How Long Do Liquid Nails Take To Dry?

Aug 31, 2021 | Home Improvement Repair, Skills Specialties, Tools Materials

When you need to assemble something but you want to avoid the dangers of working with a hammer and nails, you can use a liquid adhesive, such as Liquid Nails.

Liquid Nails is a type of low-solvent construction adhesive that has multiple uses. This type of glue forms a strong bond that rivals traditional adhesion methods like nails. We will look at Liquid Nails, including how long it takes to dry and what can affect the drying process. 

What Are Liquid Nails?

Liquid Nails are a type of construction adhesive that forms a permanent bond between pieces of material. This adhesive is suitable as an alternative to using metal nails or wood glue. 

You can use Liquid Nails to bond cork board, green board, fiberglass, foam board, or plywood. Once it’s fully cured (from the outside), the bond is still flexible, allowing the glued piece to have more durability and impact resistance.

Danger alert! While the Liquid Nails adhesive is still drying, it will be flammable. This danger recedes once the glue dries. 

A search of the Liquid Nails website revealed 39 types of Liquid Nails for interior use and 23 kinds for exterior use. These formulas are for specific services, such as heavy-duty construction, extreme heavy-duty construction, drywall adhesive, or adhesive for deck and subfloors.

Wood Glue vs. Liquid Nails

Liquid Nails and wood glue only have one thing in common. They’re both adhesives. But that’s where the similarities end. 

Liquid Nails is the name of a line of heavy-duty construction adhesives. It has a wide range of uses, including wood and other materials. You can use Liquid Nails to install tile board, paneling, plastic, vinyl, metal, or concrete. It’s wonderful for non-porous surfaces but not as much for connecting wood.

But wood glue refers to the type of adhesive you would use on wood, although you can also use it for other materials. 

There are different brands and types of wood glue, including PVA (polyvinyl acetate), epoxy resin (transparent), polyurethane (all-purpose crafts), cyanoacrylate (superglue), and aliphatic resin (carpenter’s glue). However, wood glue is not as versatile in material use as Liquid Nails. Therefore, it’s best for crafts and DIY projects.

When you’re in a situation where dry time is essential, wood glue has a dry time of 30 to 60 minutes with a wait time of 24 hours before applying pressure to the joints. Liquid Nails can take only 15 minutes to dry but 24 hours to several days to cure. 

Wood glues are generally safe to use in all locations, regardless of ventilation, because they do not create fumes. But because Liquid Nails is a solvent, it produces toxic fumes that can be dangerous if inhaled. And these fumes are flammable until the liquid dries. Therefore, you must have proper ventilation when using LN to be safe. 

And in terms of cleanup, wood glue will leave you less stressed out if you get the adhesive on your skin or a surface. You can usually use water and soap to remove any glue. But if Liquid Nails gets on anything, it can be more problematic. Then, you’ll have to use petroleum jelly or oil to loosen it enough to pry it off.

Liquid Nails Pros and Cons

Here are a few benefits and disadvantages of Liquid Nails.


  • Waterproof

Some lines of Liquid Nails are waterproof, allowing you to use them indoors or outdoors, giving you a broader versatility on what you seal with the glue. However, for it to be waterproof, it must contain latex. 

  • Strong bond

After you apply Liquid Nails, the pieces form a permanent bond in 15 minutes. Heavier or large parts may require clamping or some applied pressure until the adhesive dries. Once the bond forms, the joints can withstand force without breaking.

  • Fills gaps

You can also use Liquid Nails to seal small gaps and cracks in materials. The adhesive can fill in gaps and holes while bonding pieces together. 

  • Paintable

Glue can be a challenge to cover over, leaving you with messy appearances. But when you seal something with Liquid Nails, it forms a smooth surface that you can paint over. Once it’s painted, you won’t be able to notice the adhesive spots.


  • Poor wood compatibility

While Liquid Nails can work on multiple surfaces and materials, it is not as compatible with wood to wood applications. Liquid Nails need a non-porous surface to create a solid bond.

  • Produces Harmful Fumes

Because Liquid Nails is a solvent, it emits fumes during application. These fumes are toxic and can be harmful if breathed in. Therefore, when using Liquid Nails, you’ll need to ensure proper airflow, using a fan, and open windows if indoors. 

