The Best Wood Glue for Outdoor Use: A Comprehensive Guide

Wood glue is one of the most used type of glue in woodworking and selecting the best wood glue for outdoor use can be a tricky endeavor. Outdoor furniture, decks, and other wooden structures are exposed to a variety of unfriendly environmental conditions like rainfall, sunshine, and extreme temperatures; hence necessitating the use of waterproof wood glue. This comprehensive guide will direct you to the perfect epoxy for tackling long-lasting projects that withstand the test of time.

In my opinion, the best wood glue for outdoor use are:

  • Gorilla Ultimate Waterproof Wood Glue
  • Titebond III Ultimate wood Glue
  • Elmer’s E7010 Carpenter’s Wood Glue

Best waterproof wood glue

Gorilla Ultimate Waterproof Wood Glue, 18 Ounce, Natural Wood Color,

up wood glue

Titebond 1416 III Ultimate Wood Glue, 1-Gallon

Best water-resistant

Elmer's E7010 Carpenter's Wood Glue, Interior, 8 Ounces , Tan

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Definition of Wood Glue

Top 3 Best Wood Glue for Outdoor Use A Comprehensive Guide

Wood glue is a construction adhesive specifically designed to glue wood-to-wood. It is made from synthetic polymers or natural materials such as animal hide or bone.

Wood glue works by penetrating the fibers of the wood and binding them together at the molecular level when it dries.

Importance of Choosing the Best Wood Glue for Outdoor Use

Choosing the best waterproof glue for outdoor use will ensure that your outdoor project lasts longer and withstands harsh weather conditions. Not all glues are adequate for outdoor use; some may lack the water-resistant qualities or sufficient adhesion strength to withstand severe gales or heavy weights.

Using an inappropriate type of wood adhesive can lead to joint failure, which can result in costly repairs or replacement of your outdoor structure.

Moreover, investing in a high-quality adhesive can save one time and money in the long run, avoiding frequent repair bills. In addition to durability concerns, selecting an unsuitable adhesive for outdoor use can also affect aesthetics since some adhesives may yellow over time or leave behind residue that affects coloration.

With the vast array of glues for wood on the market, it can be challenging to determine which one will yield the most satisfactory results for your project. This article brings you comprehensive information about various adhesives designed for outdoor use, so you can make a selection that perfectly suits your project’s requirements.

Types of Wood Glue

When selecting the ideal wood glue for outdoor use, it is essential to comprehend the various types of glue available. When selecting glue, there is a variety of options available with their own unique benefits and drawbacks.

Polyurethane Wood Glue

Due to its remarkable strength and water-resistance, this glue is a favorite adhesive for outdoor projects. It can be employed on wood, metal, and plastic surfaces alike, and its insulation capabilities ensure it can endure extreme temperatures.

The downside to working with this type of glue is its quick-drying nature, making it a challenge to remove if not used correctly. Its distinct odor also demands sufficient ventilation during use.

Epoxy Glue

Two-part epoxy glue consists of two parts – epoxy resin and hardener – that must be mixed together before application. This type of glue forms an incredibly strong bond and is resistant to water and chemicals.

Epoxy glue can also fill gaps in surfaces which makes it ideal for repairing damaged wooden structures. However, it takes a long time to cure completely which may not be suitable for all projects.

Cyanoacrylate Glue

Cyanoacrylate or CA glue or super glue as it’s commonly known, forms an almost instant bond between surfaces but isn’t typically recommended for outdoor use as it’s not very water-resistant. This super fast type of glue will work best on small projects where quick fixing is required but isn’t ideal for larger projects or areas exposed to any moisture.

When choosing the best wood glue for outdoor use, it’s important to consider factors such as temperature resistance, flexibility, water-resistance among others. Depending on the desired outcome of your project, each approach offers distinct advantages. Learn more about super glue for wood in my article This is why CA glue is a popular glue for woodworking | All about CA glue

Factors to Consider When Choosing Wood Glue for Outdoor Use

Woodworking is a craft that can bring endless hours of joy and satisfaction. But for the work to last, choosing the right wood glue for outdoor use is essential.

