Wood glue is a strong adhesive trusted by woodworkers, hobbyists, and carpenters for their woodworking projects. They work perfectly with solid woods. With the development of new technologies, some people go for MDF boards over solid that are affordable, readily available, easier to paint than solid woods. If you’re new to MDF boards, I know you have always wondered Does Wood Glue Work on MDF?
Here’s what I know from my own experience with MDF:
Yes, wood glue work on MDF. But you need to consider whether it’s face-to-face gluing or edge gluing. Even though most glues bond with MDF, you need to select the best wood glue according to the location. Edge gluing of MDF can be tricky and you need to use special types of wood glues other than regular ones due to end grain.
But that’s not all there is a lot to know about how does wood glue work on MDF.
From this article, I’m going to address your concerns, can you wood glue over MDF? Best glue work on MDF, how to glue MDF to plywood, to a wall, for furniture, and many more. So, let’s keep going!
Can You Wood Glue Over MDF?
MDF boards bond well with any type of wood glue. You can apply wood glue over MDF but producing an MDF joint is more difficult than it seems. With good screws and suitable wood glues, you’ll be able to produce excellent joints.
Since MDF is slightly porous, you need a high amount of glue to bond them perfectly. I highly recommend applying glue to both MDF surfaces for a better bond.
If you don’t use enough glue, the surface will absorb it quickly and dry faster causing a weak bond. So, always make sure to apply more wood glue when working with MDF than you use for other solid wood types.
When you’re selecting a wood glue for MDF go with the one that matches perfectly to your application. For example, In terms of exterior usage, you should go with whether proof of wood glue.
Barkitecture made with MDF and glue!!! pic.twitter.com/ts6WW1KKeQ— Jess ™ (@JessTurner1997) March 1, 2017
Types of MDF Glue
There are main 3 types of wood glues use to stick MDF. They are,
- PVA glues (Polyvinyl Acetate)
- Plastic Resin glue
PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate)
PVA is known as the typical wood glue that we use for many woodworking projects. They work perfectly with solid woods and as well as MDF as well. PVA wood glue is made using PVA particles and water glues. PVA wood glue is available in yellow and white varieties. PVA wood glues are great for both indoor and outdoor MDF applications. They are,
- Easy to find
- Quickly dry
- Curing time is 24 hours
Yellow PVA wood glue is able to build a strong bond with MDF and dry easily than the white variant. Sanding is also easier with the yellow variant than the white one.
Adding a new parquet block. Apply PVA glue to MDF base pic.twitter.com/BkMP8Xoygt— Alexandra Chin (@AlexJ2014) December 11, 2013
The biggest downgrade of PVA glue on MDF is no weather resistance. The water molecules can easily go inside the glue and make the bond weaker. So, I recommend you use PVA glue on MDF only for Interior applications. They are not good for outdoor usage.
I love the smell of mdf and PVA glue in the afternoon. pic.twitter.com/TBW0KITGN2— David H (@wargameswriter) April 21, 2020
Plastic Resin Glue
This is the best alternative option you can go for MDF other than PVA glues. Plastic resin glue is recommended for outdoor applications. Normally this wood glue is used for larger woodworking projects such as carpentry. This wood glue is made with urea-formaldehyde which is known as a highly toxic chemical.
There is a powder that comes with plastic resin wood glue you can match with the color you want. Most importantly, plastic resin glue is,
- High durable
The downside of this wood glue is,
- Highly toxic (Always wear protective gloves and goggles when using)
- Drying time is high
I don’t recommend plastic resin glue on MDF if you’re a beginner, because you need to be extremely careful due to its high toxicity.
I'm normally kinda superstitious and reluctant to switch from what has worked well in the past (esp. adhesives on critical projects). But, this new plastic resin glue is looking good so far. Each of these rocker laminations are composed of 22 maple strips, 1/8" thick, and th… pic.twitter.com/sJiK2wgudt— Jared Rusten (@jrustenstudio) November 20, 2018
Epoxies are great to glue MDF surfaces, They come in different shapes and sizes. The drying time is approximately 24 hours. The only downside of using epoxy is its expensiveness.
What Is the Best Glue To Use On MDF?
Normally most of the wood glues work on MDF. When it comes to the best glue to use on MDF, there are 5 commercial products I can highly recommend on MDF. They are,
- Titebond Ultimate wood glue
- Gorilla wood glue
- Elmer’s Carpenter’s wood glue
- Franklin International wood glue
- DAP 00157 Rapidfuse wood glue
The wood glue you need to select according to your MDF application type. Some are good for the interior and some are for the exterior, some have good weather resistance, some are water-resistant only likewise.
