What Is PVA Glue and How It's Used

What Is PVA Glue

Many crafts project call for glues, better put, many craft projects call for adhesives. Sometimes you leave that woodworking project at home pending because you don’t have the right glue to finish it up. In our article on “What is PVA glue” we’ve discussed some details designed to benefit you!

Every homeowner and newbie in the woodworking space, should have certain information at the back of their palm. Professionals aren’t mentioned because this additional information sets them apart with their experience and skill set. However, you can refer to PVA glue as what woodwork experts recommend for some of the needs listed above.

We aren’t discussing the chemistry on PVA glue, but the name PVA comes from a substance called Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) used in formulating the adhesive. Polyvinyl acetate exists as a specific type of the aliphatic resin. Furthermore, you can use it for both exterior and interior since it is water based.

Over the years, Polyvinyl acetate has grown to becomes the active ingredient in the most commonly used glue types. Some of these glue types include wood glue, carpenter’s glue, school glue, and white glue. Polyvinyl acetate has a non-toxic character; hence it has become popular when talking about the best timber adhesives.

Yellow and white PVA Glue remain the common types of PVA Glue. Many people avoid the yellow PVA Glue because of its cost. Most craftsmen prefer the white PVA Glue due to its affordability and relative functionality in interior works. PVA glue has become a household name for the following features which it possesses.

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

History On What Has PVA In It

It’s no longer news that mankind has made use of glue since time past. However, some of the old glue-making recipes found their way into the modern PVA glues. Collagen harvested from animals acted as the main ingredient back then.

Animal muscle, bone, and other tissues found in animal parts give out collagen when boiled. Unlike PVA, the collagen has a unique character of stickiness when wet but dries to give a hard and water-insoluble substance.

In the early years of man when transportation and agricultural farm power came to life through the use of horses. The early men then used these horses as its major source of getting collagen. You know horses have larger bodies full of collagen-producing tissues.

When the use of horses for some basic needs hit a decline, it affected their uses for manufacturing glues too. Then cattle and pigs became the most frequently used collagen source. As with bone and hide glues made from remains of commercial meat packing.

Some other organic sources of glue include casein, blood albumin, fish swim bladders, and vegetable starch. In fact, glues were made from the sap of the acacia tree. However, this doesn’t answer the question of “what is PVA glue” or what has a PVA glue in it?

Unlike organic glue sources, PVA has grown to become the major ingredient in the synthetic "glues" or adhesives that have taken over the market. 

Generally, the combination of polyvinyl acetate (PVA), water, ethanol, acetone, and some other substances make up a PVA glue. In the production process, we use water to modify the glue's consistency and use other ingredients to determine the rate at which the glue dries out.

Types Of PVA Glue

In this section, we will take a look at the types of PVA glue you will see in the market. Remember PVA Glue comes in two basic types; the yellow and white PVA Glue. The yellow glue when compared to the white glue has more purchasing power i.e. cost.

Furthermore, the white glue often becomes weakened by moisture over time while the yellow PVA Glue offers more resistance to water. In essence, you can make use of the white glue for interior works and the yellow glue for more demanding exterior usage. However, apart from these two basic types, every craftsman needs to know some categories of PVA glue. They include the following:

•  PVA – Polyvinyl Acetate

This might leave you wondering “what is PVA glue” because PVA happens to be a type of PVA glue. However, this remains the most basic form of PVA glue out there. You can easily pick this up on any craftsman’s shelf especially for those into paper crafts.

This type of glue often become the best recommendation for paper sealing. You can conveniently use it to seal all your crafted boxes and bind books. It belongs to the white PVA glue class and popularly known to dry very fast. The most amazing thing about this glue type revolves around the flexibility even after drying up.

• Polyvinyl Acetate Wood

As the name implies, Polyvinyl Acetate Wood Glue types are meant for all your woodworking projects. Unlike the PVA for paper sealing, it belongs to the yellow PVA glue class and becomes the best recommendation for wood on a wood union.

During its application, it absorbs into the wood so as to camp firmly the joints created before it completely dries up to give the firm grip you desire.

• PVA Water Resistant Glue

The Water PVA resistant glue provides enough functionality at beating the mildews, moisture, and molds just as the name implies. You should know that that there exists a difference between the PVA water resistant glue and water-proof glue.

The water-resistant feature makes it a preferable choice for use in all forms of harsh weather conditions.

What Is PVA Glue Used For

As with adhesives, they have a lot of useful applications. In fact, some woodworking experts consider PVA glues a must have in all workplaces and on the shelves of all DIY enthusiast. Some of these top applications of PVA glue will include the following.

•    Join Pieces of Wood Together

For all your woodworking projects you can use PVA Glue to create a tight joint on wood pieces. The wood pieces could have varying sizes and require different joints but with the right PVA glue, consider it done!

•    Binding a Work Book

Sometimes you just cannot handle the sight of your favorite books after several years of keeping them. Some books lose their leaflets easily, hence, this confers on you the responsibility of binding them together. PVA glues come in handy for such uses.

