Home » Spray Adhesive Guide – Everything You Need to Know

Spray Adhesive Guide – Everything You Need to Know

Do you want an easy type of glue or adhesive that won’t make a mess when you’re using it? If so, you have definitely come to the right place. If you are building small things, scrapbooking, doing arts and crafts, or making repairs, something that you might want to consider using is spray adhesive. What we want to do right now is to provide you with all of the information that you need about spray adhesive so you know what you were getting into.

Spray Adhesive

What is Spray Adhesive – Main Types

Its most basic form of spray adhesive is a special type of glue or adhesive that is dispensed out of a can using aerosol.

This glue or adhesive is kept in the can under high amounts of pressure and that pressure is then used to dispense the glue once the button on the top is pressed. The glue is dispensed as a mist, and it is therefore very easy to apply just a thin layer of it.

Now what can get very complicated and confusing is the fact that spray glues can be made out of different ingredients, or in other words, different types of adhesives.

The fact of the matter here is that there are too many to talk about, required quite honestly, it’s way too complicated, because once aerosol cans are involved, things get really scientific.

Some form what is essentially plastic, some are silicone, some are rubber, some are vinyl, and more.

All that being said, just like most other types of glue, the end result is more or less a thin layer of what amounts to plastic. Take note that there are many different types of spray adhesives out there based on what applications they are designed for. Let’s take a quick look at the main types of spray adhesives that you might find.

  • One type of spray adhesive that you might find is known as artists. As he said this is specially designed for exploratory work with very lightweight materials. The reason for this is because it can be lifted and repositioned before it dries. Is therefore ideal for artists who need to choose layouts and who are engaging in design creation. Keep in mind that this type of spray adhesive is not designed to form very permanent bonds.
  • Another type of spray adhesive you should be familiar with its photo Mount spray adhesive, which as the name implies is designed to Mount photos to things like scrapbooks.
  • The next type of spray, he said that you need to know about isn’t simply known as spray glue or general spray adhesive, and this stuff is designed for a wide variety of tasks. Now there are different types of general spray adhesives, with what specific ones being designed for specific tasks. For instance, one type is designed to permanently bond things like vapor barrier’s, carpet padding, and polyethylene sheeting. There are also some which are designed for scrapbooking, making reads and other such things. You may also find special types of sprayed piece of design for building models.
  • There is also a special type of adhesive out there known as spray foam adhesive, which is like a normal adhesive, but specifically designed to bond various types of foam including Styrofoam.
  • Yet another type of spray adhesive is spray fabric adhesive, which as you might be able to bond various fabrics, although this stuff usually cannot be put in a laundry machine.
  • There are also other far more specialized types of spray adhesives out there.

When Was Spray Adhesive Invented?

What is surprising to know is that spray adhesive has actually been around for quite some time. Spray adhesive was first invented in 1964 by a company known as 3M, when they made the first glue contained inside of an aerosol can. Since its initial creation, many different brands have created many special types of spray adhesive.

How Spray Adhesive Works

how spray adhesive works

Due to the fact that spray adhesive is pressurized adhesive inside of a can that uses aerosol to dispense it, how it works is a bit complicated, although we will do our very best to explain it in detail.

First of all, spray adhesive is contained inside of a can. The Cam is completely airtight with only one single method of dispensing. When the button on top of the can is pushed, the aerosol forces the rest of the ingredients out of the can.

Now, the reason why spray adhesive doesn’t solidify in the can is because it can’t contain solvents.

There are solvents contained in the can which prevent the adhesive from becoming solid and tail it is dispensed from. Sad can. Once the adhesives are dispensed from the can, the solvents evaporate into the air, thus only leaving the glue behind, which dries and cures.

The real issue here is the fact that different spray adhesives are made out of different materials and therefore they dry or cure in very different ways. Let’s remember that the term “spray adhesive” is very general and refers to any type of adhesive that is kept inside of and dispensed out of an aerosol can.

Some made here simply by allowing the moisture to evaporate, while others require two or more different compounds to mixed together, thus creating a chemical reaction that often involves heat and moisture in order to cure.

The Curing Process

Once again describing the curing process of spray adhesives is very difficult due to the fact that they are so differential. Some spray adhesives cure through a chemical reaction that creates heat. Some spray adhesives cure simply by allowing the water to evaporate out of them.

With all of that said, one of the bath massive benefits of spray adhesives, something that they all had in common, is the fact that they all dry and cure extremely quickly. Although there are of course some exceptions, the fact of the matter is that most sprayed, he says, keep dry and cure within a few seconds to a few minutes.

That said, there are some spray adhesives that can take up to 24 hours to fully cure. Remember that there are also special varieties of spray adhesive that are designed to not dry quickly, thus allowing you to reposition your artwork as needed.

How Strong is Spray Adhesive

This is another very difficult question to answer due to the fact that spray glue comes in so many different types. Simply put, some are not strong at all and don’t really form a permanent bond whatsoever, while others can hold out several thousand pounds of weight. The fact of the matter is that spray adhesives are generally quite strong, especially the more special types.

Loctite spray adhesive testing

Now, when it comes to solvent resistance, water resistance, UV resistance, and impact resistance, exactly how good the glue in question is depends on the exact type and chemical makeup.

Once again, there are so many different types of spray adhesives that we cannot make a general assessment across the board. Therefore, it is recommended that you do some research on specific products in relation to the tasks that you want to accomplish.