People with breathing problems have the potential to experience breathing irritations from inhaling the fumes.

  • Difficult to clean up

Liquid Nails can also create a mess that’s difficult to clean up. You’ll want to use extreme caution when working with this adhesive because it won’t wipe up if it gets onto something. And you should always wear gloves during the application, as it can cause skin irritations if it gets on you.

Liquid Nails Dry Time

Liquid Nail is a fast-drying adhesive that can dry in as fast as 15 minutes. But you do have to keep the piece clamped or braced together for 24 hours to ensure a stronghold. 

And once Liquid Nails is dry, you still have to wait for the piece to cure – reach full strength. It can take up to 7 days for the hold to cure, but some assemblies can take multiple weeks. 

 Factors that Affect the Dry Time

Although Liquid Nails can dry in as quick as 15 minutes, multiple factors impact the time it takes to dry thoroughly. 

  • Type

The Liquid Nail type also affects how fast the adhesive will dry. The majority take 24 hours, but some products can dry as fast as four to six hours. Then there are a few that will take as long as 48 hours or more. But a small number of polyurethane-based adhesives can dry and cure in only 10 minutes.   

  • Moisture and Humidity

The drying time of Liquid Nails can also be affected by moisture, including humidity. If the humidity levels are at 60% or higher, it will take Liquid Nails longer to dry. The same will happen if the surface is wet. If you’re trying to bond moist materials, look for an option that’s rubber-based (polymer, polyurethanes, or silicones), water (and moisture) can help the product dry quicker.

  • Temperature

The dry time of Liquid Nails is dependent mainly on temperature, both of the surfaces you’ll be bonding and the surrounding air. Therefore, low temperatures can cause Liquid Nails to take longer to dry and cure. 

If applied in temperatures below sub-40 degrees, Liquid Nails might not dry at all. For example, liquid Nails used at 50 degrees can take twice the time to dry as they would at 70 degrees. 

  • Ventilation

The ventilation of the area where you’ll be using the Liquid Nails can also affect how long it takes to dry. The more airflow there is in a room, the faster the glue will evaporate. It won’t pull out as much moisture when the air is stagnant and closed off, leaving the wet glue longer. 

  • Thickness

How thick you apply Liquid Nails to your surface can influence how long you’ll have to wait for the glue to harden. The thicker the layer, the longer it will take for it to dry. So it could up your wait time from hours to days. You can reference the package for the optimal thickness.

  • Materials

You’ll also need to consider the type of materials you’re trying to glue together. A material’s porousness affects its drying time. Porous materials like brick, cement, masonry, and treated wood help the Liquid Nails dry faster because they draw out the moisture in the adhesive. 

Materials like metals, glass, painted surfaces, or plastic have a non-porous surface, meaning it absorbs the Liquid Nails, causing it to take longer to dry. So you could see times over 24 hours, several days, or a few months.

Performance Compared To Competitors

Liquid Nails is one of the strongest construction adhesives, outperforming options like wood glue, superglue, and other light-duty options.

Liquid Nails Dry Time FAQ

We’re sure there are still some questions we haven’t covered yet. So check out these frequently asked questions readers have about the dry time of Liquid Nails. 

How long does it take liquid nails to dry?

Liquid Nails can take from 15 to 30 minutes to several hours to dry. But even after this adhesive dries, it can still take seven days to multiple weeks to cure.

How do you speed up drying liquid nails?

You can speed up the drying process using multiple techniques. For example, for enclosed areas, you can use a fan to circulate air. Heat also speeds up the drying process – above 70-degrees is best. And don’t add a thick layer of Liquid Nails. 

How long does it take for Liquid Nails to bond?

You can get a bond using Liquid Nails in a few minutes (less than five). 

Are Liquid Nails stronger than wood glue?

Liquid Nails are a heavy-duty construction adhesive that provides a stronger hold than wood glue. 


Liquid Nails are a suitable choice for creating a durable, permanent bond between two objects. You can get Liquid Nails in various formulas for indoor or outdoor use for use on many kinds of materials. This adhesive works best on non-porous surfaces. Liquid Nails can take 15 to 60 minutes to dry and seven days to several weeks to months for the bond to cure to max strength.


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