7 Tips for Making Wood Glue Dry Faster

Someone applying a small trail of wood glue to a plank.

Wood glue is used specifically to bond two pieces of wood together. There are several different types of wood glue including urea formaldehyde resin adhesives, resorcinol formaldehyde resin glue, phenol formaldehyde resin, animal glues, polyvinyl acetate, polyurethane glue, epoxy, cyanoacrylate, contact cement, and more. However, there are a few general tips, no matter the type, that will help it dry faster so you can move on with your project that much sooner.

1. Use New Glue

The first way to make sure your glue dries fast is to be sure that the glue has not expired or is not close to expiring. Age will affect the performance of your glue overall, including extending its normal dry time. Using a fresh bottle will ensure that your glue dries as quickly as it’s supposed to.

2. Do Not Dilute

Never water down your glue in order to make it dry faster. This does not work in the way that you think. Instead, the diluted glue will just saturate your pieces, in turn making everything hard rather than sticky and ruining your adhesive bond.

3. Air Flow

Make sure your project is left in a well-ventilated space, as air flow can help dry the piece. Also, drier air can help, so if you live in a more humid climate, consider using a dehumidifier.

4. Thin Application

If you need really fast-drying wood glue then you do not want to apply it using thick layers since this will take much longer to dry. Additionally, a warm environment will help dry the glue faster because warm air can absorb more water from its surroundings. If you need it to dry really fast, think about using a hair dryer on a low setting.

5. Glue Plus Resin

If your wood glue is being used in conjunction with a resin like epoxy then you can add a bit more hardener to the mixture to accelerate drying time. However, you will have to glue things quickly because the solution will begin to harden immediately.

You could also mix up your own fast-drying wood glue. All you need is quick-drying glue and some sawdust from the wood. Mix these two together, apply it, and leave it to dry.

6. Polyurethane Wood Glue

Polyurethane glue is popular for wood and it is also waterproof. This wood glue does not dry in the traditional sense but will absorb the water from the glued objects which causes the material to expand and fill the space. Therefore, to get the glue to dry faster you can mist water onto what you are gluing.

Though this glue does take longer to dry than others, this period gives you time to correct any errors if necessary. Realize that this particular substance does not come off easily, so you may have to cut it or sand it off if you make a mistake. You can easily sand this into a thin coating and it also will accept wood stains.

7. Clamps

To make sure your wood glue sets properly and that the pieces are in the right spot you should clamp everything together. Holding the pieces yourself exactly in the right spot for hours is just not feasible.