As a woodworker, you want your projects to be durable and withstanding against different elements like water, UV rays, temperature changes and more. To help you make an informed decision when choosing the best wood glue for your outdoor projects, let us explore the essential factors to consider.

Ebook part 1 woodworking basics

Water Resistance

When selecting wood glue for outdoor applications, its waterproofing capabilities are of utmost importance. Water exposure can cause damage to any wooden structure if not protected properly. If your woodworking project is going to be exposed to rain or other sources of moisture, it’s crucial that you select a glue that resists water damage.

Most high-quality glues come with water-resistant properties. For maximum protection against water damage, choose waterproof glues such as polyurethane and epoxy glues which can create strong bonds even in wet conditions.

UV Resistance

Another critical factor when choosing a wood glue for outdoor use is its ability to resist UV rays from sunlight exposure. Over time, prolonged exposure to UV light can cause discoloration and weaken the bond between two surfaces leading to structural failures in wooden structures. To ensure long-lasting durability of your project, choose a UV-resistant glue such as Titebond III Ultimate Glue or Gorilla Glue that are formulated with special UV inhibitors that resist discoloration and maintain bond strength over time.

Temperature Resistance

Temperature changes are another important consideration when selecting a suitable adhesive for outdoor use. Freezing temperatures can cause some adhesive types like PVA (polyvinyl acetate) glues to break down and lose their bonding strength while high temperatures can cause melting.

For outdoor woodworking projects, opt for glues designed to withstand extreme temperatures like cyanoacrylate or epoxy glues. These adhesives are not only tough but also maintain their bonding power regardless of the surrounding temperature changes.


Wooden structures are prone to movement due to factors like wind and humidity. The right glue should be flexible enough to withstand the natural contraction and expansion of wooden structures without cracking or breaking apart over time.

When selecting a wood glue for outdoor use, look for one that is flexible such as polyurethane glue which has excellent flexibility properties even when dry. Epoxy glue is another great option because it can resist cracks due to its toughness and flexibility.

Other Factors

When selecting a glue for gluing wood outdoors, factors like water resistance, UV resistance, temperature resistance, and flexibility are essential. Nevertheless, there are other factors to consider such as dry time, application difficulty, and safety hazards that must also be contemplated. To guarantee an enduring result despite the effects of natural elements, it is advised that you carry out thorough research before making your final choice.

Best Wood Glue for Outdoor Use

When searching for the ideal wood glue for outdoor usage, it can be challenging to find just the right one; luckily, there are some standouts among the rest. Here are three of the finest wood glues optimized for outdoor use:

Best Choice

01: Gorilla Ultimate Waterproof Wood Glue

Gorilla Ultimate Waterproof Wood Glue, 18 Ounce, Natural Wood Color,

Gorilla Waterproof Glue for wood offers unprecedented defense against the elements for a variety of outdoor woodworking projects.

Its powerful bonding capability ensures a lasting seal that can withstand moisture, making it perfect for decks, wood furniture, furniture repair, and any other external applications.

Plus, its clear finish guarantees no visual marring of your masterpiece. In my opinion, this is the best waterproof outdoor wood glue out there!


Superior waterproofing: Gorilla Glue provides excellent resistance to water, ensuring a long-lasting bond in outdoor conditions.

Versatile application: This adhesive is perfect for any project, indoors or out, and is suitable for bonding a range of wood types.

Strong bond: Once cured, the bond created by this glue is incredibly strong, providing reliable durability.


Longer curing time: This glue requires a longer curing time compared to some other glues on the market.

Thicker consistency: The glue has a thicker consistency, which can make it slightly more difficult to apply and spread evenly.

Higher price point: This glue tends to be more expensive than some other glues, which may be a drawback for budget-conscious buyers.

Gorilla Ultimate Waterproof Wood Glue



Bond strength

Ease of application

Total score 4/5

Runner Up

02: Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue

Titebond 1416 III Ultimate Wood Glue, 1-Gallon

Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue is a reliable choice for outdoor woodworking projects.

This adhesive is renowned for its robust bond and imperviousness to water, making it ideal for components which may be exposed to moisture. It offers a longer open assembly time, allowing for more precise adjustments before the glue sets.


