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What Is PVA Glue Used For? When You Should Use It?

PVA Glue is a water-based adhesive that is commonly used in the manufacturing of plastics. It is also used in the medical field as an application for wound closure and sealing wounds after surgery.

While PVA is widely known for its use in these applications, there is another interesting use for this substance.

Today, we want to talk about how this glue gets used in the cosmetic and beauty industry.

PVA glue are commonly used for nail art because it dries quickly and can be easily removed from your nails with acetone or alcohol.

It’s important to note that you should never apply any kind of polish on top of PVA glue since they will not stick together properly.

If you have ever tried applying glitter over a layer of PVA glue, then you know what I am talking about!

The best way to do this would be by using acrylic paint instead of regular nail polishes.

What are the benefits of using PVA glue?

PVA glue is an excellent adhesive used in many industries for bonding purposes. It bonds most types of materials together.

It can be used on most surfaces including wood, metal, plastic, paper, glass, leather, fabric, and many others.

It is commonly used in arts and crafts projects, both indoors and outdoors. PVA glue comes in different sizes and colors.

Here’s more benefits when using PVA glue:

  • It’s waterproof and non-toxic. PVA  glue are water resistant and safe to use around children and pets.
  • They don’t contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde which makes them safer than other adhesives available today.
  • They dry fast. You only need to wait 5 minutes before removing the tape from the surface. This means less time spent waiting for the glue to dry.
  • It doesn’t require heat. Unlike hot melt glues, PVA glue does not require heating up prior to usage. You can pre-heat with 10-15 degrees with this temperatures you can use it directly. 
  • It has excellent adhesion and it won’t stick to itself. Has also adequate binding strength when applied between two dissimilar substrates.
  • PVA glue cures fast, so it’s easy to use. This fast-drying adhesive can be used anywhere at anytime without worrying about running out of time.
  • It bonds materials together, making it ideal for bonding plastic and wood. Can apply to any porous surfaces, wood surface, delicate surfaces and any extensive surface.
  • It’s great for making things by hand. This type of adhesive is also a choice for bookbinding any types of book binding and can apply also when making book cover.
  • You’ll always know what you’re working with when you use pva glue.
  • It works well with many types of wood including hardwoods, soft woods, bamboo, and even plastics.
  • You can use pva glue indoors and outdoors. And any challenging environments. Or any ambient temperature.

What are the other types of glue?

When you think of adhesives, you probably think of clear ones like superglue. However, there are a few other types of glues out there that are useful for DIY projects.

Some are even better than superglue. Let’s dive into these different types of glue and see which ones might be worth looking at if you’re planning to try your hand at DIY projects.

  • Cross-linking PVA glue

This type of glue are made through chemical reaction. They are usually stronger than normal PVA glue but still very weak compared to epoxy resin.

  • Epoxy resin glue

These are strong and durable glues that are widely used in construction, automotive, aerospace, electronics, plumbing, electrical, marine, etc.

There are several kinds of Epoxies such as polyester, phenolic, urethane, vinyl ester, alkyds, and silicones.

  • School glue

This type of glue can be found everywhere especially in schools where students have their own glue bottles.

These school glue come in various forms depending on the brand or manufacturer. Some common ones include white glue, yellow glue, blue glue, green glue, red glue, black glue, clear glue, etc.

  • White glues

This glue are used for general purpose purposes. It’s often referred to as “school glue” because they are most popular among kids. These glues are generally inexpensive and readily available.

  • Carpenters glue / carpentry glue

This carpenters glue are commonly used for woodworking projects. The best thing about them is that they don’t leave residue behind unlike regular glue.

  • Polyurethane glue

 This type of glue are mostly used for furniture assembly. Polyurethanes are more flexible than acrylic resins and offer better resistance against moisture.

  • Woodworking glue

Woodworking glue are mainly used for woodwork projects. Woodworking glue are typically water based and contain additives like waxes, oils, and preservatives.

  • Aliphatic glues

Aliphatic glues are used for painting, varnishing, lacquering, sealing, finishing, and protecting surfaces from corrosion. Aliphatic glues are not sticky enough to hold objects firmly.

  • Animal glues

Animal glues are primarily used for animal skinning and leather work. Animal glues are highly viscous liquids which are applied between two pieces of hide or fur.

  • Epoxy glue

Epoxy glue are called as carpentry glue. Carpenters use this epoxy for bonding plywood together.

