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How To Glue Aluminum To MDF?

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Written by: Jeremy Sanchez


How To Glue Aluminum To MDF?

To glue aluminum to MDF, you can use one of the following adhesive types:

  • Silicone adhesive 
  • Polyurethane glue

These types of glue can form a strong and durable bond between aluminum and MDF. No other type of glue will match the strength of these adhesives when you want to bond aluminum to MDF. 

Besides the strongest bond, both types of these adhesives will also provide a permanent bond for your project. 

Keep reading to learn more about the three types of adhesives best for this project, how to prepare the surfaces for gluing, and how to apply the glue for the best results. 

What Glue Is Best To Glue Aluminum To MDF?

MDF is made of wood-mill byproducts, such as wood shavings and sawdust. The appearance of MDF isn’t one of the wood grain. Instead, it has a consistent light brown color. 

Compared to plywood, MDF is significantly denser, harder, and smoother. 

Here is what you need to know about MDF:

  • It is highly resistant to warping 
  • It is very hard and dense 
  • It is evenly flat 
  • It has a very smooth surface 
  • It can be cut, drilled, and routed 
  • It contracts and expands less than solid wood 

MDF is very compatible with solid wood. So there is no surprise that it is being used for various projects. 

MDF, on its own, can be glued with various adhesives. But what about gluing MDF to aluminum?

Well, as mentioned at the beginning, the best three types of adhesives for gluing aluminum to MDF are:

  • Silicone adhesive 
  • Polyurethane glue

So let’s have a closer look at these glues. 

Silicone Adhesive 

To glue aluminum to MDF with silicone glue, only use the type 100% silicone glue (and not silicone caulking), and it is made for construction uses. 

A great silicone adhesive to glue MDF and aluminum together is DAP All-Purpose Adhesive Sealant. 

This silicone adhesive forms a strong waterproof seal. 

The long-lasting bond of DAP’s all-purpose silicone adhesive remains flexible and won’t crack or shrink over time. 

Polyurethane Glue

The strength and bond of polyurethane glue are almost the same as contact cement. But in the case of polyurethane adhesive, the bond is activated by pressure. 

You can use LIQUID NAILS Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive to glue aluminum to MDF with polyurethane glue. 

This multi-purpose heavy-duty glue is high-strength and low-odor. It can be used both indoors and outdoors. 

This polyurethane glue’s bond is strong, durable, and flexible. So strong and durable that it will outlast the project. 

How To Prepare Both Surfaces For Gluing: Is This Necessary?

If there is dirt or debris on either surface, you can use a clean cloth and warm soapy water to wash it, then wipe it down with a damp cloth. Allow the surfaces to dry fully. 

If the aluminum or MDF has grease, oil, or old glue stains, use rubbing alcohol or acetone to clean it off. 

When both surfaces have been cleaned well and fully dried, use 60 to 80-grit sandpaper to roughen up the surfaces that will be bonded, doing this will help the glue to have a better grip and form a much stronger and more durable bond. 

After sanding, wipe the surfaces down with a clean cloth. 

And now that both surfaces are clean, roughened, and dry, you are ready to move on to the next step, which is applying the glue and gluing the two surfaces together. 

How To Glue Aluminum To MDF: The Easy-To-Follow Steps

If you will be working with large surfaces, use a plastic spreader to spread the glue evenly onto the surface that needs to be bonded. 

You can also use a brush spatula to spread the glue. 

The tool you will use to spread the glue depends on the thickness of the glue. Silicone glue is much thicker than polyurethane glue. 

To glue aluminum to MDF, follow these steps:

  1. If you are using silicone glue, then add the glue to the surface and use a pop stick or a plastic spreader to spread it evenly
  2. If you are using polyurethane glue, then apply a few drops of thin strips (more on a larger surface) by squeezing the bottle – use a small brush spatula to spread it evenly 
  3. Align the two surfaces
  4. Press them together 
  5. Use clamps (or tape, rope, or weights) to keep that pressure on while the glue cures 
  6. Allow the glue to cure for a minimum of 24 hours 
  7. Once the glue fully cures, remove the items you used to secure them together


If you want to glue aluminum to MDF, two types of adhesives can offer the needed (and wanted) bond that is very strong and durable. 

Polyurethane and silicone glue are the two main adhesives used to bond MDF and aluminum. 

Once you clean both surfaces well, roughen them up, and wait for them to dry, you can apply the glue and bond them together. 

Use clamps, tape, or weights to secure the two items until the glue fully cures.

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Jeremy Sanchez

My passion for adhesives and building spans decades, ever since I was old enough to know what glue is, basically. I was always fascinated by how you could mash together several materials and create something new with them.

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