TheCoolist is a mood board for your headspace.

    Best PVA Glue: The Only 12 Glues You Will Ever Need
  1. TheCoolist
  2. Home & Garden

Best PVA Glue: The Only 12 Glues You Will Ever Need

It doesn’t matter if you are a DIY expert, a part-time hobbyist, or a school art teacher, glue is an essential tool for any craftsman. What is the best PVA glue for your needs? We’ve got the answers, so keep reading.

Best PVA Glue Types

In this article, we will look at answering all your questions about PVA glue. What it is, and what are the best PVA glue options for your differing craft needs? and what are the best PVA adhesive options out there for your different projects?

Stick around as we address these questions and more in this article.

What Is Polyvinyl Acetate Glue?

What is PVA Glue

PVA glue is a rubbery, synthetic polymer made from Polyvinyl acetate. It is a frequently used glue that you can easily find at home, school, contractor’s job site, or a carpenter’s workshop. It goes by many names, which you have probably heard of including wood glue, Elmer’s glue, carpenters glue, and school or white craft glue.

PVA glue usually comes in white, but you can find yellow PVA glue. This is typically a carpenter’s glue. You may also come across clear PVA glue.

What’s So Cool About PVA Glue?

PVA Glue Features and Use

PVA glue has some cool features that set it apart from other glues.

First, despite having a name like polyvinyl acetate, it does not have a smell and does not release harmful fumes. In fact, PVA glue is the classic white glue used in school. In addition, it is non-toxic so, you can handle it with bare hands.

Peeling dried PVA glue from your hands is a childhood memory we all look back on fondly.

It is water-based, so you can conveniently clean up using just water or with soap and water while the glue is still wet. You can also add water to the adhesive to make it thinner as needed.

You can use this adhesive on different surfaces like wood, paper, fabric, ceramic, etc. There are also many specialty PVA glues available hence the variety of names it goes by.

It forms a flexible, sturdy, and permanent bond between surfaces. These qualities make it a choice glue for papercraft projects like scrapbooking and fabric art and crafts.

In most instances, except when dealing with wood glue and carpenter’s glue, the adhesive dries clear to produce flawless work. PVA glues made for woodworking usually dry in a tan or brown color to make bond borders match with the wood.

Finally, it is not acidic, hence its usefulness in binding and repairing books. Its acid-free nature means that it does not damage paper over time.

Top 12 PVA Glue for All Your Hobby Needs

Now let us look at a dozen of the best PVA brands of glue available. The list will include those suitable for your DIY projects, household repairs, woodwork, and bookbinding projects.

Let’s begin.

1. Elmer’s Disappearing Purple School Glue Stick

Best PVA Glue - Elmer’s Disappearing Purple School Glue Stick

Buy now

Elmer’s Disappearing Purple Glue Stick pack comes with 30, 0.24ounces glue sticks suitable for use on paper, foam, cardboard, and fabric. The PVA glue appears purple when applied to help young crafters apply with more precision. Once dry, the glue turns clear, ensuring posters and other crafts do not have unsightly glue marks.

You do not have to worry about your little ones using this PVA glue as it is non-toxic on the skin. It is also washable, so you can get rid of any glue on clothes without a fuss. Its acid-free nature means that art projects remain in pristine form for many years without any sign of degradation.


  • It is non-toxic, acid-free, and washable.
  • Suitable for young crafters.
  • It dries clear.
  • The glue stick allows for a mess-free application.


  • It does not have a strong stick like other PVA glues.

2. Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer, Glue, and Finish

PVA Glue - Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer, Glue, and Finish

Buy now

Every aspiring and expert crafter has heard of Mod Podge. This particular Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer, Glue, and Finish comes in a 16 liquid ounce bottle. You can use it on paper, fabric, ceramic, wood, and plastic.

You will need a brush or a sponge to apply this PVA glue to your projects. Mod Podge is particularly excellent for decoupage work as it dries fast, allowing you to build up several layers of paper without waiting for too long. The all-in-one craft glue dries clear and has a matte finish which gives your work a more natural look.

