Don’t let the complicated name fool you: polyvinyl acetate is another term for wood glue, white glue, carpenter’s glue, and school glue. A rubbery synthetic polymer with adhesive properties, polyvinyl acetate emulsions are perfect for woodworking, bookbinding, handicrafts, and wallpapering. They’re also useful for sizing a porous medium such as canvas or wood: just cover the surface in a layer of polyvinyl acetate to seal the surface against paint absorption—an essential practice, especially for oil painting. For all these gluing and priming tasks, polyvinyl acetate is handy to keep around. Browse our selection of the best products below.
1. Gamblin Poly Vinyl Acetate
Gamblin’s product serves as a size for fabric supports such as linens or canvas. Once applied, this substance is moisture resistant and won’t yellow thanks to its neutral pH levels. The formula has a low viscosity so it soaks into canvas fibers to properly prepare it for gesso and paint. You can use it with linen, cotton, and poly canvases to create a drum-tight surface. This substance retains its flexibility for super-smooth coverage.
2. Books by Hand pH Neutral PVA Adhesive
Books By Hand’s PVA adhesive is a professional-quality yet user-friendly bookbinder’s glue designed to help anyone mend books. Solvent free and water-soluble, this adhesive makes for an easy cleanup and reversible cover. This pH-neutral, acid-free solution won’t yellow over time, making it an ideal adhesive for fixing spines, repairing torn pages, and other paper projects. This solution dries clear and fast—it’s ready to touch in about 30 minutes.
3. Creative Expressions Cosmic Shimmer Specialist PVA Glue
Creative Expressions’ product is a glue for those who work with small materials that need glueing together. Use the small tip for precise application onto embellishments, or spread a layer onto a piece of paper and sprinkle your materials (like rhinestones or glitter) on top—the formula keeps a firm grip on even the tiniest bits of paper. It can also be used as a primer. The glue dries fast but with enough time to allow you to make minor adjustments. Also noteworthy: The solution dries completely clear. This glue is ideal for a variety of craft and art projects.
4. Mont Marte PVA Glue Craft Glue
Stock up for the classroom with Mont Marte’s PVA three-pack. Each 10-ounce bottle features a fine-tipped nozzle for precise application and a clear cap to prevent dry-out. Made of acid-free, nontoxic materials, this adhesive works well on a range of surfaces such as wood, paper, foam board, and fabric. You can also use this solution to fill in gaps and pores in canvas or wood. This glue dries crystal clear, so it won’t affect the overall appearance of your work.
5. Lineco Neutral pH Adhesive
Lineco’s archival-quality adhesive is designed for bookbinding but is ideal for a variety of projects. The eight-ounce bottle features a nozzle that dispenses glue evenly and steadily. The acid-free solution won’t yellow over time and dries fast, permanent, and crystal clear. Easy to spread and showcasing excellent lay-flat properties, this solution is great for pasting together paper without creating bulky layers or conspicuous seams.