Assembling an art project is fun until you notice some of the materials are styrofoam. And while you could use toothpicks or tape, they don’t hold things together as well as other adhesives. So, if you’re trying to keep your artwork together, then a dab of glue may be in order.
But there are many different types of glue to choose from, and not all of them will work with styrofoam. Finding the best glue for styrofoam can be tricky, and this is true whether you need to glue styrofoam to other materials, or if you need to glue various polystyrene plates together. And this is why our list of top picks can help you stick it all together.
- Very strong bond
- Does not dissolve styrofoam surfaces
- Smooth finish
- Easy to use
- No Mess
- Ideal for building materials
- Just as good for arts and crafts
- Strong bond
- Great hold
- Designed for styrofoam
- Works with most porous materials
- Works on porous and semi-porous surfaces
- Dries clear
- No run formula
- Dual-tip applicators, a broad tip and pen tip
- Safe to use on photographs
- Fast drying time
- Ideal for applications that require speed
- Usable sticks for high, low and dual-temp glue guns
- Non-toxic formula
- Dries clear and flexible
- Works with most materials including metal, styrofoam, plastic, ceramics, wood and more
- No-drip vertical application
- Works on most light-duty materials including styrofoam, metal, cork, wood and more
- Larger coverage
- Water-resistant and weather-resistant
- Bonds in 20 minutes, providing ample time to reposition before permanent
- Works with a wide range of construction materials
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
When working with styrofoam, it is important to understand that some glues and adhesives can damage the integrity of a styrofoam structure or outright melt it while others may not stick well at all and be ineffective.
The best glues that will work well in bonding styrofoam structures are usually made for use on polystyrene. These so-called styroglues are great for a wide range of styrofoam and polystyrene uses, as they will not melt the surface of the medium but are strong enough to create a viable bond. They are excellent at bonding polystyrene plates together.
Due to its reviews and general high-quality nature, the Uhu Por Styrofoam Glue deserves the title of top glue for styrofoam.
As one of the best glues for styrofoam, the Uhu Por Styrofoam Glue is an extremely popular option that is loved for a wide range of styrofoam applications. This product works amazingly to permanently bond styrofoam to other materials and itself, locking the foam in place with a strong cure hold.
Reviewers note that this glue is gentle and will not damage styrofoam while leaving a very smooth and seamless finish to the final product. This makes it truly a glue worth checking out for small and large jobs alike!
- Seamless bond
- Gentle on foam
- Long storage life
What is Styrofoam?
Styrofoam is also known as blue board. Styrofoam is made out of something known as styrene which is a petroleum-based product. Via polymerization, styrene is refined into polystyrene and then a hydrofluorocarbon agent is added. This mixture is then removed from the mixing vats and is poured onto flat beds. On these flat beds, the mixture then expands into what we know as a Styrofoam board.
Keep in mind that Styrofoam is technically a type of plastic. What also news to be taken note of is that Styrofoam is poisonous to both humans and the environment.
Something that we want to make very clear here is what Styrofoam is, particularly in relation to polystyrene. The reason we say this is because we use the term polystyrene very often in today’s article. Well, what you need to know is that polystyrene is the general name for this material, whereas Styrofoam is actually the trademarked brand name.
Types of Glue for Styrofoam
When looking for a glue for styrofoam, you have to consider a few things in order to ensure you are getting a product that will actually work to get the job done without damaging your materials. Due to this, it is crucial you understand what types of glues are suitable for use on styrofoam. Let’s explore your options.
Are you short on time or just want a quick answer?
Check out our list below for a summary of our results.
- Uhu POR Styrofoam Adhesive (Our Overall #1 Pick)
- Weldbond 8-50420 Multi-Purpose Adhesive Glue
- Everbuild Universal PVA Bond (Arts and crafts projects)
- Loctite PL 300 Foamboard VOC Latex Construction Adhesive (Scrapbooks and repairing photographs)
- Elmer’s E461 Craftbond Tacky Glue (All types of glue gun temperature settings)
- Tombow 62191 Mono Multi Liquid Glue – Dual Tip Multi-Purpose Glue (Doll repaints, collages and knick-knack repairs)
- Surebonder DT-2010 Clear Stik Glue Stick – Hot Glue for Styrofoam (Arts and craft projects, soundproofing, light-duty repairs and more)
- Aleene’s 17843 Quick Dry Tacky Glue – Craft Project Glue (Construction projects and repairs)
- 3M General Purpose 45 Spray Adhesive
- Liquid Nails LN-903 Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive, Tan
Epoxies are glues that result from epoxy resin after processing it into a functional product. There are a lot of different epoxies out there and some are entirely not suitable for styrofoam usage and will cause an exothermic reaction resulting in the polystyrene block melting. You need be very careful of the foam produced here, as it can be harmful to your skin. That being said, epoxies are fantastic for creating lasting, permanent bonds due to the cured nature of the final bond. If you need to bond polystyrene plates together, and you need that bond to last, then epoxy is a fantastic option to consider.
Two-Part Acrylic Adhesives
Two-part acrylic adhesives work wonderfully to bond polystyrene without breaking down the material or degrading its integrity. These can either require time to cure or need UV exposure to fully bond. Most of the time, the resulting bond is very clear and will not yellow with time, making it suitable for visible adhesion locations. In other words, if the polystyrene is going to be visible, then this is a good option to consider.
