While nails are great for joining wood pieces, they come short in creating strong, lasting chemical bonds. In such scenarios, what you need is the best wood glue.
Most wood glues work by seeping into the wood fibers to create an almost inseparable bond between the joining surfaces. To attempt to separate them can result in the destruction of the wood piece or furniture.
Besides having high bond strength, the best wood glue for outdoor furniture must be water-resistant so it can be able to withstand the conditions outside.
In this article, we discuss seven of the best wood glue for outdoor furniture that is ideal when you are working on a minor DIY repair or a major home update.
How to choose the right glue for your outdoor wood furniture
Being able to identify the right adhesive for your project is an important skill to have as a woodworker or DIY hobbyist. In this section, we go over the key things to look at when shopping for the best wood glue for exterior furniture.
Type of Glue
There are four major types of wood glues based on popularity. These include:
PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate)
PVA is a yellow-based wood glue commonly used for wood-to-wood joining. It’s often referred to as carpenter’s glue and is one of the most popular options out there.
PVAs are known for being highly water-soluble and create a strong, permanent bond, especially when clamping is employed. It is usually non-toxic on the skin and can be used on a wide range of products.
Besides the yellow form, PVA also comes in a white form. While the yellow glue is mainly for outdoor use, the white glue works indoors.
The major drawback with PVA glues is that they are difficult to stain.
Polyurethane glues provide high bond strength that works well with heavy-duty projects. They are commonly used to join pieces of molding and other woodworks that involve attaching the grains end to end.
The glues need to be activated by moisture and exposed to air for proper setting. They are usually waterproof and so work for both indoor and outdoor applications.
The major downside of polyurethane is that it’s highly toxic, so proper care should be taken while handling it. You should wear the right protective gear and work in a well-ventilated area.
Like PVAs, polyurethane glues don’t accept wood stains but can be painted.
Epoxy glues are made up of two separate parts – a resin and a hardener. These parts need to be mixed in specific proportions to create a strong permanent bond.
The glues are typically used for filling gaps and joining wooden surfaces. Their waterproofness also makes them an excellent option for building boats. They are commonly used by professional woodworkers.
Like PVA, epoxy is non-toxic; however, it can still be irritating. So, it’s still necessary to wear protective gear.
Cyanoacrylate adhesives are great when working with pieces of hardwood. They create a hard, rigid bond that dries and cures quickly and may be used with an accelerator. It is for this reason they are often called “superglue.”
However, even though they create a tight, rigid bond, the glues don’t actually soak into the wood fibers. Instead, they sit on the surface.
This is why they are mainly used when you need to create a temporary bond, such as a reinforcement. They can also be mixed with sawdust to fill in cracks.
It is worth noting that cyanoacrylate glues need to be applied to damp wood, as they don’t bond on dry wood. Also, due to their quick-drying, great precision is required while working with them.
Most wood glues in this category have a short shell life and may no longer work after one month of opening them.
If you’re purchasing glue for an immediate project, and don’t plan to use it later, then it’s ok if it has a short shelf life.
However, if you’re going to save the glue for future projects, you need something with a longer shelf life. We recommend nothing less than three months.
Some glues can actually last up to 2 years on the shelf. A good example is the Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue.
One way to increase the shelf life of any glue is to close the bottle immediately after use.
Color is not so important if you care less about aesthetics. But if you do, then you must pick a glue that doesn’t have a color stain that can significantly alter the natural beauty of the wood grain.
Some glues are usually colorless and leave behind a clear finish, while others come in different color options. Whatever option you choose, make sure it’s something that won’t have much effect on the normal aesthetics of the furniture.
If you’re applying the color to a remote part of the furniture, then the color may not matter so much.
Working with a strong but toxic glue can do more harm than good if you don’t handle it properly. Before you put out your money for any glue, make sure you check its level of toxicity.
It’s best to work with non-toxic glues to guarantee your safety. However, for the toxic ones, you need to know how to handle them properly.
