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How to choose the right Adhesive

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In any sticky situation, the key to success is to choose the right adhesive for the job at hand.


Also known as general-purpose adhesive, it has a transparent appearance when dry. suitable for situations where a particularly strong bond is not required.

Where to use: On soft, flexible plastic canvas, some metals, card, cork leather, hardboard, fabric, and cloth.

How to Apply: Where surfaces are absorbent, spread the glue onto one surface and press both surfaces firmly together. Otherwise, spread a thin film on both surfaces, leave for a moment, and then press the two items together for several minutes.

How to Remove: While still wet, use a damp cloth to remove access, then use acetone or nail polish remover to rub away at the adhesive.

The Good and the Bad: It cannot be used on polythene, polypropylene, or polystyrene as it eats into the surface; it is not suitable for repairing pottery and similarly heavy items as the glue is not strong enough. Be careful around varnished surfaces, as this glue can lift the varnish off a surface and damage it.


a rubber-based adhesive in white and clear formulations. It produces a flexible bond.

Where to Use: Ideal for repairs on fabric, upholstery, rubber, paper, wood, and toys.

How to Apply: If the materials are lightweight or delicate, avoid adhesive penetration by applying a thin coat.

to each surface, letting it sit until the glue becomes semi-transparent, and then pushing the two surfaces together. For other materials, apply a light coat to one surface, push together, and secure for several minutes.

Remove with a damp cloth while the glue is still wet; when dry, pick off the access glue and scrape with a sharp knife; for fabrics, use a solvent cleaner.

The Positive and Negative: A useful adhesive to have on hand for small touch-ups, this latex glue also comes in a nontoxic variety for children’s use.


a two-part, quick-setting epoxy resin base plus hardener that needs to be mixed before use. It dries clear and is heat-proof.

Where to use: On china, pottery, glass, and jewellery repairs; it is also suitable for wood, metal, and leather; it has a very strong, durable bond once set.

How to apply: Following the directions on your epoxy resin, mix the epoxy and hardener together, ensuring that your surface is clean. Apply a thin layer to one surface and squeeze the two surfaces together. secure until it sets.

If you get it on your skin, use an industrial hand cleaner to remove it, and remove excess glue from surfaces with a cloth dampened with white spirit.Once set, you will need to chip away at the glue, as it is solid once dry.

The Good and the Bad: Once the adhesive is mixed, you only have a few minutes to work with it, and if you are fixing pottery that you intend to use, after a long period of time the resin will eventually break down.


a petroleum-based adhesive, which is extremely flammable. Applied to both surfaces, it bonds on contact.

It is heat and waterproof and can be used on a variety of surfaces including laminate, wood, rubber, stone, and leather.

How to Apply: Coat both surfaces with the adhesive and allow them to become tacky, then press the two surfaces together.

How to remove: It is difficult to remove once it is dry, so wipe off any excess as you go with a damp cloth. You can use acetone to wipe the residue down, and large amounts would need to be chipped away first.

The Good and the Bad: You need to work quickly, and it is not suitable for plastic or polythene items as it can wrinkle the surface.

PVA (polyvinyl acetate)

a white, creamy adhesive that is water-soluble and provides a permanent bond that can be stronger than the material itself.

Where to use: Use for general indoor woodwork repairs, plus hardboard, polyurethane, foam, paper, fabric, leather, and carpets. can also be watered down to make paper mache glue or used as a protective coat on indoor artwork.

Squeeze a thin layer onto one surface and press together immediately.Clamp or secure for at least one hour to allow setting.

Remove with a damp cloth while it is still wet; once set, use mentholated spirits.

The Good and the Bad: Not suitable for water contact; for those jobs, you’ll need a waterproof PVA.


These adhesives, which were originally used by the air force industry, require only a tiny spot to produce extremely strong bonds onto almost any surface, including your skin.

Where to use: For use where you need an instant bond, on metals, plastics, glass, ceramics, rubber, etc.

How to Use: Place one tiny drop on one surface and immediately push both surfaces together.Always wear rubber gloves.

If skin contact occurs immediately, soak in warm, soapy water; if a solvent cleaner is available, use it and gently separate the skin.

The Good and the Bad: Though it is an effective adhesive, it can be quite expensive for large projects. It is also highly dangerous and should be kept safe at all times. As this is a thin liquid, it is not useful in filling gaps, which may be required to fill broken pottery, etc., to even out the edges.


This is an archive glue that can either go on white or clear. This glue contains no harmful acids; it is suitable for paper, card, and some plastics.

Use for: Archival documents, scrapbooking, and photos.

How to Apply: Apply a thin layer of glue to one surface and press the surfaces together. You can also apply small dots into the corners of a photo for easy application. It comes in many different forms, such as squeeze bottles, roll-ons, and droplets.

When wet, wipe away excess with a damp cloth; once dry, gently separate the items, taking care not to tear the papers.

The Good and the Bad:  This glue is easy to apply and purpose-built for scrapbooking, but there is no substitute when it comes to archiving your memories.

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