Exceptional water resistance: Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue provides excellent resistance to water, ensuring a reliable bond in outdoor conditions.

Long open assembly time: The extended open assembly time allows for more flexibility in positioning and adjustments before the glue sets.

Non-toxic and easy cleanup: This glue is non-toxic and cleans up easily with water, making it user-friendly and environmentally conscious. This titebond wood glue is the best glue for wood to wood in making cutting boards


Longer curing time: Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue requires a longer curing time compared to some other glues, which may lead to longer project timelines.

Slightly less bond strength: While the bond strength is still strong, some users have reported slightly lower bond strength compared to other high-performance wood glues.

Not ideal for oily woods: This glue may not be as effective on oily or dense hardwoods, requiring additional surface preparation.

Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue



Bond strength

Ease of application

Total score 4/5

Best Water-resistant

03: Elmer’s E7010 Carpenter’s Wood Glue

Elmer's E7010 Carpenter's Wood Glue, Interior, 8 Ounces , Tan

This glue is not waterproof but is water resistant and is suitable for interior use. It bonds stronger than wood and is sandable and paintable. This product is not only safe to use, but also can be effortlessly rinsed away with water.

Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue is a reliable and affordable option for outdoor woodworking projects. This glue is suitable for a wide range of woodworking applications, including outdoor furniture, trim, and general repairs. With its remarkable strength and simple application, this adhesive has become a preferred selection of do-it-yourselfers everywhere.


Affordable: Elmer’s E7010 Carpenter’s Wood Glue is budget-friendly, making it accessible to a wide range of users.

Quick drying: This glue dries relatively fast, allowing for efficient project completion.

Versatile: It can be used on various types of wood and provides a reliable bond for exterior projects.


Moderate water resistance: While Elmer’s E7010 Carpenter’s Wood Glue offers some water resistance, it may not be as effective as the previous two glues in terms of long-term moisture protection.

Slightly weaker bond strength: The bond strength of this glue may not be as strong as some high-performance glues, especially in demanding outdoor conditions.

Limited open assembly time: The glue sets relatively quickly, leaving less time for adjustments or repositioning of the wood pieces.

Elmer’s E7010 Carpenter’s Wood Glue



Bond strength

Ease of application

Total score 3.3/5

How to Apply Wood Glue for Outdoor Use

Before applying, it is important to understand that you use fresh wood glue in order to achieve the best bonding.

Application Considerations

When applying any wood glue for outdoor use, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Prioritize cleanliness and dryness of the surface before adhering any adhesive. Moisture can interfere with the bonding process and weaken the adhesive’s strength.

It’s also recommended to clamp your project after applying the glue to ensure a tight bond. Applying pressure will help eliminate air pockets and ensure maximum contact between surfaces.

Consider using gloves when handling glue as it can be difficult to remove from skin once dried. Additionally, be sure to follow manufacturer instructions regarding application temperature ranges and curing times for optimal results.

Preparation and Cleaning of Surface

Before applying any wood glue, it is crucial to prepare the surface by cleaning it thoroughly. Dirt, dust, debris, and other impurities can compromise the adhesive bond between the wood pieces. Moreover, if the surface is oily or greasy, it can impede the adherence process.

To clean the surface effectively, use a soft cloth or brush dipped in a mild detergent solution or rubbing alcohol. Scrub gently in circular motions to remove all impurities.

For more stubborn stains or residue buildup, use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface gently. Ensure that you rinse off all cleaning agents and allow enough time for the surface to dry before applying any glue.

Application Techniques and Tips

When applying wood glue for outdoor use, there are several techniques and tips that can help ensure a strong adhesive bond:

  • Apply Enough Glue – Apply an adequate amount of glue on both surfaces you want to join; this will help create a tighter seal between them.
  • Spread Glue Evenly – Use a spreader or brush to spread your glue over each surface evenly.
  • Clamp Your Pieces Together – When joining two pieces of wood together with glue, clamp them together with enough pressure until they’re fully bonded.
  • Wipe off Excess Glue – Clean up excess wood glue using a damp cloth while it’s still wet; this will save you time sanding later on
  • Let It Dry Fully – Allow enough time for your glued piece to dry completely before handling it again (usually 24-48 hours).
  • Sand Smoothly – Once your glued piece is dry entirely and has become hard again (if it expands slightly during drying), sand down any rough spots using fine-grit sandpaper for a smoother finish.

