What are the best adhesives and sealants to use for home repairs and craft projects?
Dr. Dave details adhesive and sealant selections for various consumer applications.
Over a long career, I have worked with several adhesive and sealant technologies and have tried many of them at home. We all have our own preferences, and I do use several products regularly. I always have a tube of a superglue cyanoacrylate around for doing instant repairs. Cyanoacrylates are great when you don’t try to use them for unsuitable repairs; gaps must be small, and they don’t work as well on many plastics.
I am not a fan of many of the high-tech bottles that are sold these days. The aluminum tube is the best container for dispensing and to maximize shelf life. Put the used tube in the fridge, and the adhesive will be OK for years.
Tough acrylics are useful for bonding a very wide range of materials, including many plastics. I always have some fast-curing two-component epoxies around for high-strength repairs where gap filling is necessary. I find that the fast-curing epoxy putties are incredibly useful for bonding and filling holes. Two-component polyurethanes are very versatile where a lot of flexibility is desired in a joint.
For wood bonding, latex adhesives are the usual choice, although the newer one-component polyurethane adhesives give outstanding performance. For simple craft projects with fabrics and paper substrates, latex adhesives or the clear ones based on polyvinyl alcohol are the best products to use.
With sealants, I have always been a great fan of silicones for outdoor applications because of their water resistance and durability. For indoor applications, water-based acrylic caulk is usually adequate and is incredibly easy to tool with a damp sponge.
Any views or opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not represent those of ASI, its staff, Editorial Advisory Board or BNP Media.