When you get started in woodworking there is a steep learning curve. Apart from all of the tools and machines and so many types of different wood something that seems as simple as glue can also be confusing. One of the most common sources of confusion is the types of wood glue on the market, including PVA vs polyurethane glue which we’ve already covered in detail. But there are also lots of other questions about wood glue which we cover below.
Wood Glue FAQs
Does Wood Glue Work on Fabric?
Yes, it does. Sometimes, while working with fabric you may run out of fabric glue. If you cannot procure some more immediately, wood glue is one of the suitable substitutes you can use. But you cannot pick up any wood glue and use it. You need to know which wood glue works the best.
The glue that adheres to wood and fabric will often adhere to other types of surfaces as well. It makes such adhesives extremely versatile and worthwhile to have at hand for a variety of projects. You end up preventing a whole load of wastage and you can use many of them for both indoor and outdoor applications.
You can apply these glues in several different ways such as with an applicator, spray, or brush. Out of all the possibilities, you should steer clear of regular craft glue as it tends to become thick and lumpy on wood, thereby becoming unmanageable.
If you use mod podge glue, it is one of the best choices you can make due to the strong bond it forms and its quick-dry action. After the glue dries, apply a sealer evenly for added protection.
Of course, you have to realize that even wood glue has limitations because it is specially created for use on wood, so some may not work that well on fabric. With a bit of trial and error, you can find glue that doesn’t show the splits and pores of the wood in the fabric.
A highly effective form of adhesive is the spray type. It enables you to spread the glue evenly and you get better control on applying the required thickness. Experimentation is key in this type of job so, use a test piece of fabric and wood to confirm the best glue for bonding fabric and wood together.
A Step-by-step Guide to Stick Fabric and Glue with Wood Glue
In case you don’t have fabric glue available and you need to stick fabric and glue together, then you can use wood glue. But it needs to be stronger than basic crafting glue.
The ideal choice is mod podge glue and you need to prep the surface of the wood before applying it. You need to sand down the wood surface before gluing the fabric to it.
Using suitable glue and the right techniques, your wood and fabric will remain bonded together for a long time. Here are the basic steps:
Step 1: Sanding the Wood
Use 100-grit to 200-grit sandpaper to sand down the surface of the wood. Try to make the wood surface as smooth as possible, eliminating bumps.
Step 2: Wiping the Surface
Use a damp rag to wipe down the surface and remove any dust, debris, and sawdust that may have accumulated while sanding down the wood. Ensure that your rag isn’t too wet to prevent the wood surface from getting too damp.
Step 3: Allow to Dry
Ensure that the wood surface is completely dry before you apply the glue to it. Most glues including mod podge will not adhere properly to a wet surface.
Step 4: Measuring and Cutting the Fabric
While you leave your wood to dry, you can cut your fabric to the required size to match the size of the wood it has to cover. Place the fabric on the wood and mark off the area that you need to cut. Leave an allowance of about one-inch extra material around the wood.
Step 5: Applying the Glue
Once you have cut your fabric and your wood is dry you can apply the glue. Use a paintbrush or foam pad to apply the glue evenly all over the surface of the wood. Ensure to spread it evenly on the edges where the fabric will stick. Then move towards the center.
If you use mod podge glue, you need to work quickly because of its quick-dry action.
Step 6: Placing the Fabric
Place the fabric over the required area of wood. Press it onto the surface of the wood with your hands to stick the fabric to the wood surface.
Step 7: Smoothing out the Wrinkles
Using your hands or a dry cloth, press the surface of the fabric onto the wood and rub it gently but firmly, to press the wood and fabric together. You can also use a handheld roller to remove any wrinkles or air bubbles from between the two materials.
Step 8: Allow to Dry
Leave the wood and the fabric to dry for up to 24 hours or overnight. If you use mod podge, it will dry almost instantly after applying it. But for it to completely dry it takes about 12 to 24 hours. Once dry, pull the fabric gently to check for adherence.
Step 9: Cutting Off the Excess Fabric
Once you are sure that the glue has completely dried, you can now cut off the excess fabric using scissors or a sharp knife. The fabric and wood should now be firmly bonded together.
Gluing Fabric to Wood: What to Look for in Glues
Choosing the best wood glue for sticking fabric to wood can be challenging. Glues come in different forms and containers. You get liquid glue, paste-like glue, and even spray glue. It also comes in a tube with a nozzle or it may come with an applicator gun. Of course, you get it in plastic and tin containers and bottles.
Here are a few things you need to look for while selecting wood glue to use on fabric:
Type and Form of Glue
Each form of glue is meant for a particular scenario. For example, spray glue works well for use on large surface areas. Other glues you need to apply with a brush. Some glues are non-toxic, but others are extremely toxic, containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and you need to use them in a well-ventilated space.
Check the Labels
Always look at the labels and the manufacturer’s information on the packaging to use the glue properly and safely.
Grade of Glue
If you want glue that will last for many years, then you need to look for permanent and tough industrial-grade glue. Is your project going to be placed in a humid and moist environment? If so, you need to use waterproof glue.
Check if You Can Use it Outdoors
It is good to identify waterproof glues because those are the type of glues suitable for outdoor applications. You can use wood glue for refurbishing upholstery on furniture and even in automotive and industrial applications. But if you want to get the best from using wood glue on fabric, you need to look for the qualities mentioned here for it to work well.