Unlike superglue, cleaning up extra glue when using Mod Podge has never been easier. All you need is a bit of water and soap and voila! It’s gone.


  • It dries clear and quickly.
  • It works well on multiple surfaces.
  • Mod Podge has a matte finish
  • Easy clean-up
  • It is non-toxic.


  • Messy application

3. Elmer’s Clear Liquid School PVA Glue

Elmer's Clear Liquid School PVA Glue

Buy now

Elmer’s Clear Liquid School Glue comes in a 32-ounce bottle. It is suitable for home and school use as it does not contain harmful chemicals. Like other water-based glues on this list, you can use it on many surfaces – paper, ceramics, wood, fabric, etc.

The smooth and transparent PVA glue acts as an excellent slime base, allowing kids to get creative with color and glitter. The glue has a non-runny consistency, which means less messy projects and more fun during use. It also does not set fast, so you and your kids can adjust any crafts for a perfect finish. You can also wash it out, making it one of the best choices for young crafters.


  • Versatile on different surfaces.
  • Non-toxic and washable.
  • Transparent glue allows for more creative art pieces.
  • Suitable for young and adult crafters.
  • You can reposition art pieces for a perfect finish.


  • It takes longer to dry.

4. Aleene’s Original Version Tacky Glue

PVA Glue - Aleene's Original Version Tacky Glue

Buy now

Aleene’s Original Version Tacky Glue comes in an eight fluid-ounce bottle that is smaller than most in this list. However, the pack of three is enough to carry out crafts, repair household items, or do some hobby project. You can use this all-purpose PVA glue on multiple surfaces, including felt, paper, and foam.

The Original Tacky Glue tip allows you to customize how much glue comes out of the opening. You have a choice of thin, medium, and large glue lines. For projects that require less glue, cut off the top tip – the thin tip, whereas, for larger projects, you should cut off the thick bit.

This white PVA glue is ideal for small projects because it takes longer to dry when applied on multiple layers. Like many water-based types of PVA adhesives, it is washable and not toxic.


  • It has a customized glue tip.
  • It is washable and non-toxic.
  • The Original Tacky Glue is excellent for paper crafts and simple projects.
  • It creates a strong bond when completely dry.
  • It dries clear.


  • It takes too long to dry.
  • The bottle is small.
  • It is not waterproof.

5. Elmer’s Glue-All Multi-Purpose Liquid White Glue

PVA Glue - Elmer's Glue-All Multi-Purpose Liquid White Glue

Buy now

Elmer’s Glue-All is an all purpose white PVA glue, it comes in various sizes -1.25 ounces to 1 gallon- depending on your needs. It creates a strong bond on paper, wood, leather, ceramic, and fabric, making it versatile. Making it ideal for household repairs, kid crafts, and DIY projects. It is also an inexpensive alternative medium for acrylic pouring. Take care because this is a fast-drying!

You will need to be accurate when aligning surfaces as you may not get a chance to reposition. This PVA glue dries clear for a flawless look.


  • It bonds to different surfaces.
  • It forms a strong permanent bond.
  • Glue-All is fast-drying and dries clear.
  • It is affordable.


  • It is fast-drying, leaving little room for repositioning.

6. Gorilla 6206005 Wood Glue

PVA Glue - Gorilla 6206005 Wood Glue

Buy now

The top dog in the world of wood glues, Gorilla designed Gorilla 6206005 PVA Wood Glue for use a variety of different pieces of wood. It comes in a 36 fluid ounce bottle, sufficient for all your woodworking and carpentry innovations and repairs. It works best on natural wood composites, hardwoods, and softwoods.

Gorilla glue is fast setting and needs a maximum of 30 minutes of clamp time and 24-hours to cure. It does not produce harmful fumes that will have you feel sick while using it. It is Type 2 water-resistant, allowing you to use it for indoor and outdoor projects. However, because the adhesive is not waterproof, avoid using it for pieces of wood that come into contact with water often.

This Gorilla Glue dries with a natural tan color that gives off a professional finish as the bond line appears natural. Unlike the school adhesives, wood glues such as this are sandable and paintable, giving you more room to customize your projects as you please.

