What Is PVA Glue?


PVA means Polyvinyl Acetate, and PVA glue means polyvinyl acetate glue. It is an adhesive that’s popular with woodworking, and you can easily get it at your local crafts store. If you are a DIYer and often craft, then PVA glue must be an important feature in your toolkit.

PVA glue as an adhesive is odorless and colorless and forms a strong and sturdy bond between two materials. It is a quick-drying emulsion and can be diluted with water to form a less thick consistency. Mixing water and PVA glue in equal proportions are suitable for papier mache, light paper craft, and pasting wallpaper.

PVA is also known as white wood glue; it doesn’t stain wood and cause discoloration like other wood glues. It is great for porous materials and has incredible water-resistant properties as a sealant.

Types of PVA Glue

PVA White Glue

This PVA glue is often used in sealing boxes, bookbinding, and paints. It is white, and unlike other binders, it isn’t brittle but retains its flexibility. It is suitable for indoor use

PVA Wood Glue

It is a specialized PVA glue made especially for woodwork. Unlike the regular PVA glue, this one is yellow in appearance. It functions by being absorbed into the wood pieces and glues them together by forming a strong bond. To see the best results, you should hold the wood together until the glue is completely dried.

PVA Water Resistant Glue

PVA water-resistant glue can resist moisture; it resists mildew too. It’s not waterproof, and won’t work underwater.

What is PVA Glue Used For?

PVA glue has a variety of uses. However, below are it’s most popular uses.

Arts and Crafts

PVA glue is used a lot in arts and crafts classrooms and by hobbyists who work on models. There are a couple of reasons why PVA glue is common among artists; PVA glue is not toxic, so that you can handle it with your hand. Also, the glue doesn’t give off toxic fumes like other types of adhesives. If you often craft in areas with poor aeration, or indoors then PVA glue is a nice choice.


Bookbinding is one of the most popular uses of PVA glue. White PVA glue forms a flexible yet sturdy bond between the pages of the papers and the cover. PVA glue doesn’t dry up fast, so you have ample time to align your pages to avoid irreversible errors correctly.


PVA is also referred to as carpenter’s glue because it is excellent at binding pieces of wood together. Ensure you get the appropriate PVA glue for woodwork to get the best result when carrying out your project. You can apply the PVA on a surface before applying a finish; the PVA prevents the finish from drying out quickly, especially on absorbent surfaces.

You can also use PVA glue to on wallpapers; you can add it to mortar to improve adhesion to the wall and give it waterproofing qualities.


PVA can be used to join leather together without damaging the leather. You can also use it in the fabrication and repair of shoes, bags, and other works of leather to provide a strong and durable cohesive bond. A word of caution: use PVA glue on permanent works and designs as the leather may get damaged if you remove or reverse it. When you apply PVA glue, the resulting bond is permanent.

Advantages of Using PVA Glue

One of the most significant advantages of PVA glue is that it’s not toxic. As we have mentioned earlier, PVA glue doesn’t give off toxic fumes and can also be handled by hand because it is not toxic, making it safe for kids to use. However, they must not ingest it as it can be harmful.

PVA glue is cheap and very cost-effective. You can opt for PVA glue when you don’t want to spend a lot on adhesives because it’s cheaper than most adhesives on the market while giving you a superior bond. Also, it is easy to apply.

PVA glue dries clear, meaning after application, you won’t notice any discoloration on the surface.

How to Remove PVA Glue In Case Of an Accident

Accidents occasionally happen when you are working with adhesives. There are different ways to remove PVA, depending on the surface. The best way to deal with unwanted PVA glue on materials is to be careful when handling it.

PVA from Cloth

Soak your cloth in hot water but not boiling water. Since PVA isn’t waterproof, it will help weaken the bond. After soaking for a while, wash the cloth with detergent to remove the glue. You can also pick at the glue with your fingers to remove it from your clothing; if your clothing material shrinks in hot water, it is best to soak it in lukewarm water.

PVA from Wood

If you have a piece of wood that you need to remove PVA from, all you need to get is a heat gun. Use the heat gun on the wood for about five minutes, and the PVA glue will begin to soften; afterward, gently remove it with a paint scraper. However, you should note that sometimes you may not remove the glue from wood without causing damage to it.


PVA glue is easy to use, easy to access, and cheap alternative adhesive. It is an excellent choice of adhesive for DIYers and hobbyists. Many often mistake PVA glue for Elmer’s glue; this may be because Elmer’s glue is PVA based. However, it is not as strong as PVA glue; also, it has a yellowish coloration and is brittle.

PVA is non-toxic and gives off no fumes, and can be handled with bare hands without adverse effects, making it safe for kids’ art classes. If you accidentally ingest PVA, quickly get to the nearest hospital as PVA is harmful when ingested. When working with PVA glue, ensure it doesn’t come in contact with any surface you don’t want it on as removing the glue may cause irreparable damage to the surface.