PVA Glue vs Elmer’s

If you’re looking for glues for DIY repair projects or art projects, you may have multiple options to choose from that fit your purpose. Most glue options are viable and suitable depending on your specific wants and needs.

PVA Glues are one of the most common household glue you can find that you can use for many purposes. On the other hand, Elmer’s is also one of the alternatives since it functions similarly but has some differences too. So, which one should you pick, PVA Glue vs. Elmers? Please keep reading for an informed decision, as I’ll review their features and differences here.

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PVA Glue vs. Elmer’s Glue

PVA Glue

What is PVA Glue?

PVA Glue is the common name for a category of glues from various brands which are colorless, odorless, and non-toxic. PVA stands for poly-vinyl acetate, the primary component in PVA Glues.

PVA Glues are suitable for various household items and repairs and are safe to use by beginners since it’s non-toxic and non-flammable. Furthermore, when you use PVA Glues, there are no extra fumes, making it even safer. PVA Glue works well with porous materials like – Paper, Wood, Plywood, Foam, Balsa Wood, or other porous surface materials.

PVA Glue is water-soluble; you can thin it further by adding water and stirring well to mix it. To form a proper bond, PVA Glue needs to penetrate the surface; hence it only works with porous surface materials.

PVA Glue has a fast drying time and forms a permanent bond once cured. Unlike many other adhesives, PVA Glue does not become brittle or crack with age; it sustains its flexibility. Besides using PVA Glue to bond between materials, you can also use it as a primer or sealer for many materials.

Read More: Glue All vs. School Glue

What is Elmer’s?

Elmer’s Glue-All is one of the products made by Elmer’s Products and works well with many materials. Elmer’s Glue composition also contains polyvinyl acetate or PVA, polyvinyl alcohol, Propylene Glycol, and some other components; however, the exact design is unavailable to the public since it’s proprietary.

Elmer’s Glue-All works well with various materials like – Wood, Paper, Pottery, or Fabric. While you can use Elmers for these materials, if you plan to use them for a long time, you should consider alternatives since Elmer’s Glue turns yellow and decomposes over time.

Elmer’s Glue is excellent for various arts or crafts projects, cardboard, or minor household repairs. Elmer’s Glue composition contains polyvinyl acetate, but the design has been refined to suit better light applications.

Elmer’s Glue is odorless, non-toxic, and has low flammability, making it ideal for beginners or household repairs and projects. 


Differences Between PVA Glue And Elmer’s Glue

Now that I’ve reviewed what PVA Glue and Elmer’s Glue are, their features, and what you use them for, let’s look at how they differ.

Suitable Materials

PVA Glue works well with porous surfaces, so it is good to use for Paper, Wood, Plywood, Cardboard, Foam, Balsa Wood, and more. Since PVA works only with surfaces the glue can penetrate, you can’t use it with materials with smooth surfaces like – Metal or Glass.

On the other hand, Elmer’s works well with – Paper, Wood, Cardboard, Fabric, or Pottery. Elmers is excellent for art and crafts projects requiring paper, cardboard, or wood for their composition.

Common Uses

PVA Glue can form a permanent yet flexible bond between porous surfaced materials. You can also use PVA Glue for small arts and crafts projects or as a primer or sealer for many surfaces.

On the other hand, Elmer’s Glue is excellent to use for light arts and crafts and repair projects. Unlike PVA Glue, Elmer’s will start to decompose over time, so it’s not suitable for bonding materials you plan to use for a long time.

Dry Time and Cure Time

Both PVA Glue and Elmer’s have similar drying and cure time. The glues begin to cure within approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour. Depending on the surface, a complete cure takes up to 24 hours.

Elmer’s will dry faster than PVA if you use it on paper.

Last Opinion

So which one should you go for in the PVA Glue vs. Elmer’s debate? Both can be good for you.

If you’re planning to use the materials for a long time, PVA Glue would be better for you. Furthermore, PVA is more water-resistant than Elmer’s.

On the other hand, while you can use PVA for small arts and crafts projects, the composition of Elmer’s makes it a superior choice.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for the information. I am working on a book project and do want it to last, so I will go get some PVA. Even though I do have Elmer’s already. The PVA I had turned sour and stinky, so I thought I might try Elmers, but don’t want to waste time making a handmade structure and not have it last. Appreciate your concise information!

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