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Spray Glue: Everything you need to know

Need to make it stick quickly and easily with minimal fuss? Choosing a spray adhesive can make repairs easy, whether you’re working with metal, plastic, fabric, wood, or almost any common household material. Follow our simple step-by-step guide to help choose the best spray glue for your project.

What is spray glue?

Spray glue is an adhesive applied onto a surface from a pressurized container. The glue is directed as a mist, easily creating a consistent coat. There are many types of spray adhesives catering to all kinds of needs. Simple, and only a few seconds to use, sprays are a solid choice for crafts, furniture, clothing, decorations, school projects, and everyday DIY fixes.
 

What are spray adhesives used for?

Spray glues are ideal for a wide range of applications. They are commonly used for crafts and art projects, repairing furniture and appliances, and mending leather or fabric, among other purposes.

Some spray adhesives are repositionable, allowing for detailed placement. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to find out if yours is one of them. Most sprays dry clear and won’t bleed through or cause wrinkling, resulting in an invisible bond that preserves original appearances. The easy application allows for hassle-free multiple coats, ensuring strong bonds without added drying times.

Spray glues can be used for bonding wood, metal, acrylic, foam, fabric, cardboard, leather, corkboard, glass, foil, rubber, and many plastics. Some spray glues aren’t recommended for exposure to high temperatures or humidity, so consult the instructions before use.
 

Some spray adhesives aren’t advised for use with certain specialty plastics or vinyl fabrics. Check before use with these materials.

What types of spray adhesives are there?

Spray adhesives are offered in a range of strengths, offering a selection of adhesion levels customized for particular projects.

For common use and crafting, a general-purpose spray glue can be the perfect choice. With superior strength, it dries clear and clean and won’t yellow with age, making it ideal for non-load-bearing household fixes and projects. It’s best for indoor use, though, as UV or sun exposure will cause yellowing.

Need a spray with a bit more hold? Look for a designated high-performance spray glue to get the job done. Its superior bonding strength works effectively on bonding most household materials, including wood, metal, acrylic, foam, fabric, glass, and most plastics.

More intensive needs, such as indoor/outdoor bonding of heavier materials like upholstery, carpeting, and trim, or bonds exposed to high temperatures, require another easy-to-use adhesive. Loctite Spray Adhesive Professional Performance is designed for heavy bonds demanding added levels of support.

How to apply spray adhesive

Using spray glue is easy, but it requires knowing how to prepare, apply, and clean after use. No worries, just follow these steps for a quick and powerful bond:

  • Prepare before using. Choose a well-ventilated area and a work surface with adequate space. Spray residue can be messy, so cover tables or benches with protective cloths or papers to avoid a mess.
    Surfaces to be bonded should be clean and dry and free of oil, wax, paint, or any type of residue. Examine the parts to be joined and test the fit. Clear away any fragments or particles obstructing a perfect seal.
  • Ready the glue. Spray glues are temperature sensitive, so apply adhesives between 65°F and 95°F. Loctite Spray Adhesives come safety-sealed with a protective nozzle. Turn the spray tip, so the black dot aligns with the nozzle, allowing for an unobstructed spray. Shake the can vigorously before use.

Always use a mask to avoid inhaling fumes. Wear latex or nitrile gloves (not PVC, nylon, or cotton).

  • Apply the spray glue. Hold the can in an upright position, pointing the valve toward the surface to be bonded. Apply and even coat of adhesive to both surfaces.
    While spraying, maintain a distance of 8-10 inches. Spraying too closely may result in buildup and “puddling.” Keep the can in motion for a consistent coat. You may want to refrain from spraying glue on a surface’s edges to avoid any overflow.
    If you expect to reposition the surfaces upon bonding, apply only a light initial coat. If an additional coat is needed, apply it quickly before the first coat dries.
  • Join the pieces. Wait 2 to 3 minutes after spraying (consult product instructions for details on drying times). The glue should become tacky. Secure the parts in place and apply gentle, but firm, pressure. Hold in place.
    Spray glues dry quickly. The bond should be secure in just a few minutes. For full bond strength, leave undisturbed overnight.
  • Cleanup and storage. After using, invert the can and give it a quick spray to clear the valve and tip. Clean any residue or buildup with turpentine or mineral spirits, then wipe thoroughly with a dry cloth and replace the cap. Store the can in a safe, dry area at room temperature.