  • Super glue

Super glue is a favorite wood glue for woodworkers. Superglue is an extremely versatile product that has been around since the early 1900’s.

  • White wood glue

This white wood glue are also known as “white glue” or “carpenter’s glue”. This kind of glue is ideal for small jobs and it dries quickly.

  • Bookbinding glue

This type of glue for bindings things like books, magazines, newspapers, etc. Book binding glue are similar to super glue except that book binders prefer to use hot melt adhesive instead of cold setting adhesives.

  • Paintable Glues

Glues with paintable properties are those that allow you to apply paints directly onto the surface without having to first prime the surface.

Paintable glues are great when working with non-porous materials like glass, metal, plastic, ceramics, stone, concrete, plaster,

  • Excellent wood glue

This glue for woodworking can be easily removed by using solvents. Excellent wood glue will dry very fast and won’t cause any damage to your project.

  • Filamentous glue

This type of adhesive are made up of long strands of material such as nylon, polyester, rayon, cotton, silk, wool, flax, hemp, jute, sisal, linen, bamboo, straw, grass, paper pulp, cellulose acetate, etc. Filamentous glues are usually sold in rolls and are easy to handle.

  • Glue for DIY enthusiasts

This glue for projects are designed specifically for people who want to do their own home improvement projects. They have many different types including:

  • Hobby PVA Glue

This popular adhesives are used for hobbyists because of its versatility.

Hobbyist uses these kinds of glue for making models, crafts, toys, artworks, jewelry, scrapbooking, craft kits, model cars, airplanes, boats, rockets, robots, dolls, figurines, puzzles, games, clocks, watches, musical instruments, tools, kitchen utensils, household items, etc.

How long does PVA glue dry?

Depending on the type of adhesive mixture, the time required for drying varies between 15 minutes and 24 hours. In practice, however, this depends mainly on the ambient temperature and relative humidity.

In order to avoid problems due to excessive moisture absorption, we recommend using an airtight container.

What happens if I leave my glued item wet?

If left exposed to humid conditions, the glue will absorb moisture and become sticky again.

It may even start dripping from the edges. To prevent this problem, store your glued object in a cool place away from direct sunlight.

Is there anything else I should know about PVA glue?

If you’re not sure whether you need PVA glue or another type of adhesive, here are some tips to help you decide:

1. Use only water based products. Avoid oil based products. Oil based products tend to attract dirt more than other types of glue.

2. If you plan to work with porous surfaces, make sure to clean them thoroughly before applying the glue. Otherwise, they might get damaged during application.

3. When choosing a product, look at the ingredients list carefully. Some brands contain harmful chemicals which could harm our health.

4. Make sure to read all instructions included with the package. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

5. Never mix two incompatible glues together.

The disadvantages of PVA glue

PVA glue is commonly used in craft projects, such as making paper crafts, card making, scrapbooking, decoupage, etc. It is also used in DIY projects.

But did you know that using PVA glue can damage your health?

There are several reasons why PVA glue is harmful for humans. Some are listed below:

PVA glue contains formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a chemical compound that causes cancer cells to multiply rapidly.

  1. PVA glue is toxic. It can cause breathing problems, eye irritation, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms.
  2. It breaks if heated for too long so you have to use it within minutes of opening the package.
  3. It has a tendency to dry out when exposed to air. This makes it difficult to apply evenly over large areas.
  4. The fumes released by PVA glue are very irritating. You’ll be coughing after working with it for a while.
  5. PVA glue dries slowly. So, you won’t be able to remove excess glue easily.
  6. The smell lingers around for days.
  7. There are many different kinds of PVA glue available. They differ in their consistency, color, odor, shelf life, price, etc. Choose one wisely!
  8. PVA glue tends to stick things together permanently. That means you cannot separate them later without damaging them.
  9. PVA glue doesn’t dissolve well in most solvents. Therefore, it’s hard to wash off.
Scott Buckley

Scott Buckley

I'm Scott, a Woodworker by day and book geek by night. I love making things out of wood. While I have and still, on occassion do, work with metal and plastics, I find them to be cold and somewhat boring. Wood is warm and I feel close to nature with it. I started as a means to help like minded creative folk to answer burning questions. I hope you enjoy reading and learning, and always feel free to reach out to me should you have any questions!

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