This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn a small commission from purchases made through them, at no additional cost to you.
When the question of how to glue plastic to wood comes to mind, most people would just laugh or shrug it off, thinking it impossible. But, with the advancement in technology and the invention of new and improved products most things are possible today, including gluing plastic to wood. This tutorial is dedicated to determining what the right plastic-to-wood glue might be. We will discuss how to attach PVC to wood, whether wood glue will work on plastic, as well as the best adhesive to use to glue PVC to wood. Keep reading to learn about whatever you need for your school or DIY project involving how to glue plastic to wood!
Table of Contents
- 1 Plastics, Wood, and Glue
- 2 Our Glue Recommendations for Plastic on Wood
- 3 Instructions for Gluing Plastic to Wood
- 4 Tips for Gluing Plastic to Wood
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
Plastics, Wood, and Glue
The flexibility and surface softness level of porosity varies between the different types of plastics. Among the many different types of plastic, we have high-density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polyethylene terephthalate, polyvinyl chloride (vinyl or PVC), polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS) also known as Styrofoam.
When it comes to wood, besides the different types of trees which give hard or softwood to work with, there is also treated or untreated wood. Treating the wood protects it from weather damage and makes it more durable to heat damage. If the wood has been treated with a varnish and the project at hand is too large, the only option might be to use a mechanical method to join the plastic to it, like bolts and screws, because the items will be too heavy to glue PVC to wood that has been treated in such a way.
Believe it or not, but, wood glue on plastic is surprisingly effective as an adhesive to bond wood to plastic. So, to answer one of our first questions, will wood glue work on plastic? Yes! But, it is not a permanent solution and should only be used as a temporary glue until you can get your hands on an adhesive made especially for the task. Other glues for gluing plastic to wood include hot glue, polyurethane glues, epoxy, silicone caulk, superglue, and lastly, contact cement.
Using Epoxy to Glue Plastic to Wood
The first thing to understand is that this type of glue comes in two components that usually need to be mixed before they can be used as glue. This might seem tedious but the result is sound, so the extra effort will be worth it. Always check the instructions for the ratio when you are mixing the two parts. There is of course the option to get an epoxy adhesive that is already mixed but expects it to cost a little more.
Epoxy, like plastic to wood glue, will dry and the result is something similar to resin coating, which is strong and durable. The chemical fumes are strong with this adhesive, so ensure that there is sufficient ventilation and that you are wearing your protective gear. Once applied, the epoxy glue will need about 24 hours to fully cure before you can use the item you are gluing.
Gluing Plastic to Wood with Superglue
Superglue has a well-respected value in the industrial, and DIY industries for having a variety of uses. Including being the answer to one of our most important questions for this tutorial, how to glue plastic to wood. This glue is quick-drying, fast-acting, super affordable, and unbelievably durable. It needs to be applied on both pieces that are being stuck together and pressed down firmly until the glue has dried.
If you are a crafter you will be well versed with hot glue guns. These guys are amazingly versatile and very useful crafting tools that the right glue stick will serve wonders for most tasks, including how to attach PVC to wood. There are a few types of wood plastic that are not suited to hot glue, but luckily the main types will work.
Contact cement truly lives up to its name with its ability to bond many types of materials. It is a good option to go for, in terms of bonding plastic to wood glue. Be advised that contact cement must be applied to both pieces before connecting them, there will be instant bondage. This type of glue is best when in a solvent-based form, but it does come in water-based forms these days as well.
Adhesives of the polyurethane nature are waterproof and promise a permanent bond. It works with all types of surface materials like metals, wood, plastics, and more. This type of adhesive will expand as soon as you use it, so make sure you work with swift hands so you do not make a mistake or lose the effectiveness of the glue.
If you have not heard of silicone caulk, then let us illuminate you. This is one of the most useful glues because it can do what other guys might struggle to do, like bonding to plastics. So, if you are struggling to get the adhesive you are working with to bond with the plastic you need to be bonded, then this adhesive might be the answer you are looking for. It needs 24 hours to fully cure, but it promises some great results for larger projects. Smaller projects are not suited to silicone caulk.
The question remains, will wood glue work on plastic? Wood glue is otherwise known as PVA, or polyvinyl acetate, and it is the perfect option for all wooden projects, promising strong bondage between wooden pieces. The unfortunate thing is that wood glue on plastic is not such a great combination because plastic is not porous, so it will not adhere to its surface.
To achieve proper bondage for plastic and wood, you must make sure the glue works for both materials, which you can do by reading the label. Here is a summarized table that will highlight which glues are plastic-worthy.
|Types of Glue||Plastic to Wood?||Plastic use|
|Two-Part Epoxy||✔||Suitable for all common plastics|
|Superglue||✔||Can work for PVC but after the surface has been sanded|
|Contact Cement||✔||Needs larger surfaces|
|Hot Glue Gun||✔||For most common plastics|
|Silicone Caulk||✔||polyethylene or polypropylene|
|Polyurethane Adhesives||✔||Works with loads of surface materials|
|Wood Glue||✘||Not for plastic surfaces|
|PVC Glue||✘||Restricted to PVC|
Our Glue Recommendations for Plastic on Wood
You are in for a tricky job if you are trying to find out how to glue plastic to wood, or just plastic to plastic. Plastic is non-porous, making the glue run off the side rather than adhering to its surface. You can not just use any glue that you would for metals for wood, but we do have some recommendations for you, for your benefit.
Best Epoxy Glue: GORILLA Two-Part Epoxy
The brand Gorilla comes highly recommended by many professional or industrial workers, and DIY experts alike. It comes in two separate parts that must be mixed, but the amazing thing with this design is the syringe it comes in. The two parts are only mixed once the syringe is pressed down, providing such an easy application. There is no need for measuring out ratios or mixing with a spoon, simply push down, and apply the glue where needed. This glue is amazing because it works with so many different kinds of materials, and it can glue PVC to wood.