The right PVA glue for binding paper has the flexible and strong bond feature need. Therefore, PVA glues securely binds books without having to compromise the PH balance of the paper.

•    Adhering Pieces of Paper

Sometimes you don’t need to bind one or two leaf pages, but require the perfect adhesive for an entire paper packaging process. You can rely on PVA Glue to stick the papers together through the entire process.

Although the key highlights of PVA glue uses have been mentioned above, the list can go on as much as possible. Some of the other applications of PVA glue include sealing envelopes together, adhering wallpapers to a wall of course, and other simple interior crafts.

PVA Glue Brands

It takes more than knowing what is PVA glue to make the right buying choice. Sometimes all you need is to find the right brand to make your supplies. The same we have tons of products in the market we also have tons of brands and this should help streamline your research of the best PVA glue brands.

•   Educational Colors (EC)

EC exists as an Australian brand producing a wide range of kid’s art and craft supplies. Even from their name, you can see the restriction EC has set for itself. In essence, EC has grown to become one of the best PVA glue brands in the educational industry.

In fact, many teachers favor this brand. EC makes water-based adhesives and they remain safe for kids who happened to constitute a larger percentage of the users. Largely because of its acid-free feature, you can use it for all types of crafts including feathers, project cards, ribbon, or even Eva foam.

•   Lineco’s Books By Hand

Lineco becomes the second manufacturer to make the list of popular brands.  Lineco began her duty as a producer by making high-quality artist's paper pads and sketchbooks. However, as years passed, Lineco started the Books-By-Hand line of bookbinding materials. One of their top PVA glues is the “Books by Hand pH Neutral PVA Adhesive 8oz”. So when you want to purchase your PVA glue, you can consider this brand.

•   Titebond

If you thinking we’re only discussing brands that revolve around paper crafts your wrong. Here is a brand for woodworking experts. Titebond belongs to Franklin International, a popular brand for anything adhesive. Titebond has quite a number of products in the market, and you would  have to identify some of them with numbers.

One of her top products includes the Titebond 5066F Original Wood Glue. Titebond has become a household name among woodworking enthusiast with their effective PVA glues.  Their glues have a short clamp time, and a bond stronger than wood with excellent standability.

•   Elmer’s Products, Inc.

Elmer's Products, Inc. stands as the fourth brand to make it to the list of popular PVA glue brands. Elmer’s has provided creative adhesive solutions that provide support to the success of many craftsmen and also help to turn ideas into reality.

Over the years, Elmer's has grown to become one of the trusted brands when it comes to fueling creativity and making outstanding products. So you can rely on Elmer’s for your PVA glue supplies. One of their product that craftsmen won’t stop talking about is the Elmer's E704 Carpenter's Wood Glue.

•   Wood Worx

Although the last brand we will mention in the list of popular PVA glue brands, there exist a number of other top brands. Wood Worx takes wood crafting to another level and even offer classes to DIY novices. One of Wood Worx PVA glue that’s breaking grounds in the market is the WOOD WORX GLUE 1.95 OZ.

Where Can I Buy PVA Glue

Honestly, with Amazon, you can almost lay your hands on anything you want. So to meet your standards, you can always search Amazon to make your orders. Furthermore, you can consider other online stores like Walmart or other local ones depending on your location.

Some local art supply can easily meet your PVA glue needs. Some of them include Michaels or A.C. Moore, or Joann Fabrics otherwise visit the nearest lumber store.

What's The Difference Between PVA Glues and Elmer’s Glue

There exists only a thin line between the two glue types. In fact, Elmer’s glue doesn’t use animal parts in its production rather PVA remains its main ingredient. Unfortunately, Elmer’s glue changes color and yellows over time. In essence, it easily brittles and breaks up as time goes by. In short, you can refer to Elmer’s glue as a type of PVA glue.

What to Look Out for When Buying PVA Glue

Having expressly discussed the different types of glue, you also need to equip yourself with information on how to make the right purchase. Getting the best PVA glue for the task plays a very important role. So, consider the following tips when you want to buy your product.

·Look for the Best Pricing

As expected, PVA Glue will have different prices across different stores. So, buy the best glue you can get that favors your needs and of course doesn’t exceed your budget. Pocket-friendly glue goes a long way in saving the cost of completing your projects.

·Watch Out What Others Say

Apart from shopping smart and making wise choices, also watch out for what the previous buyers say about the product. For instance, if you make your purchases online, you can read reviews of previous buyers. Because a firsthand experience plays a very important role and could easily save you from pouring your money down the drain.

·Know Your Needs/ Amount of Work

Smart craftsmen ensure their needs determine the type of PVA Glue they purchase. Furthermore, the amount of work you intend to do will also determine the quantity of glue that you will buy. These two features go hand in hand when making a decision.


As you have already seen that there exists a number of PVA glues in the market, and you should know the type you need. Making sure you get the best type of glue for your work plays an important role in the completion and ultimate success of your project. Remember, wood glue can work effectively for both wood and paper needs.

As observed in our “what is PVA glue”, review the only thing to know isn’t just the type, but what application it will be used for.