Use and store Gorilla Glue at room temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results.


  • It is fast-setting.
  • It does not produce harmful fumes.
  • Water Proof PVA wood glue
  • The PVA adhesive has FDA approval for indirect food contact.
  • It dries with natural wood color.
  • It is affordable.


  • Opening the nozzle may take quite some effort.

7. Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue

PVA Glue - Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue

Buy now

Titebond is one of the top wood PVA glue brands on the market. It comes in five sizes, but today we feature the 16 fluid-ounce one.

It is one of the strongest wood glues, forming bonds that can withstand most weather conditions. Having a waterproof PVA glue base, this wood glue is perfect for outdoor use also. It is no wonder why this PVA water-resistant glue is a favorite adhesive for professional carpenters and woodworkers.

In addition, this PVA wood glue adhesive dries brown to resemble wood, giving your woodworking project a quality finish.

You can apply the PVA wood glue at temperatures as low as 47 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the right glue for any occasion.

One of the other many benefits of this wood glue from Titebond is that it is washable while wet, making it easy to clean up excess glue.


  • It creates strong bonds.
  • It dries brown, giving the bonded area a natural wood look.
  • The Titebond III is waterproof.
  • It is easy to clean when wet.
  • It does not foam.


  • It is pricier than most adhesives in the same category.

8. Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue

Best PVA Glue - Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue

Buy now

The Bearly Art Precision Glue is your go-to polyvinyl acetate glue when you need to craft work that requires extra precision. The varied tip sizes that come with this glue help you do just that so you have perfectly straight lines all the time.

The tip kit features an ultra-fine tip made from stainless steel and designed for high-precision craft tasks. It also features a fine tip cap for work that needs more glue but still needs an element of precision. In addition, it comes with a tip cap to prevent the adhesive from drying up and a cleaning pin to unclog the tips.

Despite creating a stronger bond than many other types of glue it remains flexible making it suitable for paper and fabric crafts such as scrapbooking, or any other art project. The craft PVA glue also dries clear and has a glossy finish which gives finished project a professional appearance.

The Bearly Art Precision Art glue is non-toxic, making it safe for use by adults and children. It has wrinkle-free and crack-resistant properties. It also remains smooth and clump-free due to its clump-resistant properties.

You can use it all year round, and it can conveniently thaw up to five times without changing its consistency after being frozen.


  • It is a strong bond adhesive that produces flexible bonds.
  • It is wrinkle, crack, and clump resistant.
  • The adhesive comes with multiple-sized tips for varied precision work.


  • It comes in a small pack.
  • It is expensive compared to other adhesives of the same size.

9. Books by Hand pH Neutral PVA Glue

Best PVA Glue - Books by Hand pH Neutral PVA Glue

Buy now

Books by Hand pH Neutral PVA Glue for bookbinding comes in an eight-ounce bottle with an easy-to-use nozzle. The PVA glue is water-soluble, making clean-up after convenient as you can use water to remove spilled glue. You can also thin this glue using water to extend its drying time, or else it dries fast.

The archival, acid-free polyvinyl acetate glue does not damage the paper on books due to its acid-free composition. It also does not brittle with age or become yellow with time making it excellent for repairing sentimental and vintage books.


  • It is pH neutral, so it does not damage paper surfaces.
  • It dries fast and appears clear when dry.
  • You can thin it to extend its drying time.
  • Easy to use.
  • Easy to clean.


  • It is not suitable for a variety of tasks.
  • You may need a paintbrush or applicator for some bookbinding projects.

10. Lineco Neutral pH PVA Glue

Best PVA Glue - Lineco Neutral pH PVA Glue

Buy now

The Lineco pH Neutral PVA Adhesive is great for bookbinding projects. It comes in an eight-ounce fluid-ounce bottle that has a pointed nozzle. Its pH-neutral properties mean that your valuable books will not get damaged

Lineco pH neutral glue creates a sturdy, permanent bond that will see the binding last for years to come. It appears white on application but dries clear for a polished look.


  • Excellent for bookbinding projects.
  • It produces a strong but flexible bond.
  • Is pH neutral, so pages on books do not get damaged.
  • dries fast and transparently.