PVA glues are usually non-toxic, so they are safe to use as long as you don’t swallow them. Epoxy can cause skin irritation, so you need to wear protection while using it.
Polyurethane and cyanoacrylate are usually toxic and require wearing protective gear and working in a well-ventilated environment.
Some glues are meant to be used only on wood. This is fine if that’s all you need it for. However, if you plan to work on other materials besides wood, then go for something multipurpose.
Almost all the glues on the list are versatile and can work on other surfaces besides wood. These include but are not limited to plastic, glass, ceramic, and metal.
Water-resistant glues don’t get disjointed when exposed to water or moisture. This is exactly what you need when working on outdoor furniture.
So, make sure you choose a glue that is water-resistant.
One way to figure this out is to check the waterproof certification on the product. Most times, this is indicated by the ANSI certificate type.
Glues with type I water resistance usually offer the most protection against moisture.
Stainable or not?
Some glues cannot be stained or painted on. If you plan on using such glue, make sure it’s easy to clean, so you can wipe off any leftover on the wood surface.
However, if you plan on applying a stain on the wood after gluing, then make sure the glue is stainable.
You can always check the product description to find out.
While some glues don’t accept stains, most can be painted on. Choose based on your project requirement.
The glue’s drying time is the exact amount of time it takes to dry after being applied to the workpiece. Some glues dry almost instantly or within a few seconds after application, while others may take 15-30 minutes or more to dry completely.
A long or short drying time can either be a blessing or disaster, depending on your job requirements.
If you’re dealing with a time-sensitive project, then you will need glue that dries in a short time (maybe, 5-10 minutes) or almost instantly. Choosing anything less can complicate your work, making it difficult to achieve the desired result.
However, if your work requires you to position or clamp the wood after applying the glue, then you will need something that takes a longer time to dry.
In addition to the drying time, you may also need to consider the curing time, which is how long it takes the bond to achieve full strength. This can be anywhere from a few minutes to several days, but most glues usually take about 24 hours to cure. However, this can be influenced by external conditions such as heat and humidity.
TIP: For even quicker drying, consider applying a thin layer of glue instead of a thick layer. Also, we highly recommend working in a warm environment to make drying faster.
Viscosity refers to the degree of liquid consistency of the wood glue.
Glues with low viscosity are best suited for small projects such as filling in cracks or re-bonding previously assembled furniture. You can also use them for hobby-related crafts such as jewelry making.
Although the glue dries quickly, it tends to be runny and messy. Make sure you have a piece of damp cloth to wipe off any leftover or excess glue.
On the flip side, we have glues with high or thick viscosity, which are meant for more heavy-duty projects. They are typically used for bonding two pieces together (such as wood, leather, and fiberglass) and filling in midsize gaps or openings.
How to Effectively Use Wood Glue For Outdoor Furniture
Here are some useful tips to follow when using wood glues.
Use the glues within their shelf life. Most adhesives will begin to lose their strength once they exceed their shelf life. So make sure you use them before the end of the period.
- Make sure you clean the wood surfaces thoroughly before applying the glue. You don’t want anything to stand in the way or limit the bond strength.
- Keep the nozzle unclogged by cleaning it each time you use the glue. Keeping it till the next time can cause clogging.
- Always wear your gloves, especially when working with non-toxic glues like polyurethane.
- In the event, the glues get on your hand or finger, consult your doctor or look up instructions on the product on how to remove it.
- To minimize leaks, you can tape glued joints to seal them off and give the glue enough time to dry.
- You don’t need a lot of adhesives to create a strong bond. Instead, apply a thin layer using your brush.
- Hold wood surfaces with clamps while waiting for the glue to dry and cure completely.
- Don’t join multiple pieces at a time, as this can create a lot of pressure in the joints.
- Allow the glue to cure completely before using the furniture. This is important to avoid ruining the bond.
- For excessive glue or leftovers, use a scraper or chisel to get it off. You can further sand it down to make things more even.
Best Wood Glue for Outdoor Furniture Reviews
To help you overcome the hurdle of choosing from so many wood glues in the market, we have picked out seven of the best products in the market.
