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Elmer’s Glue: The Unexpected Sealant

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Written by: Jeremy Sanchez


Elmer’s Glue: The Unexpected Sealant

Can Elmer’s glue be used as a sealant? Yes, it can! 

Elmer’s glue has a long-standing reputation for its adhesive prowess. 

However, many might not know that this iconic, white adhesive can serve as a makeshift sealant for certain applications. 

If you’re keen on understanding how and when to use Elmer’s glue as a sealant, buckle up!

Glue-Sealant Fusion: Key Highlights

  • Elmer’s glue can act as a sealant for some projects.
  • Forms a tight bond on porous materials.
  • While not fully waterproof, it offers water resistance.
  • Suitable for paper, fabric, and certain crafts.

Sealing The Deal With Elmer’s

When we think of sealants, we generally envision a material that forms a barrier, protecting surfaces or joining them together. 

Elmer’s glue, while primarily known for its adhesive properties, does possess some characteristics that allow it to function as a sealant.

Why Elmer’s Glue Shines as a Sealant

  • Tight Bonds: Once dry, Elmer’s glue can form a robust bond, especially with porous materials like paper and wood. This bond can effectively seal gaps and protect the underlying surface.
  • Water Resistance: While not entirely waterproof, Elmer’s glue is water-resistant once dry. This means it can protect against occasional splashes but not continuous water exposure.
  • Versatility: It’s non-toxic and dries clear, making it ideal for various projects, especially those involving kids.

Best Materials to Seal with Elmer’s Touch

  • Craft Projects: Great for sealing collages, decoupage, or paper mache projects.
  • Wood: Can be used as a light sealant for porous woods.
  • Fabric: For light applications, such as preventing fraying on fabric edges.
  • Paper: Helpful in sealing edges and adding a protective coating.

Your Step-By-Step Guide to Sealing with Elmer’s

  1. Clean Your Surface: Ensure that the surface you’re sealing is clean and free of dust or debris.
  1. Apply Generously: Using a brush or directly from the bottle, apply a generous amount of Elmer’s glue to the surface.
  1. Spread Evenly: Using a flat tool or brush, spread the glue across the surface, ensuring even coverage.
  1. Let it Dry: Allow the glue to dry completely. This can take a few hours to overnight, depending on the amount used and the material.
  1. Second Coat (Optional): For extra protection, consider applying a second coat after the first has dried.

Where Elmer’s Glue Might Not Seal the Deal

  • Plastics and Metals: These materials are non-porous, and Elmer’s glue may not adhere or seal well.
  • High-Moisture Areas: Elmer’s glue isn’t entirely waterproof. For bathrooms, kitchens, or outdoor applications, seek a dedicated waterproof sealant.
  • Structural Applications: Elmer’s glue isn’t designed for heavy-duty sealing. For sealing gaps in homes or vehicles, a stronger sealant is necessary.

In Conclusion: The Versatile Role of Elmer’s

Elmer’s glue, while a celebrated adhesive, has found a niche role in the world of sealants for specific projects. 

Its easy application, non-toxic nature, and water resistance make it suitable for various crafts. 

However, always remember to choose the right tool for the job. While Elmer’s can surprise you with its versatility, for heavy-duty or specialized sealing, turn to dedicated sealants.

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