with you.

If you want a smooth finish, it is recommended that you use a brush. Using the brush also make you spread out the glue evenly and faster during the application process.

Clamping is an essential step and rubbing can help a lot in term s of eliminating trapped air. But along with this rubbing hack during clamping, you want to also consider using a G-Clamp.

It naturally helps to apply the correct amount of pressure needed during clamping.

The last hack which is more of practice deals with conducting the glue application on a porous surface and in a well air-conditioned room.

The aim is to help your surfaces set not only faster but also efficiently. Also, consider using small amounts of the glue to avoid a lot of spillages.

Clean Up

Just in case you made a mistake or the glue went on an undesired surface, you do not have to worry. You can easily clean up the glue by using warm and soapy water.

Therefore, this means that you will first have to warm your water to a lukewarm temperature.

After this, you mix it with some detergents or soap so that it mixes with the warm water before you can apply it on the affected surface to initiate the removal of the PVA Glue.


Based on the above information, you are free to state that PVA Glue will not disappoint as long as you use it on its recommended materials.

While you want to observe this, you also need to keep other factors in mind.

These factors include cost, quality, and nature of project. With regards to cost, always go for a PVA adhesive that is within your budget.

In terms of quality, shop for PVA Glue at highly reputed stores and when it comes to nature of project always analyze the needs of your projects against the features of the specific type of PVA glue.

With the observance of all these aspects and proper usage of the glue, you can trust that you will have a good time working on your project while using the wonderful PVA Glue.  

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