What is PVA Glue and When Should You Use it?

Do you have a woodwork project pending at home? Do you know what type of adhesive to use when you kick your project off? PVA glue is what woodwork experts recommend for such a project. In this “adhesive” post I have outlined the basic facts about PVA glue that every homeowner and newbie woodworker should be aware of. Enjoy!

What is PVA Glue?

PVA Glue is derived from a substance called Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA). This substance is but a specific type of the aliphatic resin. It is water based and can be used for both exterior and interior works. Polyvinyl acetate is the active ingredient in the widely used glue types that are commonly known as wood glue, carpenter’s glue, school glue, and the white glue.

PVA Glue is non-toxic and has, therefore, become quite popular when it comes to the best timber adhesives.

PVA Glue comes in two types the yellow and white PVA Glue. Yellow PVA Glue is relatively expensive and many people tend to avoid it. The White PVA Glue, on the other hand, is affordable and very ideal for interior works.

White PVA Glue is often weakened by moisture over time while the Yellow PVA Glue is water resistant and is therefore ideal for exterior use.

List of the Best Available PVA Glue

Major Types of PVA Glue

Apart from what we have seen above, there are major categories of PVA Glue that any person who is looking at basic crafts should understand.

PVA – Polyvinyl Acetate: This glue is easy to find across the shelves today. It is the basic form of glue that’s often recommended for paper sealing. It can be used in sealing boxes and binding books. It is white and is known to dry very fast. The best part is this, PVA – Polyvinyl Acetate glue is usually flexible even after drying off.

Polyvinyl Acetate Wood: Polyvinyl Acetate Wood Glue as the name suggests is meant for woodworks. It is the yellow based glue that we talked about above and is used for wood on wood joinery. It easily absorbs into wood in order to camp firmly the joints that you have created before drying off completely to give firm grip.

PVA Water Resistant Glue: This PVA Glue is good at beating the mildews, moisture, and molds. This is not water proof glue – do not confuse the two as many people do. Being water resistant makes it wonderful at withstanding all forms of harsh weather conditions.

What Can PVA Glue Be Used For?

There are a number of uses that a PVA Glue would easily come in handy. Some of these top options will include the following.

  • Joining Pieces of Wood: PVA Glue can be used to create a tight joint on wood pieces of different sized and joints.
  • Binding a Work Book: If you have a book that you want to bind neatly, the glue will come in handy. It has a flexible and strong bond that securely binds books without having to compromise the paper’s PH balance.
  • Adhering Pieces of Paper: In case of a paper packaging process, PVA Glue can be easily used to stick the papers together.
  • The other options that PVA Glue can also come in handy include when sealing envelopes, adhering wall papers, decals, and other simple interior crafts.

PVA Glue: The Top Features

PVA Glue is loved far and wide because of its unwavering features. These include the following:-

  • Non-Toxic
  • Dries clear
  • Easy to apply
  • Affordable
  • Water resistant
  • Longer shelf life
  • Works faster
  • Super strong holding strength

Additionally, PVA Glue is fast drying and thus not quite clumsy. Because of this you should wipe out any excess spillage instantly. If you allow it to dry it could prove difficult to wipe out at all.

Best Tips When Using Polyvinyl Acetate Glue

In order to get a great job out of the Polyvinyl Acetate Glue, it is important that you use it in the right way. Always keep these tips in mind to help.

  • Use Polyvinyl Acetate Glue only on porous materials.
  • Clean excess Polyvinyl Acetate glue with warm and soapy water.
  • Set Polyvinyl Acetate Glue in an air conditioned room to set effectively.
  • Clamp Polyvinyl Acetate Glue with pressure in order to ensure that it works well.
  • Polyvinyl Acetate Glue is not waterproof – but the yellow PVA is water resistant.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions of use for the very best results possible.

How to Use PVA Glue in 9 Simple Steps

We have said that PVA Glue is an affordable, non-toxic, and easy to use wood glue. But you have to get the right tips for using the glue if you intend to get the best results. Here is a simple 9 step guide that would be of help.

  • Get or split the bits of wood that you want to join together.
  • Squeeze your PVA glue onto the two surfaces of both woods.
  • Wipe out any excess spillage immediately. Use a damp cloth.
  • Use a brush to spread the glue. Make sure you have a thin spread.
  • Push the pieces of wood together to clamp
  • While pushing rub the pieces from one side to the next to remove trapped air.
  • Use a G-Clamp to apply ideal pressure on the joint.
  • Leave it for some time to gain a firm hold (24 hours).
  • Sand off any forms of dried or excess glue

PVA Glue

How to Remove PVA Glue from Wood

Removing PVA Glue from a wooden surface is no brainer. Simply use a sand paper to sand it off. However, in case you get it spilled over your cloth, a couple of washes using warm water should do the trick. For carpets you can give your carpet a warm wash too.

What to Look Out for When Buying PVA Glue

Whether you are looking at a given home-craft, joinery works, DIY works, or professional wood repair projects, getting the best PVA glue is very important. Here are some of the best tips that would help when buying a PVA Glue.

Look for the Best Pricing

Polyvinyl Acetate Glue will differ in pricing from one store to the other. Make sure that you buy a PVA that actually favors you in price. Pocket friendly PVA glue will go a long way in saving you a few dollars more.

Watch Out What Others Say

Apart from shopping smart, it is important that you watch out for what the previous buyers say. A firsthand experience is very important as you will find that it could easily save you from pouring your money down the drain.

Elmer's Clear PVA Glue

What is PVA Glue and When Should You Use it?

Know Your Needs/ Amount of Work

Your needs will determine the type of PVA Glue that you will use. The amount of work that you intend to do on the other hand will determine the quantity of glue that you have to buy. These two things will go hand in hand.

Compare the Types

You have seen that there are a number of PVA glues with different capacities and features. Making sure that you get the best type of glue for your work is vital. Remember, a wood glue can be easily used for both wood and paper works.

Frequently Asked Questions about PVA Glue

There are often a number of concerns that many new people will ask when they want to get a PVA Glue of their choice. I have wrapped up a few vital ones and give you the best answers that I could find.

Water Resistant vs. Water Proof Glue, What’s the Difference?

There is a type of Polyvinyl Acetate Glue which is water resistant. This means the glue is designed to withstand a number of harsh weather elements including moisture, mildew, and molds. However, it cannot remain solid if kept submerged in water. A waterproof glue will do well even when submerged in water for many years.

What is Elmer’s Glue?

There isn’t much difference between an Elmer’s glue and the Polyvinyl Acetate glue. However, the latter is often used by artists who intend to sell their work. Elmer’s glue yellows over time and will easily brittle and break up as time goes by.
Elmer’s PVA Glue

Where Can I Buy my Best PVA Glue?

Home improvement stores, craft sores, local hardware, and big malls sell PVA glues. You can easily get one from any of these stores, but make sure that you use our tips to pick what is right for your needs.

Can I Use PVA Wood Glue for Scrap Book?

Any PVA wood glue should work okay for your scrap book. However, paper glue is never ideal for woodwork. It is important to determine the difference before you actually settle down for your glue.


Now you have it! I hope you will be able to make the best choice of adhesive when planning on your next woodwork. Over time, PVA Glue may creep; you can click here to learn more. However, experts recommend creating tight joint to prevent any form of creeping. Nonetheless, because of its many awesome features Polyvinyl Acetate Glue has been recommended as the best furniture, carpentry, and woodworks adhesive! Good luck.