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How to Use Adhesives Properly

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Adhesives is a broad term that describes an incredibly useful aspect of a good home DIY kit. They can be applied in many situations and can help take your repairs to the next level, especially if you feel your home needs some more thorough fixing. Adhesives come in many different forms with many different applications and can work in situations ranging from sticking stone to cementing wood.

As there are many different application types, you’ll need to understand how they can be used in specific, which are outlined below.

Do you have the right adhesive?

First of all, you need to check that you have the right adhesive for the job. You should have an idea about what fix you want to implement (and which materials are involved in the fix). Once you know what you should be doing, find an online guide to help hold your hand through the process. Get to the bit that mentions adhesives, also known as glue, cement, mucilage or paste, to get an idea of which adhesive is right for your particular job and then find the application verb they use. These will likely be brush, trowel, spray, roll or nozzle.


Brushing an adhesive on is the simplest way to use an adhesive and can be used on unlevel or irregular surfaces due to the individual bristles of a brush. If done with a metal instrument called a trowel, it is known as trowelling and you’ll need to choose the right size. If you use the brush method you may end up with areas with thicker coatings than others, which can have a minimal effect on longevity of the fix. It also uses more adhesive than is required for bonding and it’s a little tricky to apply precise amounts of adhesive.


Spraying is convenient and can give you a thoroughly covered irregular surface with an even spread. It is also not too heavy on the adhesive, and is quite economical in that respect. However, the adhesive becomes atomised in the spray, which causes some to be lost to the air and become a toxic risk. You should invest in a good mask, as well as the obvious sprayer.


Rolling adhesive on a surface is the way to properly apply a precise coating weight, but only to a smooth surface. You can simply and quickly apply adhesive with this method, but be warned that if the surface is not completely smooth the result may suffer.


Nozzle application is one that gives you a lot of control, so is ideal if you need to apply adhesive delicately to a specific area. You have a precise control of how much is applied, and don’t need to use much of it if you have a small enough nozzle. Superglue is a common adhesive that relies on the nozzle method typically. However, if you’re doing some DIY that requires extensive nozzle application you will find it very time consuming and very expensive to automate.

Safety You’ll need to consider health and safety. Adhesives are hazardous as many are toxic and there is contact risk, which means that if your skin touches the material you can be hurt. You should wear gloves and safety glasses, as well as making sure you keep adhesives away from flames as they are very flammable and in some cases explosive.

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