What is an Aerosol Adhesive?

Sherry Holetzky

It may also be called spray adhesive or spray glue, but whatever name is used, aerosol adhesive can be utilized in a variety of convenient ways and settings. Residential, commercial, and industrial projects or repairs can be completed efficiently with a spray adhesive product. An aerosol adhesive can be used to assemble products; to prevent frayed edges on certain material; to create displays, crafts, and other decorative items; or to install things like insulation or carpet. In the home setting, the concern of burns caused by hot glue guns can be eliminated by using spray adhesive.

A can of aerosol adhesive.
A can of aerosol adhesive.

With aerosol adhesive, you have more control over where the bonding agent is placed. Some sprayers are specially designed to limit overspray. By preventing waste and excess cleanup, you can save both time and money. Some brands of aerosol adhesive include an adjustable spray nozzle, which will allow you to determine the size of the spray stream. You can create a thin or thick layer of adhesive and adjust as necessary throughout the project.

There are many different types and brands of aerosol adhesive. Some have been formulated to work with specific materials. Aerosol adhesive can be used for very different projects from bonding together light materials such as paper or Styrofoam to mounting heavier items such as wood or metal. Special formulas can be utilized to mount various items from flexible or irregular materials like cardboard, foam, vinyl and rubber. Others are more appropriate for rigid pieces such as woods or various metals while specific formulas should be used for brick, concrete block, or other porous materials.

Some adhesives dry or cure quickly, while others are specially made to take longer to “tack” or stick, allowing for accurate placement of materials. The latter is a good option for mounting logos, photographs, presentation materials, small signs, and more. Spray adhesive can provide temporary or permanent bonding depending upon the precise formula chosen. It is convenient to work with because it can be repositioned if necessary. This can also help prevent waste, because images that have not been aligned correctly can be adjusted and re-used instead of being replaced.

Delivery systems for aerosol adhesive have come a long way. Today, there is less worry about clogged sprayers, as special designs are in place specifically to prevent this issue. Spray guns are also available for use with bulk aerosol adhesive. It is much more cost-effective and efficient to purchase in bulk when using large amounts of adhesive product, such as in a commercial or industrial setting.

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Discussion Comments


Aerosol adhesive is a useful product but unfortunately, they're not all good quality. I've used one that was very good, it sprayed evenly and dried quickly. But I've also used one that did not spray evenly at all and dried to a sort of yellow which is not what I wanted.

So when using aerosol adhesive on a surface where the adhesive will be seen later, it's a good idea to test it on something first to see how it works.


@ZipLine-- Aerosol adhesive is very useful for artwork. This is what I use as well. As long as you have fresh air coming it, the odor from the adhesive won't be problematic. Just keep a window open and maintain air circulation when you're working. This is a good rule to follow regardless of the type of adhesive you are working with.

I find that aerosol adhesive work better than most other types of adhesives, especially when it's important for the adhesive to stick fast and stay put even working with fragile materials. There aren't too many durable adhesives out there that one can use for different types of materials with success.


I've never used aerosol adhesive before but after the amount of mess that occurred when I used cement glue, I've decided to switch to something else. My only concern is, how toxic is aerosol adhesive?

I use a lot of glue for art and craft projects and I'm worried about frequent exposure to glue chemicals. I think that aerosol may be more problematic in that regard.

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