Does Wood Glue Work On Stained Wood? – Everything You Need to Know!

does wood glue work on stained wood

Wood staining is a popular method to protect the wood from UV and fungus attacks by giving color to the natural surface of the wood. Therefore, stained wood commonly is used for cabinets, furniture, and other woodworking projects.

During those projects, wood glue do an important role as a strong adhesive to hold wood pieces together. So, when I was a beginner, I was always wondered Does Wood Glue Work on Stained Wood?

Here is what I’ve found:

Yes, Wood glue work on stained wood. But applying glue on top of the stained surface mostly doesn’t give the strong joint you want. To get the strong joint, wood glue needs to penetrate through pores and wood fiber structure, which doesn’t happen gluing stained wood.

But that’s only applicable for general wood glue types. Even though wood glue greatly works on bare wood, there are some specialized wood glues available in the market, that work perfectly on stained wood as well.

So, in this article, I dig into various topics like, how to apply wood glue after staining, what glues are best for stained wood and how they work, does wood glue work on finished wood,

Plus, I’ll answer frequently asked questions about how does wood glue work on stained wood.

Can You Use Wood Glue After Staining?

Yes, you can use wood glue after staining. But it’ll be a quite difficult task than applying wood glue on bare wood because of several reasons.

After the wood staining is done, the pores of the wood are covered with a stain. When we apply wood glue on bare wood, it penetrates through those pores to build up the strong joint we want.

But on this occasion, due to the covering of pores, wood glue cannot penetrate and doesn’t give the strong joint we wish.

The general rule of thumb is to apply the glue before the staining. Because bare wood can easily hold wood pieces together than stained wood.

But there are some occasions you need to consider applying wood glue after the staining is done.

For example, if you’re making a cupboard, staining the undersides is difficult after the gluing is done. In that case, the best method is to do the staining first and then go for the gluing part.

So, you need to have a clear understanding of how to apply wood glue after staining the wood.

Because of the difficulty in making the strong joint, even though your wood is strong enough it cannot bear much load/force especially in joint positions. Because it reduces the holding strength.

Even though general wood glue doesn’t go well with stained wood, there are some other types of wood glue that are specialized for stained wood and can build up the strong joint as we want.

So, let’s talk about them.

What Glue Works on Stained Wood?

Most of the wood glue that available on market is for bare woods. So, you need to have proper understating about wood glue before applying them to your stained wood surface to get the strong joint you wish.

According to my years of experience in woodworking, here I have listed some of the best wood glues that work perfectly on the stained wood surface.

They are,

  • Titebond Polyurethane glue
  • Gorilla wood glue
  • Elmer’s wood glue MAX

Those wood glues work well on finished wood. So, let’s discuss the characteristics of each wood glue with its pros and cons.

Titebond Polyurethane Glue for Stained Wood

Titebond Polyurethane glue is the best wood glue for stained wood. It gives epoxy-like strength to build to strong joint and basically can hold any stained wood type-together.

Most importantly Titebond polyurethane glue is 100% waterproof and solvent-free.

Here I have listed the guidelines you should follow when applying Titebond polyurethane glue over stained wood.

  • Keep the application temperature around 500F (100C)
  • The time required to complete the assemble is around 25-30 minutes.
  • The clamping pressure can determine by yourself that required to clamp the woods together.

Here I have listed some pros and cons of using Titebond polyurethane glue over stained wood surfaces.

Build strong jointNeed moisture for curing
WaterproofExpands after application

Gorilla Wood Glue for Stained Wood

Gorilla wood glue is a PVA glue that is able to create a strong joint over stained wood surfaces. I have used Gorilla wood glue for many woodworks and gained the best results out of it.

It has good weather resistance and is great for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Here I have listed some pros and cons of using Gorilla wood glue over stained wood.

Build strong jointClamping is required
Weather resistanceCuring time is high
Can use for both Indoors and Outdoors 
Give natural color after drying 
Sanding is possible 
Doesn’t change the dimensions after using 

Elmer’s wood glue MAX for Stained Wood

Elmer’s wood glue MAX is the upgraded version of regular Elmer’s wood glue which can only use over bare wood.

Elmer’s wood glue MAX is capable of building strong joints for stained wood and also perfect for outdoor application due to high weather resistance.

