Wood glue is ideal for making small repairs on any wooden fixtures or furniture you may have in your yard. But it is important that you let the glue dry properly before sanding or painting.
Most types of wood glue will dry in 30 minutes to an hour, and take 24 hours to cure fully. However, there are a number of factors that affect drying time and can make it longer. Some types of glue, like epoxy, take up to 72 hours to cure.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about the drying time of different types of wood glue and the factors that impact drying time.
Table of Contents
- What Affects Wood Glue Dry Time?
- How Long Does it Take Wood Glue to Dry in Cold Weather?
- How Long Does it Take Wood Glue to Dry in Hot Weather?
- How Can You Make Wood Glue Dry Faster?
- How Long Does Wood Glue Take to Dry Before You Can Sand it?
- How Long Does Gorilla Glue take to Dry Outdoors?
- How Long Does PVA Glue Take to Dry Outdoors?
- How Long Does Titebond Glue Take to Dry Outdoors?
- Can You Use Interior Glue Outdoors?
- Can You Apply Wood Glue on Other Surfaces than Wood?
- Can You Paint Over Wood Glue When it’s Dry?
- Final Thoughts
What Affects Wood Glue Dry Time?
Type of Glue
Different types of wood glue each have their own drying time. PVA glue tends to dry a little faster than polyurethane glue. Epoxy is touch dry in around 30 minutes to an hour but it has a longer curing time than other types of wood glue. Cyanoacrylate, better known as superglue, only takes a matter of seconds before the bond is strong.
You will usually be using PVA for most simple repairs on wood, but polyurethane is best for wood with high moisture content. Epoxy gives a very strong bond but only works on certain types of wood. Ideally, it should not be used on wood with a high acid content, like oak or walnut.
Type of Wood
The type of wood makes a difference too. Some types have a higher moisture content than others, like pine. These woods will take longer to dry than those with lower moisture content, such as cedar.
Humidity can affect the dry time of wood glue significantly. Wood glue will take much longer to dry if the humidity is high and it will set more quickly if the humidity is low. This is because the moisture evaporates from the glue as it dries. If there is more moisture in the air, it naturally takes longer for the glue to fully dry.
Temperature is another factor in how fast wood glue dries. Cold climates will cause the moisture in the air to condense on cold surfaces like windows. Low temperatures also slow down chemical reactions, including the bond that takes place between glue and wood. However, when it is warm, the heat provides energy for the water molecules in the glue and causes them to evaporate faster, so your glue will dry much quicker.
Direct sunlight will dry out wood glue very quickly. This is because heat from direct sunlight causes the water molecules in the glue to evaporate more rapidly, speeding up the drying process. UV rays from the sun can also act as a catalyst for some types of wood glue, including epoxy, so it dries much faster.
However, be aware that certain types of glue will actually melt when the temperature is too high. Most modern products are made to be heat resistant, but it is still best to avoid using wood glue on extremely hot days.
The weather has an impact on the temperature and humidity levels, which both change the drying time of your glue. But you also need to consider whether it is going to rain or freeze over. If the glue gets wet before it has fully dried and cured, you may have to start over.
Check the weather before you start and find a relatively warm day (but not boiling hot) with no rain for at least 24 hours, or 72 if you are using epoxy wood glue.
How Long Does it Take Wood Glue to Dry in Cold Weather?
Wood glue drying times vary, but if you’re using PVA that is supposed to be touch dry in 30 minutes to an hour, you can expect to be waiting at least an hour, if not more before it is touch dry. In general, you need to give at least 24 hours for wood glue to dry fully.
How Long Does it Take Wood Glue to Dry in Hot Weather?
In hot weather, you can use the lowest end of the drying time range as a guide. The heat and UV rays will dry the glue a lot faster, so PVA tends to be touch dry in around half an hour.
However, you should always use your best judgment and, if in doubt, wait a bit longer for it to dry.
How Can You Make Wood Glue Dry Faster?
One way to make wood glue dry faster is to use a hair dryer. Blow drying the area with hot air will create warmer conditions, which speeds the evaporation of water molecules in the glue. This means it also dries more quickly than when you just leave it in the open air.
You can also use a UV lamp to speed up the drying process. The UV rays from the lamp will evaporate water molecules and set the glue more quickly than it would in normal conditions.
How Long Does Wood Glue Take to Dry Before You Can Sand it?
Wood glue should be fully cured before you sand it. You should give it at least 24 hours when using PVA or polyurethane glue, and 72 hours when using epoxy wood glue. However, if conditions are cold or humid and the glue is likely to dry slower, consider waiting longer.
You can sand wood glue before it is cured, in some cases. If you are not putting any stress on the joint that has been glued, and you are only sanding lightly, you should be fine. But it is still best to wait if you have time.
How Long Does Gorilla Glue take to Dry Outdoors?
Gorilla glue forms a bond quickly, so you only need to give it 20-30 minutes in clamps before it is dry. However, it still takes up to 24 hours to fully cure.
How Long Does PVA Glue Take to Dry Outdoors?
PVA usually takes 30 minutes to an hour to form a bond, and 24 hours to cure.
How Long Does Titebond Glue Take to Dry Outdoors?
Titebond needs to be clamped for 30 minutes to an hour before it is dry. But particularly difficult joints should be left in clamps for the full 24 hour curing time, if not longer.
Can You Use Interior Glue Outdoors?
Generally, it is best to use exterior wood glue outdoors. But PVC is generally considered an all-purpose wood glue that works for all applications. Just check the label on the glue to make sure that it is water-resistant before you use it outside.
Can You Apply Wood Glue on Other Surfaces than Wood?
PVA is almost always called “wood glue” by professionals, but it can actually be used for other types of materials aside from wood including paper, cloth, foam, and many plastics.
Epoxy resin is primarily designed for use on metal or plastic surfaces, but it can work well on wood if you are using an epoxy that is formulated to bond with it.
Superglue is designed to form a bond on almost any material. It will dry and form a bond in around ten seconds, so be careful when using it.
Can You Paint Over Wood Glue When it’s Dry?
Yes, you can paint over wood glue as soon as it is dry. However, you should always allow enough time for the wood glue to fully cure before painting over it. Make sure that the moisture level of the glue is low before painting.
Most wood glues dry fairly quickly and shouldn’t need to be clamped for too long. However, conditions outside can impact the drying time, so when in doubt, leave the clamps on for longer to make sure that you have a good bond. Always check the guidelines on the packaging too because not all glues are the same.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.