1. Titebond Premium Glue
The Titebond Premium II is arguably the best budget wood glue in the market and is perfect for both DIY repairs and professional woodworking projects.
The glue is a product of Franklin International, one of the most reputable brands in the glue-making industry, which says a lot about its quality. It’s also the first one-part adhesive to pass ANSI Type II water-resistant test.
This makes it the premium option for both indoor and outdoor wood furniture. No need to add any extra catalyst or hardener; it works perfectly as it is!
One of the major highlights of the glue is its fast set time. It takes only 10-30 minutes to produce a robust and durable bond.
The exact setting time depends on the surrounding temperature and the wetness of the wood. However, after it sets, you need to allow 24 hours for the bond to achieve full strength.
The only thing we didn’t like about the glue is that it’s a bit runny, despite having thick viscosity. You can use a damp piece of cloth to clean up any squeeze-out or spillage while still wet. However, once the glue dries, you will need to sand it off, which is relatively easy.
If you don’t have time for sanding (which we recommend), you can use a putty knife to peel off the excess glue or just add alcohol to soften it. However, the work won’t look as nice as it would when you sand it.
We also love the fact that the glue is non-toxic and FDA-approved. This makes it safe for indirect food contact. So, you can use it to repair kitchen furniture without worrying about any incident of food poisoning.
The major problem with the glue is that it doesn’t work well for temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. So it might not be the best glue to use during winter or colder climates.
- Comes with a non-clogging nozzle
- Paintable and stainable
- Non-toxic and solvent-free
- Easy to clean with water
- Can be sanded down for better detailing
- Not ideal for low temperatures
- Not thick enough for some projects
2. Gorilla Wood Glue
The Gorilla Wood Glue is a water-based adhesive with incredible holding power and quick drying time. It is easy to use and dries down to a nice color that blends in well with the original wood grain.
Although it’s more common among casual DIYers, it can also be used by expert woodworkers for all kinds of projects involving any type of wood.
The glue is made in the USA, and as the name suggests, it possesses”gorilla” strength and penetrates more than 2-inches deep in the wood grain. Consequently, it’s able to outperform most of its competitors.
Like Titebond, Gorilla has a fast set time – around 20-30 minutes. So you have enough time to make any adjustments while the glue hardens.
It takes around 24 hours for the glue to fully cure. When dried, it takes up a natural-looking tan color that eliminates the need for more finishing work. However, you can still sand and stain the wood if you wish.
In addition, unlike some other wood glues, Gorilla doesn’t require a specific temperature range to work. You can use it in both hot and cold climates. It has type-II water resistance, so it’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications and works for any wood type and composites.
The glue container comes with a cap that makes it easy to use the glue on small gaps and tight corners, which would be normally hard to get to.
In the case of a leftover, we recommend using a palm sander. Using alcohol or acetone can be difficult.
Since this is a water-based glue, it appears to be quite runny, especially when used in excess. So make sure you have a rag at hand to clean up the mess before it dries.
Overall, Gorilla is a great glue to have. Compared to many other premium glue bottles, it has a more affordable price tag. Given everything it brings to the table, we think it’s a steal!
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- Can be used on various materials
- Dries to a natural tan color
- Doesn’t foam
- Great pricing
- High bonding strength
- Easy to use
- Nozzle can be hard to clean
- Bottle can be stiff
3. Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue
While the Titebond II comes with a fast setting time, the Titebond III grants you a longer assembly time, which allows it to create a stronger bond. This makes it suitable for a broad range of applications.
The clamping time is around 20-30 minutes, while it cures fully in 24-30 hours.
The glue acts by penetrating deep into the wood fibers, creating a long-lasting seal. The cap features a control tip which makes it easy to control the amount of glue coming out from the bottle.
Like its predecessor, the Titebond III has type-1 water resistance, which makes it ideal for exterior use, but it works as well indoors. We are also impressed with the superior tacking the glue provides initially, making it super user-friendly.