What is Spray Adhesive Used for

As you can probably tell by now, due to the fact that there are so many different types of spray adhesives, there are also many different applications that they can be used for.

Let’s take a look at the main purposes and applications that people tend to use this stuff for.

Arts and Crafts

Perhaps the most common application that spray adhesive is used for is in arts and crafts of all sorts. Spray adhesive is very easy to use and to apply without making a mess. Moreover, it usually has the ability to bond with a variety of craft materials including paper, construction paper, cardboard, wood, fabric, felt, leather, small gemstones, stones, and other similar items. Moreover, it dries clear and thin, thus preserving aesthetics.

Bonding Fabric

There are some special types of spray adhesive designed to bond various fabrics together, as well as leather. These are specially made to adhere to porous fabric, although they are generally not laundry machine proof.

General Repairs

Another thing that spray adhesive can be used for is for general repairs. Small items made out of plastic, wood, or metal may be repaired or bonded with spray adhesive. If you need a spray adhesive for this purpose, make sure that the product in question is ideal for the job at hand, particularly in terms of structural integrity.

Industrial Applications & Construction

There are also many industrial and professional applications for spray adhesives, such as in toy making, drywall gluing, and for bonding ceiling inserts.


Spray adhesives may also be used to bond wallpaper to walls and to bond borders to wallpaper.

Model Building

Spray adhesive is a rather perfect type of glue to be used for model building, such as architectural models.

Popular Brands of Spray Adhesive

Brands of Spray adhesive

Of course, the number one most popular brand for spray adhesives is 3M, the same company that first invented spray adhesives. There are also plenty of other great brand names that make spray adhesive including LePage, Elmer’s, Odif, E6000, Permatex, Scotchgard, and Gorilla Glue. If you need top quality spray glue, we recommend taking a look at any of these brands.

Fun Facts About Spray Adhesive

Ok, so we are talking about spray adhesives here, so exactly how fun these facts are is questionable, but that said, they are facts none the less.

  • Many spray adhesives can actually be applied overtop of thin materials to bond them, thus allowing you to place them first.
  • Most types of spray adhesive do form permanent bonds.
  • The right types of spray adhesives are photo safe, which means that they will not destroy photos.
  • Spray glue is the only type of glue that requires the use of a pressurized aerosol can.
  • Spray adhesive is one of the most versatile types of adhesives as it has the ability to bond to virtually any and every material, including both porous and non-porous materials.
  • There are well over 100 different types and brands of spray adhesives out there.

How to Remove Spray Adhesive

Ok, so even though spray adhesive is very easy to use, as is the case when you are gluing things together, sometimes you might make a mess. Whether you get spray adhesive on your hands or on a material that it should not have gotten on, right now we will teach you how to remove spray adhesive.

If you happen to get some spray adhesive on your hands, if at all possible, before it dries, wipe it off with a wet rag as fast as possible. Another solution for removing spray adhesive from your hands is to first apply some sort of oil, such as cooking oil, and then use hot water and strong soap to remove it.

how to remove spray adhesive

If you happen to get some spray adhesive on furniture, something that may be able to remove it is furniture polish. In some cases, citrus-based cleaners may also be able to remove spray adhesive.

If you happen to get some spray adhesive on fabrics or carpets, first apply masking take to the area and remove as much adhesive with the tape as possible. Next, use a solvent to dab the surface until the glue is gone. Some solvent that will dissolve most basic spray adhesives include turpentine, citrus-based cleaners, mineral spirits, or something like 3M Spray Adhesive Remover.

Bad Things About Spray Adhesive

Although spray adhesives are very plentiful in type and versatile in nature, there are some drawbacks that you need to consider.

  • First and foremost, spray adhesive is very bad for the environment. Spray adhesives require aerosol cans to be used, with aerosol being one of the worst things out there in terms of air pollution. This stuff is downright horrible for the world.
  • Moreover, not only is this stuff terrible for the environment, but it is super toxic too, at least until it is dry and cured. Spray adhesive contains lots of solvents and chemicals which allow it to be pressurized in a can, as well as for curing, with many being carcinogenic and harmful in many other ways too.
  • In no way, shape, or form do you want to ingest this stuff or get it in your hands. On that same note, you probably want to wear some breathing protection, because inhaling spray adhesive happens regularly, and it is certainly not healthy.
  • Using spray adhesive requires the user to hold the can a certain way, have steady hands, and to hold the can at a certain distance from the target. In other words, accuracy can be a problem. Moreover, coverage can be uneven if the can is held horizontally.
  • Applying too much spray adhesive is easy to do. Moreover, it should be said that you should always cover off the surrounding area so you don’t make a mess.


Is spray adhesive toxic?

Yes, in fact, spray adhesive is very toxic, particularly right as it comes out of the can.

Is Spray Adhesive Dangerous?

Besides the health risks and the environmental risks that we already covered, it is also important to note that spray adhesive is very flammable when it comes out of the can, plus pressurized cans may explode if heated or punctured.

Is spray adhesive toxic when dry?

Generally speaking, spray adhesive should not be toxic or flammable when dry.

What Happens if you inhale spray adhesive?

Short term effects include nausea, dizziness, and related symptoms, with long term effects include severe breathing issues, cancer, and more.


The bottom line is that spray adhesives come in many types, so the final thought we want to leave you here with today is that you need to carefully consider the application you need it for, as this will determine what the best option is.

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