The Bottom Line

Applying wood glue for outdoor use requires proper preparation, application techniques, and tips that will help you get the best results. Ensure that you clean the surface thoroughly and follow the tips mentioned above. Moreover, choosing a high-quality wood glue such as Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue or Gorilla Waterproof exterior Wood Glue can make all the difference in ensuring long-lasting adhesion for your exterior projects.


Considering the various types of wood glue and their individual features, it becomes apparent that selecting the correct wood glue for outdoor purposes is essential to ensure a secure bond that will last. Water resistance is a crucial factor to consider when selecting the best glue for outdoor use. Polyurethane glues excels in providing water resistance, yet requires long curing times, making it a laborious material to work with.

Epoxy glue also provides excellent water resistance and cures quickly, but it can become brittle over time due to UV exposure. Cyanoacrylate glue is not ideal for outdoor use since it is not waterproof. UV resistance is another important consideration when selecting a wood glue for outdoor use. The Gorilla glue discussed in this guide offers excellent UV resistance; Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue also offers good UV resistance but may require reapplication after prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Summary of Key Points on the Best Wood Glue for Outdoor Use

When looking for the best wood glue for exterior use, choose a polyurethane-based adhesive that offers excellent water and UV resistance. Consider using Epoxy glue as an alternative.

Wood GlueWaterproofingBond StrengthEase of ApplicationPrice
Gorilla Ultimate Waterproof4/55/53/5High (check price on Amazon here)
Titebond III Ultimate4/54/54/5Medium (check price on Amazon here)
Elmer’s E7010 Carpenter’s3/53/54/5Low (check price on Amazon here)

Recommendation on the Best Type of Wood Glue Based on Your Specific Needs

Your choice of wood glue ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you require an adhesive with superior water resistance, consider a polyurethane construction adhesive like Gorilla Glue or Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue as they are the optimal option. However, if you require a more flexible bond, Epoxy is an excellent option.

Consider the environmental conditions of your project; if you’re working with wood that will be exposed to sunlight or high temperatures, select a glue that offers UV resistance and can withstand heat. If you are unsure which variety of wood glue is best for your project, consult with a specialist or do some research before coming to a conclusion.

Overall, choosing the right wood glue is critical to ensure long-lasting and strong bonds for exterior projects. Ensure that you take into consideration all factors such as water resistance, UV resistance, temperature resistance, and flexibility when selecting the best type of wood glue based on your specific needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use PVA glue outdoors?

PVA glue is not recommended for outdoor use due to its weak resistance to moisture. It’s ideal for indoor woodworking with low moisture exposure.

Can you use hide glue outdoors?

Hide glue is not recommended for outdoor use due to moisture vulnerability. Although it provides strong bonding, it can degrade when exposed to water. Choose a better adhesive for exterior projects.

Can you use hot glue outdoors?

Hot glue is not ideal for outdoor use due to its vulnerability to moisture and extreme temperatures. It can weaken and lose its bond strength when exposed to outdoor conditions.

What is the opening time of wood glue?

The opening time of wood glue is the period when it remains workable after application. It varies among brands, ranging from a few minutes to 10-15 minutes.

Can you use Titebond Original wood glue outdoors?

This glue isn’t intended for outdoor use. It provides a strong bond for indoor woodworking but lacks durability against moisture and outdoor elements. For outdoor applications, opt for Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue.

What is the strongest glue for wood?

Epoxy adhesives are highly regarded as incredibly strong glues. They provide exceptional bond strength, durability, and moisture resistance, making them suitable for indoor and outdoor woodworking projects.

What is the strongest wood glue for furniture?

Polyurethane-based glues like Gorilla Wood Glue offer strong bonds for furniture making. They’re water-resistant, versatile, and work well with different wood types. Follow instructions and prep surfaces for best results.

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