Best Glue for Ikea Furniture

Best Glue for Ikea Furniture
By Bill Wyatt
November 6, 2020
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Ikea furniture is usually designed to be built without glue, but there are some situations where glue is required, especially where it will strengthen your furniture or help protect it from the elements.

Let’s find out what glue is best for Ikea furniture, and when you should use it.

Do you really need glue for Ikea Furniture?

Most of the time, glue is unnecessary. Ikea furniture usually comes with screws and bolts, and wooden or plastic dowels for making clean, strong joints.

However, Ikea furniture is usually built from cheap plywood, which is lighter and cheaper than solid wood at the expense of strength and durability. 

There are some situations where you can drastically improve your build just by using a little glue in addition to the mechanical fasteners provided by Ikea. 

In these cases, I recommend you strengthen your Ikea furniture with Titebond Wood Glue. There are a few different versions which I will explain in the article, but if you don’t know which one you need, you can use Titebond III in any situation. It’s the O-negative of wood glues.

In a rush?
No time to read? The best glue for wooden Ikea furniture is a strong PVA glue.
I recommend Titebond III Wood Glue, it will work in every possible situation, both indoors and outdoors.

When do you need to glue Ikea furniture?

There are a few situations where using a good adhesive will dramatically strengthen your furniture, protect it from damage from moisture or rot, and lengthen the life of your furniture. 

These are:

  • Kitchen/Bathroom furniture:
    The humidity in most kitchens and bathrooms is enough to seep in to the joints of wooden furniture and weaken it or cause rot.
  • Weight bearing furniture:
    Things like chairs, stools, and beds I always strengthen with glue, in addition to the wooden dowels or metal screws that come with it.
  • Outdoor Furniture:
    Here in Ohio we have bad winters, but even if you’re in a drier climate, the winter elements will rot and weaken any wooden joint which is only sealed with a screw or wooden dowel.

Kitchen and Bathroom furniture

Kitchens, bathrooms, and other humid environments present a unique set of challenges for any furniture:

High Levels of Humidity:

Ikea furniture is usually made from plywood, which is extremely porous and susceptible to moisture.

Both Bathrooms and Kitchens experience high humidity due to hot water and steam, which means

For this reason, I recommend using a water resistant PVA wood glue on any furniture that’s going to be in humid environments.

Food Safety:

The second thing to consider, especially for kitchen projects is whether or not you need a food safe glue. This is required where direct contact with food is possible, such as a kitchen table.

The Best Glue for Kitchen or Bathroom Ikea Furniture:

The best option is either Titebond II or Titebond III wood glue. Titebond II is water resistant, which is perfect for humid environments, and Titebond III is completely waterproof, which is better for where your project will be in direct contact with water frequently (like a cutting board, which may go in the dishwasher often).

In addition, both Titebond II and Titebond III are non-toxic and completely food safe, meaning they are perfect for use in the kitchen, even for cabinetry, chopping boards, tables or countertops where direct contact with food is likely.

Best glue for Indoor Ikea Furniture

If you’re building an Ikea project that will be for indoor use only, you might not need to use glue at all.

I would only recommend you use glue on an indoor project if it’s a heavy project with joints that may take a lot of weight. (For example a chair, a heavy shelf, or a bed)

In any case, you can use any PVA wood glue for this. The only drawback to regular PVA glue is that it’s not waterproof, but for regular indoor furniture that won’t be a problem. 

You can use whatever PVA glue you have to hand, or pick up some cheap wood glue from Amazon. I recommend Titebond Original, since it’s three times cheaper than the waterproof version.

PVA is super cheap and easy to use, and very easy to clean up any spills because it degrades in water.

PVA will form a bond stronger than the wood itself, so you can be sure it will hold for a long time!

Best glue for Ikea Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furniture will almost certainly need glued in addition to mechanically fastened if you want it to stay strong against the elements.

Depending on where you live, your furniture may have to deal with rain, snow, ice, and the baking sun, which can ruin your Ikea furniture.

Wooden Ikea Outdoor Furniture:

For wooden furniture, your best option is to use a weather resistant and waterproof PVA glue like Titebond III Wood Glue, or Elmer’s Carpenter’s Glue Max.

Either of these glues will meet the requirements and will protect your chairs, tables, birdhouses and any other outdoor garden furniture from water/weather damage.

Ikea Outdoor Plastic Furniture:

Plastic furniture can be reinforced with polyurethane glue like Gorilla Glue, or with a two part epoxy if necessary.

Most plastic outdoor furniture is made from PET or PVC plastic, which can be bonded fairly easily with polyurethane.

Metal Outdoor Ikea Furniture:

Metal furniture can be reinforced with J-B Weld if the mechanical fasteners aren’t secure enough for you, although weather is generally less of a problem for metal, as long as you look after it.

J-B Weld works great on metal chairs and tables, ornaments, barbecues, fountains and any other metal garden furniture.

Summary

To sum up, for wooden Ikea furniture, you can reinforce it with PVA wood glue. Outdoor or humid environments require a waterproof wood glue. Outdoor furniture can be glued with wood glue, polyurethane, or cold-weld depending on their material.

Here’s a quick recap of the best glue for each job:

Hope this helped, and good luck with your project!

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the contact page.

-Bill

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