So, let’s dig into the top 3 wood glue products and discuss their application with the pros and cons of each for better understanding.
Tilebond Ultimate Wood Glue
Tilebond ultimate wood glue is known as the best wood glue for MDF. It works perfectly for both interior and exterior applications by making a strong bond with MDF surfaces. The advantages of Tilebond ultimate wood glue on MDF are as follows,
- It sets quickly
- Waterproof – great for interior and exterior applications
- Easy to clean with damp cloth or water.
- Heat resistant and easy to sand
- Provide strong bonding
- High durability
Cons of Tilebond ultimate wood glue over MDF are,
- A clamp holder is required until the glue is completely set
I never liked most glues for mdf. The material tended to float and shift even while clamping it together. But this thick stuff sets up fast, the mdf doesn’t float away, and it doesn’t get sucked in like a sponge. A very suitable use for the thick stuff. #Titebond #Woodworking pic.twitter.com/sFYraQHlVW— The Myth of Scientific Certainty ✡ ن (@crbrendemuehl) March 31, 2021
As you can see the productivity of Tilebond ultimate glue is high over many other commercial wood types of glue available on the market. This wood glue is recommended for any type of MDF application.
Gorilla Wood Glue
Gorilla wood glue is a great choice for MDF projects especially if you’re a beginner. It is,
- Easy to clean
- Build a strong bond
- Easy to use
- Excellent for interior and exterior applications
- Clamping time is low
When we look at the cons of using gorilla wood glue on MDF. It is,
- Thinner than other wood glues
- Curing time is high (24 hours)
Apart from having those ignorable cons, gorilla wood glue is excellent for any MDF woodworking project.
Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue
Elmer’s Carpenter’s wood glue is waterproof and stainable. It bonds stronger than other woods. Also, it’s rich with the following qualities.
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Valuable for money
- Excellent for interior and exterior usage
- No odor
Apart from having the above qualities, Elmer’s Carpenter’s wood glue is,
- Thickness is a bit higher than other glues
- Cure time is high (24 hours)
That’s it. The above 3 products are considered the best wood glue on MDF for any interior or exterior application, bathroom, or kitchen maintenance.
When I was like 22 my wife and I went to a furniture store and spent like $2k on furniture made of MDF and Elmer's glue. Now so much of my furniture is thrifted and refinished. These chairs were $5 each at yard sale and the table was $20 at Goodwill. pic.twitter.com/uEeFRCT40M— Chris Davis (@Cee4our) December 1, 2020
How To Stick Two Pieces of MDF Together?
After you buy the most suitable wood glue for MDF according to your application, the next challenging task is to follow the procedure and apply glue on the MDF board. These are the steps you need to follow to do that.
- Apply thick wood glue coat on MDF board
- Use Glues and screws in edge joints
- Clean the surface
1. Apply Thick Wood Glue Coat On MDF Board
MDF is a porous wood. It’ll absorb the wood glue easily. So, for better bonding, you need to apply a slightly higher amount of wood glue on top of the surface.
Spread thick wood glue coating over MDF board uniformly. By doing that we can clearly ignore the amount absorbed into the MDF.
2. Use Glues and Screws in Edge Joints
MDF bonds are not sturdy like many other wood bonds. So, there are occasions you need to use screws. I highly recommend you to use screws, especially in corner joints to get a strong bonding.
Always pick the screw size according to the size of your MDF board. Otherwise, you’ll end up splitting the MDF board easily.
3. Clean the Surface
Don’t forget to clean the surface after the job is done. Excess glue on the surface can ruin your work. Slight sanding is recommended to do this task perfectly.
Did I cover all you wanted to know about: Does Wood Glue Work on MDF?
In this article, we discussed how does wood glue work on MDF, what are the best types of MDF glues, the best commercially available wood glue for MDF board with their applications, pros, and cons. Also, how to stick pieces of MDF together as well.
At the end of the day, my advice as a long-time woodworker is, whenever you’re going for wood glue for the MDF board, select the one according to your application type. Not every glue does the same task.
Also, if you want to apply wood glue to the MDF board, I highly suggest you do your best to practice it with a small piece of MDF without directly going for your main woodwork, then you can get it. Clear idea about the glue strength, its color, and how matching it is.
Hope this article will help you to face any circumstances without any issue with proper guidance.