  • You may need to buy a brush or applicator for easy application on some projects.
  • It has limited usage apart from on paper.

11. Craft Planet PVA School Glue

Best PVA Glue - Craft Planet

Buy now

If you are looking for good PVA glue for your artsy projects, then this waterproof PVA is a great option. It is your everyday glue that can be used on a range of projects. A strong and dependable adhesive that is perfectly safe for adults and kids to use on their crafts and hobbies at home and school.

It comes in a half-liter container, in a handy squeezable bottle. It is also washable, so you don’t need to worry too much about excess glue being spilled.


  • Great for kids
  • 100% Washable
  • Easy to use squeezable bottle
  • Nontoxic


  • Not suitable for outdoor use

12. Yes Paste All Purpose Glue

Yes Paste PVA Glue

Buy now

Another great PVA glue that can be used in a range of craft activities, from box sealing to woodworking projects. While it may not be useful for the finer details when binding books, it is a great PVA glue for scrapbooking and your all-purpose book repair needs.

Yes Paste PVA glue is not toxic and acid-free which makes it safe to use for adults and children. You can even use it to glue pieces of leather as well as wood pieces and papers.

Given its neutral properties, it makes a great paper adhesive because it does not lead to curling. Similarly, it has the strength required to adhere pieces of wood to one another. While it is not strictly a PVA wood glue, it certainly serves the purpose for most projects.

It is a thick glue that can be diluted with warm water to create a thinner paste for those finer art projects you might have.


  • Dries clear
  • Slow drying so allows time for adjustments
  • Can be used to bind books to a certain degree


  • Very thick and even when diluted with hot water requires brush application.

What Features to Consider When Choosing PVA Glue

PVA Wood Glue

Choosing the best glue can mean the difference between a successful DIY project and failure. Since we want you to have an outstanding experience with your PVA glue, here are a few things you should consider before buying one.

Adhesive Strength

How strong of a bond does the adhesive create? Your choice will depend on the type of project(s) you wish to carry out. For example, glue for creating paper art does not need as much glue strength as a wood project.

PVA glue is particularly adept at gluing porous materials.

Dry Time

Some types of PVA glue take longer to dry than others. For example, PVA Wood glue often takes up to 24 hours to set completely. While on the other hand, white PVA glue used in school takes a shorter time to dry.

Check if the glue is fast-drying or dries slowly. One that dries slower allows you to reposition objects if misaligned. You will not have that luxury with the fast-setting option.

Shelf Life

PVA glues have a shelf life of one to two years, though some can last longer if stored under the correct temperatures. Store your PVA adhesives at room temperature for a longer shelf life.

Ease of Use

PVA glues come in a variety of packages and forms, from storage to application options. Each has its advantages.

Glue sticks are perfect for paper tasks, and bottles with nozzle tips are suitable for precision applications. Bottles like Mod Podge are excellent for larger surface applications and you will need a clean brush or sponge to apply with ease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Elmer’s glue PVA?

Yes, it is. Elmers is one of the premier PVA glue brands.

What else can I use PVA glue for?

Apart from crafts, household repairs, bookbinding, and woodworking, you can use PVA glue as a drywall primer, a sealant for plaster, dust proofer, and a filler by adding sawdust.

What are some disadvantages of using PVA glue?

Most PVA glues do not have waterproof properties, so avoid using them for outdoor projects. You also need to use it and store it at room temperature for the best results and extended shelf life.

Final Thoughts of the Best PVA Glue

We hope you have a better understanding of PVA glue. We also hope you can comfortably choose the correct type for your project based on the adhesion strength needed, glue drying time, ease of use, and shelf time.

Whether you want something fully waterproof, or glue for porous surfaces, the different types of PVA glue on this list have you covered.

Have you tried one of the PVA glue bottles on this list? Are you a teacher who uses glue by the gallon with their students? Perhaps you’re one of the many woodworkers that use glue on most projects they take on. Whoever you are, feel free to share your best glue-related anecdotes with us in the comments section. We’d love to hear them.