Silicone-Based Flexible Glues
Silicone-based glues provide flexible adhesion for areas that may regularly contact other surfaces and need a little give. They provide strong adhesion but may not be suitable for spaces that will endure a lot of wear and tear. This is best used for polystyrene that is not going to see a lot of traffic. This type of glue may also be used on acrylic.
Cyanoacrylate (Super Glue)
Cyanoacrylate is an acrylic resin that creates an incredibly strong, instant bond that is lasting and often permanent, thus making it quite perfect for use with polystyrene plates. It uses water in the air to form into a type of mesh; if there is not enough water in the air, it is not as effective. Still, in most climates it works perfectly to quickly bond two surfaces together, including styrofoam plates.
PVA or poly vinyl acetate is another type of glue that can be used for styrofoam. PVA is commonly known as both white glue and wood glue. As you can tell, the primary application of PVA glue is to bond materials such as paper, wood, and fabric. With that being said, PVA glue works well on porous materials. Polystyrene is a porous material, and therefore, PVA glue can be used for it. Just keep in mind that PVA glue is not all that strong. PVA glue is not the best option to go with for weight bearing applications. That said, if you are doing arts and crafts, and you are working with polystyrene, then PVA glue is a fantastic choice to consider.
How to Glue Styrofoam – Step by Step
Gluing polystyrene to other surfaces or even other plates of polystyrene is not a complicated process. First, you must select an appropriate glue type that is suitable for creating a bond on the surface without melting the material. Personally, we think that spray adhesive is a great way to go, as it works well for many applications. Then, you simply dry the surface of the foam and apply it as evenly as you can, per the directions on the packaging. Let it dry or cure as the directions dictate and you should be all set!
For a more indepth look, you can check out this video from Black Hill Foam Works! This explains how to glue polystyrene plates in a very concise manner.
Step by Step
- Whether you are looking to glue styrofoam to styrofoam, or to other materials, first and foremost, you need the right glue.
- Use a damp rag to wipe away any particles and debris, and then use a dry towel to dry the surface. If you expect the glue to stick properly, there cannot be any water or other particles present.
- Apply the product to the polystyrene surface as indicated on the product’s instructions.
- Depending on the product in question, you may have to clamp the two pieces together. Allow the product to dry and cure as directed on the packaging.
The biggest concern when using polystyrene is to always be aware if it is melting. Melting polystyrene plates can become liquidy and get onto the skin, causing burns or irritation. Also, when melting or otherwise exposed to heat, polystyrene can release carbon monoxide which is potentially toxic. If you see that foam forming, get away from it and wait until the reaction ceases. The pieces that make up polystyrene can also pose choking hazards to small children, as well.
The Best Glue for Styrofoam
The top best product [hide]
Glue for Styrofoam FAQ
Choosing a polystyrene glue that will allow you to stick together foam in all its many shapes and sizes can be tricky. You may also want a glue that works on materials other than styrofoam. And with a decent glue, you can make just about any styrofoam creation come to life. Below, you’ll find a table that can help you find the stickiest glue for your craft projects.
Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding types of glue for styrofoam.
How to glue styrofoam together with adhesives?
To glue polystyrene together, all you’ll need is an adhesive that bonds styrofoam without melting it too much. With your glue, add adhesive to both parts of the styrofoam you intend to bond. After you evenly coat the two pieces with adhesive, bring the parts together and let dry. Do remember that this type of foam can be very delicate, so using the right type of glue is essential.
What type of glue can you use on styrofoam?
The best type of glue for styrofoam is a polystyrene glue. This type of glue bonds well to the styrofoam, since they are of the same material. If you don’t want to wait too long for the glue to dry, then the best adhesive for styrofoam is cyanoacrylate. If you want to make life easier, a good spray adhesive works for many applications, particularly for gap filling after it has expanded.
What sticks to styrofoam?
The best adhesives for gluing styrofoam together are ones that work with this material. All-purpose adhesives will work on bonding other materials to styrofoam. If you intend on adhering rubber to styrofoam, then you’ll need to look for an adhesive that bonds with both rubber and polyethylene. Spray adhesive will stick to polystyrene, and thanks to its ease of use, it can be used for many different applications. Remember that for gap filling applications, you will need something that is expanded when dry.
On average, how long does styrofoam adhesives take to dry?
Drying times for most adhesives vary depending on the type of glue you use. As a general rule, you should wait a full 24 hours for the glue to cure completely. Many cyanoacrylate adhesives are fast-drying, so wait times can range from a few minutes to a few hours. Industrial adhesives will require longer drying times – up to 72 hours. A spray-on adhesive will not take very long to dry. Keep in mind that adhesives that end up expanded once dry, generally dry quite fast.
How do you remove excess adhesive from styrofoam?
At what temperature does styrofoam melt?
Does super glue work on styrofoam?
Finding an adhesive that works on styrofoam almost seems too good to be true. But with our top pick, or any of our decent alternatives, you’ll have styrofoam sticking to anything in no time. We hope with this guide that you have found the best styrofoam glue for your project.