Like other traditional PVAs, it’s pretty easy to clean up with water. Also, its high viscosity makes it easy to apply to rounded corners and tight spaces.
The glue is non-toxic, and FDA approved, so it’s safe to use on cutting boards and other surfaces that often come in contact with food. However, it can be harmful when ingested.
You have the option to sand the glue in case of leftovers or to obtain a finer finish.
In addition, while the Titebond II only works great for temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the Titebond III has a lower application temperature. This is an important distinction to have in mind!
Besides its little runniness, most people might find the glue expensive, which shouldn’t come much as a surprise since this is a Titebond product. However, even at the current, it’s still worth every penny.
- Doesn’t irritate or burn the skin
- Can be stained or painted without being splotchy
- Superior strength
- Longer assembly time
- Works great at lower temperatures
- Long shell life (up to 2 years)
- Easy to use and non-toxic
- On the pricey side
4. FastCap Solo Thick Adhesive Refill
If you’re looking for an effective glue for time-sensitive projects, then the FastCap Thick Wood Glue will make an excellent choice.
It takes only 30 seconds for the glue to dry and bond. Specifically, it takes less than 20 seconds to initiate bonding, but full curing is achieved in 30 seconds. You can use an activator to make things faster.
The glue is specifically designed for large-scale projects, such as kitchen upgrades, but can still be used for small DIY repairs. Its high viscosity is industrial grade and works perfectly for joints.
One of the major highlights of the glue is its consistency. Unlike many other formulas, it doesn’t drip or run, especially when it’s applied on a non-flat surface.
However, you must be careful enough not to apply excess of it, or else it might still create a mess. As long as you use the right amount, the glue should produce a fine, solid repair.
FastCap is perfect for situations where using clamps is difficult or not feasible. You can use it on wood, plastic, and granite.
In addition, it is resistant to heat and moisture, so you can use it for your outdoor projects.
Our only complaint is that the bottle is too light, which makes it easy to knock over. So you need to be very careful to avoid spilling the content. Any heavy object can be used to bring stability, such as a bolt or wood clamp.
Overall, we find the FastCap Solo Glue to be good at everything it promises. We highly recommend it for time-sensitive projects.
- Great for situations where clamps are not available
- Non-clogging caps
- Easy to use with spray and applicator bottle
- Extremely versatile (works on different surfaces)
- Dries almost clear
- Quick-drying and bonding
- Bottle could be heavier
- A bit expensive
5. Elmer’s Inc E7000 Carpenters Wood Glue
The Elmer E7000 carpenters wood glue is an economical option that provides exceptional bond strength. As the name suggests, it is specifically designed for carpentry and is perfect for DIY repairs and general household projects.
However, despite producing durable seals for both soft and hardwoods, it’s not fully waterproof. So it’s more targeted towards indoor wood furniture. However, we still think it can pass on outdoor wood as long as you don’t expose the furniture to rain and other moisture conditions.
The glue is not affected by mold, heat, and mildew.
Clamping time is around 20-30 minutes, but we recommend you give it up to 24 hours to bond fully.
Once the curing is complete, you can sand and paint over the glue. This allows you to get creative with the project and achieve the desired color finish.
Another good thing about the glue is that it’s pretty easy to clean, especially when it’s still wet. It only requires water cleanup; you can use a damp cloth for this purpose.
Furthermore, the glue is non-toxic and doesn’t release any toxic fumes. So, there’s no need to wear gloves, respirator, and other protective clothing while using it. No need to worry about skin irritation.
We wish the nozzle was a bit more finesse in design, as it needs meticulous handling to avoid spilling the glue everywhere. Maybe a unicorn tip would have been better. Despite the minor design flaw, the nozzle still makes it easy to reach tight spaces and fiddly areas.
Overall, we are impressed with this wood glue. It might not be the most effective solution for exterior furniture, especially in low-temperature areas, but it’s still a good option to consider. The price couldn’t have been more attractive.
