Which Wood Glue is best for strong interior/exterior carpentry work

Check out which high strength glues & adhesives I use every day on site for mitre joints that last

Making sure you choose the best wood glue is essential. Using the wrong adhesive is pointless, you might as well not use any at all.

There are tons to to choose from so below are a few common areas that come up during carpentry work where you will need glue and then which type I use for the job.

Gorilla Glue is a ridiculously strong glue and it sticks to foam, metal, glass, ceramics, stone, wood - almost anything!. It's 100% waterproof, so is good for indoor or outdoor use. 

Gorilla glue expands in the joint, so can be great when you have porous timber or end grain to stick or the cuts are not the smoothest.

Gorilla wood glue can also be sanded, stained and painted. I don't just use it for loads of carpentry jobs but generally around the house too.

What is the strongest general purpose wood glue?

For general carpentry work I use Evostik PVA wood glue.

This is similar to the white PVA glue you would have used at school, that goes hard on your fingers and peels off.

Jobs I use PVA wood glue for;

  • Skirting board and architrave mitres 
  • MDF joints
  • Sticking moldings to timber 
  • Timber beadings etc. 
  • For gluing staircase components together including dowels, glue blocks & fitting spindles
  • Waterproof PVA glue is also available for external carpentry jobs like decking, balustrades and fascia miters too
PVA Wood glue

The best wood glue for strong mitres that stay tight

For really strong miter joints during finish carpentry work when gluing together things like skirting boards, architraves, kitchen cornices, crown molding etc. then the best wood glue you can use is Everbuild Mitre Glue.

Carpentry jobs I use Mitre glue for;

  • Skirting/architrave mitres
  • Cornice joins (length and corner joins)
  • Kitchen fitting 

This glue has two parts, the first you spread thinly and evenly on one mitre and the second part, the activator is sprayed onto the second mitre to be stuck to. Once the activator has dried you hold the two together firmly for 10 seconds (sometime less) and the mitre is solid! If you want a cheaper glue then use the PVA wood adhesive above.

PVA wood glue can work on soft wood and hard wood miters but it won't grab the two pieces together anywhere near as well as this.  This two part glue allows you to join the two pieces together before then fixing them to the wall or other aperture.

Which glue can you use to stick wood to walls?

When gluing timber to walls like when fixing skirting boards (not so much MDF), shelf battens and that sort of thing I use a grab adhesive like Gripfill or no more nails. Gripfill can also be used for small gap filling jobs, and I know chippies whose plaster boarding isn't that great and they use it for their gaps and to stick boards together so there's little chance of joints moving after plastering. I always have a tube of 'Grippa' in my tool bag as it's really useful for loads of jobs, during both first and second fix work. 

It is a pretty thick glue, and you should warm the tube before using if temperatures are really low just to make it more pliable. Don't get it on your clothes or in your arm hairs..

The best wood glue for sticking MDF skirting boards in place

Mega Grip is a great glue to use when sticking MDF skirting boards to dry-lined walls I use Mega Grip/No more nails and pin them in place with my nail-gun. 

The long nail gun pins hold the boards in place until the wood glue goes off, and you can also use it to fill along the top edge of the skirting like decorators caulk. It is a much thinner glue than Gripfill and easier to displace/spread behind skirting or other boards.

Adhesive for fixing Doors and window frames in place and sealing around them

Ok, so maybe you don't 'glue' door/window frames in as such.

But a great way to hold them in place while you fix them in difficult situations is to use Expanding Foam (500ml). This stuff can get you out of the sh*t!

My old Victorian house was a nightmare to get a decent fixing for the front door frame because the old bricks were loose, crumbling and just shattered when you try and drill them.

I used expanding foam to stick and hold the frame in place before it was plastered in on one side and rendered the other. It's great for filling all sorts of gaps, a recent customer of mine used it to plug holes in the fascia to stop mice getting into their loft!

The best type of glue to use for kitchen and bathroom worktop joints?

There are different types of worktops. When I am installing hardwood counters like Beech I use thin layer of Clear Silicone Sealant (unless the instructions that come with the tops say otherwise) in the joints after they've been cut to shape and length and then sealed with plenty of coats of oil. When I am installing Formica worktops I use Evo Stik Contact Adhesive. You put a coat on each edge and when its touch dry put the two together and cramp them up, solid.

What is your favourite wood glue to use for carpentry work and why? Use the comments box below!