Best Superglue for Plastic to Wood: LOCTITE Superglue
Loctite is a brand that has a wide variety of products like glues. This specific product they have released is specifically designed to work with plastics that are not porous. These plastics include polypropylene surfaces, PVC, polycarbonate, and polyethylene. Not only that but the versatility of this glue is wondrous, you will be happy to hear that it will work on all kinds of materials other than plastic, like metals, fabrics, rubbers, etc.
Best Polyurethane Glue: GORILLA Polyurethane Glue
This is a versatile product that works well in bonding all types of surface materials, namely wood, plastic, foam, glass, stone, and more! If you are wondering how to glue plastic to wood, then this is a promising option for you to choose. It works well for both interior jobs and exterior jobs, offering great protection from any weather damage, and lengthening the hold of the glue.
Instructions for Gluing Plastic to Wood
Now that our best recommendations for glues that will work when bonding non-porous surfaces like plastics have been mentioned, we can dive into the act of gluing. Keep reading for the step-by-step instructions for how to attach PVC to wood.
Using Superglue to Bond Plastic to Wood
Preparation is needed for the plastic surface before you can apply any super glue. Make sure it is clean and dry and once the glue has been applied and the surfaces connected, you will need to hold them down until the glue has dried and cured.
The size and shape of super glue make it easy to apply the glue into smaller, harder-to-reach spaces, making it a perfect choice for small projects or repairs. You will need to sand down the surface you are gluing to give it a rougher texture.
Bonding Plastic to Wood with Two-Part Epoxy
Gluing plastic to wood is made easy with any two-part epoxy, but especially the one by Gorilla Glue. This one mixes the two parts automatically when you press down the syringe trigger. If you did not get the gorilla Glue epoxy, other options require manual mixing, just make sure you read the instructions. The instructions will also explain how to attach PVC to wood and other materials, including the drying and curing times.
How to use Polyurethane Glue
Would you believe us if we said there was even more of a super glue than super-glue? Well, polyurethane glues are a phenomenal invention that promises waterproofing and long-term grip. When applying this glue, it does need a bit of moisture to activate the chemicals. The one piece that is being glued must be slightly wet and the other must be dry. The glue should be applied on both parts and once connected, the parts should be clamped together until the glue has cured.
How to Apply Contact Cement
Cement contact is a very strong adhesive that needs to be applied in a thin layer on both sides of the furniture you are gluing. Make sure to work in a well-ventilated room, if not outside, because the strength of this glue is because of the intense amount of chemicals. Make sure you work with quick hands because this glue is fast drying and fast-acting so you will have minimal time for mistakes.
Tips for Gluing Plastic to Wood
We understand that plastic is not the easiest material to bond with, not to mention trying to glue plastic to wood. The process is a bit tedious. To make the experience a bit easier for you, we have made these pointers that will help to summarize what you should do and what you should not.
- The skin on your hands produces a residue of an oily nature, which can prevent the glue from sticking. Make sure you work with protective gloves to prevent this from happening
- Store the glue in a cool environment, free of moisture. This will keep their shelf life active for as long as possible.
- Sand down the surface of the plastic before you apply the glue to make sure it adheres instead of running off the surface
- Make sure that the surface is properly cleaned so that no dirt or grime can prevent the glue from doing its job.
- Read those instructions before you mix your two-part epoxy glues. This is to guarantee the correct mixing ratio measurement of both parts.
- Make sure to read instructions for appropriate drying times and any glue you use.
- Super Glue that is of a gel-like consistency is best suited for porous wood surfaces.
- Once the glue has been applied to both parts that are being joined together, use clamps or something heavy to hold the pieces together firmly whilst the glue dries.
- Make sure that you take proper precautions when working with these highly toxic and chemical-infused glues.
- Remember to open up all the windows if you are working indoors to make sure you have the most ventilation
- The tip of a needle or even a toothpick are great tools to help get the glue into those spaces that even the tiniest of nozzles will not reach.
Now you can confidently say that you know how to make plastic stick to a wooden surface, or vice versa. Whatever your DIY project might entail, when it comes to bonding these two very different surfaces, you should now be well equipped with the knowledge needed to get the job done the right way! Of course, many of these instructions will start to make more sense once you apply them practically, so the next time you think wood glue on plastic is good enough, you can get stuck into some real glue instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Wood Glue Suitable for Plastic?
Unfortunately, wood glue is not really the correct type of glue to use for sticking plastic and wood together. This glue is just far too thin in consistency and lacks the strength to bond non-porous surfaces like plastic. This means it is not a suitable glue for this task. It is always best to use an adhesive such as those listed in our product recommendations above.
How Do I Attach PVC to Wood?
Besides the obvious mechanical joint, using bolts and screws, if you are trying to glue PVC to a wooden surface, then you will need to look into using a superglue, like the Gorilla superglue, or one of the other glues mentioned in our product reviews list. Epoxy and polyurethane glues are also great and very strong candidates.
Which Glue Works Well on Plastic and Wood?
We have made some recommendations for a selection between Gorilla Glue’s polyurethane and two-part epoxy glue, Super Glue by Loctite. These are all great options for bonding plastic-like PVC to a wooden surface, each having similar bonding strengths, but their application methods.
Will Super Glue Work for Gluing Plastic to Wood?
The short answer is yes! The longer answer would be that the plastic surface will need to be roughened up with a bit of sandpaper to get a tackier texture for the glue to stick and not run down or drip off.