- Very affordable (best budget-friendly option)
- Can be sanded and painted over
- Easy to apply
- Non-toxic and quick to cleanup
- Resistant to mold and mildew
- No offensive odor
- Doesn’t dry clear.
6. J-B Weld 50151 WoodWeld Epoxy Syringe
J-B Weld 50151 is an epoxy glue known for its quick action and high tensile strength. It is specifically designed for small DIY repairs in the home that require only a tiny amount of glue. A good example is when you need to fill a little gap or crack on a wood surface.
Like other epoxy glues, J-B Weld consists of two parts – a resin and a hardener. Both of these components are provided in different tubes and are dispensed via the syringe.
The mixing of the two materials (1:1) usually results in a putty-like paste that creates a bond that is stronger than the wood being joined.
Interestingly, it takes only 6 minutes for the bond or cracks filler to set and not more than 3 hours for it to cure completely.
So, the glue is used chiefly for time-sensitive projects and doesn’t require clamping. Once cured, it can be sanded, drilled, and painted.
The bond created is entirely waterproof, so it’s ideal for outdoor applications.
The glue comes off thick, which can be a plus if you’re applying it to vertical surfaces. It doesn’t drip.
However, this also comes with a downside as it makes it a bit difficult to evenly spread the glue without the applicator. A brush is usually not effective. If you don’t have the applicator, then consider using a putty knife.
It’s worth noting that the glue isn’t non-toxic, so use with caution. Make sure the area you’re working in is well-ventilated. Wear proper protection like gloves (rubber), respirator and safety goggles.
Overall, the J-B Weld is a nice wood glue with excellent workability. It’s definitely a top contender for the best wood glue for furniture. For its price, it comes highly recommended.
- Easy to mix
- Widely versatile
- Dries to a nearly clear finish
- Can be painted over
- Great for vertical surfaces
- Good workability (doesn’t foam or shrink)
- Doesn’t require clamping
- Applying the glue can be time-consuming due to its thickness
- Hardens very fast
7. Loctite PL Premium Polyurethane
The Loctite PL Premium Construction Glue is a polyurethane-based adhesive with formidable strength and a good set time. It offers superior tacking and works well for both interior and exterior use.
Being polyurethane-based makes this an all-purpose glue. So you can use it for a wide variety of projects to create bonds that last for life.
In fact, compared to standard construction glues, the Loctite PL is three times stronger and may be applied to other materials besides wood.
It is completely waterproof and cures both in hot and cold weather conditions.
Once applied, it takes about 30 minutes for it to set and about a day for it to cure completely. You can apply it to a wet or chilled surface, and it won’t shrink.
The glue is also paintable and doesn’t give off any strong solvent smell. It is completely waterproof and is mainly used for construction works. In fact, you might even find it more reliable than metal nails.
In addition, the glue is incredibly versatile. It works on both porous and non-porous surfaces. This means you can use it on other materials besides wood. These include but are not limited to fiberglass, metal, cement, brick, marble, ceramic, concrete, and lead.
Also, unlike most of its competitors, Loctite doesn’t drip or create a mess when applied in the right amount.
Our major complaint about this product is that it has very little quantity of glue and doesn’t dry quickly. But that shouldn’t be a big deal if you’re using it for the right project.
Please, considering this is a polyurethane product, make sure to wear your gloves to avoid skin irritation.
- Ideal for different materials
- Highly waterproof
- Not drippy or messy
- Great price
- Works in both hot and cold weather
- Container and glue is small
- Dries slowly
Finding the best wood glue for outdoor furniture can be a crapshoot, but getting it right can make or break your project.
After several hours and weeks of research and testing, we were able to identify the top seven products in the market right now.
Of course, there are other good names that didn’t appear on the list, but the ones listed here are a great place to start. They are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and will give you the upper hand in any woodworking project.
If you’re a complete newbie to wood glues, then we advise checking out the buyer guide section before making your final decision.
Let us know if you have any more questions about choosing the best wood glue for furniture. Till then, happy gluing!