Elmer’s wood glue MAX has the ability to build a strong bond that is stronger than the wood around it.

Therefore you no need to worry about failing the joint due to less strength.

Here I have listed some pros and cons of using Elmer’s wood glue MAX over stained wood.

Forms the strong jointCan only apply over wood
Less clamping time 
Weather resistance 
Can use for Indoors and Outdoors 
No fumes 
Able to apply on MDF

As you can see above wood glues do a pretty good job over stained wood surfaces, not like regular wood glues.

So, let’s talk about the proper method you should follow when applying wood glue over the stained wood surface.

How to use Wood Glue on Stained Wood?

There are several steps you need to follow when applying wood glue over stained wood because it’s quite difficult to build a strong joint within stained wood than the bare wood surfaces.

Tip: Shake the wood glue bottle before using it.

1. Prepare the wood

First of all, you need to make sure the stained wood is clean and dry. Otherwise, residues make the process difficult.

2. Apply Wood Glue

Apply a thin layer of wood glue over both surfaces of the wood. For bare wood apply a thin layer over the single side is ok, but for stained wood, we need to apply wood glue over both surfaces to gain the strong joint.

Use a glue brush to do this task perfectly.

3. Clamp the Surfaces

20–30minute clamping is required after the glue is applied. As in my experience, I recommend doing the camping for at least 30 minutes or more because here we talk about the stained wood.

The longer the clamping time makes the bond stronger.

Once the clamping time is done you should be able to see the strong joint between the wood. You can test the strength of the joint by applying extra force to it.

After the day of camping, the bond will get even stronger within the next few days. So probably at the end of the first week, after the wood gluing is done, you can get the maximum use of your woodwork because the drying is completely done.

4. Clean the Excess when it’s Wet

After the glue is applied and do the clamping, you’ll be able to see some extra amount of wood glue will come to the outside between the surfaces.

I highly recommend removing the excess amount of glue before the wood gets dried. Otherwise, you won’t get any chance to remove those after the glue is dried without harming the joint we build.

So, to the wiping off the glue in the first place before drying.

5. The store is a Dark Cool place

After the job is done you can place the woodwork in any place you want. But make sure to store the glue in a cool dark place.

This is done to avoid hitting the sunlight because UV radiations can change the chemical structures of the glue and destroy the formula.

Will Super Glue Work on Stained Wood?

Yes, Superglue work on stained wood. But only if the clamping area is small. I do not recommend using super glue for large clamping areas because of less strength. Because super glues are not good at gap filling.

To clamp small areas using super glue, first, clamp the dry wood pieces together and run super glue into the joint.

After that let it dry. This trick will help you to build a strong joint for small, stained wood surfaces.

Hot Glue on Stained Wood

Hot glue works perfectly on stained wood. The hot melted liquid gel can penetrate through the stained wood surface, not like other wood glues. Because of the penetration, hot glue can build the strong joint we want between the stained wood pieces.

In my experience, Surebonder #825 is the recommended hot glue for stained wood and for painted wood.

Did I cover all you wanted to know about: Does Wood Glue Work on Stained Wood?

In this article, I have deeply discussed Does wood glue work on stained wood and how you should apply wood glue over stained wood with proper guidelines.

Furthermore, The best wood glues available on the market for stained wood with their pros and cons are discussed.

Apart from using wood glue on stained wood, we have talked about alternative glues such as hot glue and super glue which can also build a strong joint between the stained wood well.

However, in my experience, whatever the wood you’re working on, always make sure to apply wood glue before the staining. Because nothing builds a strong joint as bare wood to wood glue joint.

This is not applicable for some occasions, such as when gluing underlayers and areas we cannot reach.

For those areas, you can do the staining and then apply the wood as I discussed in this article.

Hope this article gave you a proper understating of how you should build a strong joint on stained wood without any issues. So, let’s give it a try!

Walter Parker is a woodworking enthusiast. He is passionate about woodworking projects & plays with woodworking tools having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Woodworking Planet. He wants to make people love woodworking! Read More About Him!

2 thoughts on “Does Wood Glue Work On Stained Wood? – Everything You Need to Know!”

  1. Hello! I am making a growth chart as a birthday present for a friend’s son. What type of glue would you recommend using to glue the numbers to the stained board? Thanks!


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