How to Make PVA Glue Waterproof (6 Simple Steps)

If you want to make PVA glue waterproof, you have come to the right place. PVA glue, also known as white glue, is a widely popular adhesive that is extensively used in a variety of applications: from woodworking, paper-mache, and school projects to crafting and sealing envelopes. However, one of its disadvantages is that it’s water-soluble, which can limit its usage in some outdoor projects and aquatic environments. By applying an aqueous acidic curing agent, it is possible to transform the water-soluble PVA glue to a waterproof surface without making it brittle.

Learn how to make PVA glue waterproof in a step-by-step guide.

How to Make Pva Glue Waterproof

Step 1: Get the Materials Ready

Before you begin the process of making PVA waterproof, you will need to gather some materials. Firstly, you will need a bottle of PVA glue. Any brand of PVA glue should suffice, but it’s best not to use the washable variety.

You will also need an aqueous acidic curing agent – the most commonly used agent is vinegar. In addition, you will need a spray bottle, a small mixing container, and some water.

Step 2: Dilute the PVA Glue

PVA glue you purchase is often thicker than needed for waterproofing. For this step, you can dilute the glue by adding water to the bottle. It is advisable to add PVA to water, as opposed to water to glue, as this ensures the glue is well mixed and prevents clumps of glue in the diluted liquid.

Add enough water to the glue bottle and shake it well to mix. Once mixed, you can pour your diluted glue into the mixing container.

Step 3: Add the Acidic Curing Agent

Now that the PVA glue is diluted, it’s time to add the acidic curing agent. Vinegar is the most widely used, most affordable, and easily accessible curing agent for making PVA waterproof. To establish the correct concentration for waterproofing, which is around 5% acidity, mix 6 ml of vinegar with every 100 ml of diluted PVA glue. Mix the vinegar and PVA glue well and make sure there are no remaining clumps of glue.

Step 4: Pour the mixture into a Spray Bottle

Once the glue and vinegar mixture is prepared, you must pour it into a spray bottle. Transferring the mixture to the spray bottle allows for a more even coat of PVA glue. Make sure that the spray bottle is clean before filling it with the mixture.

Step 5: Apply the Mixture on the Surface

Now the most critical stage of waterproofing is the PVA glue. Spray the mixture on the surface as you would typically apply a coating of PVA glue. Depending on the surface’s porosity, you may need to apply several layers of the mixture, but ensure to sprinkle a small amount of water on each coat to smoothen the final layer. This final smoothening step helps prevent the brittleness of the resulting waterproof PVA-glued surface.

Step 6: Allow to Fully Dry

It is essential to allow the PVA-glued surface to dry thoroughly. Depending on the humidity, temperature, and coat thickness, this may take a few hours to a day or two! Once the surface is fully dry, you can then use it in your desired application.


Is there a waterproof PVA glue?

Yes, there are waterproof PVA glues available on the market. The statement you provided, “Kingfisher Multi-Purpose Waterproof PVA Adhesive is a carefully formulated cross-linking, water-resistant wood glue for internal and external applications,” suggests that there are PVA glues designed to be water-resistant or waterproof.

Why do you mix PVA with water?

PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) glue is a popular adhesive known for its strong bond and versatility. However, PVA glue is often quite thick in its concentrated form, which can make it challenging to spread evenly and smoothly on surfaces. Mixing PVA with water serves several purposes:

  1. Viscosity Adjustment: PVA glue mixed with water becomes thinner, reducing its viscosity. This makes it easier to apply the glue evenly over surfaces without leaving lumps or an uneven layer.
  2. Improved Penetration: Thinning the PVA glue allows it to penetrate porous materials more effectively. This is particularly useful when bonding materials like wood, paper, or fabric, as the diluted glue can seep into the pores of these materials for a stronger bond.
  3. Better Absorption: When gluing materials like paper or fabric, a watered-down PVA mixture can prevent excessive soaking and warping of the materials, which might happen if using undiluted glue.
  4. Reduced Shrinkage: Diluted PVA glue dries with reduced shrinkage compared to undiluted glue. This is especially important for certain crafts and applications where maintaining the shape and size of the glued items is crucial.

How do you mix PVA with water?

To mix PVA glue with water, you can follow these steps:

  1. Prepare Materials: Gather the PVA glue and clean water.
  2. Ratio: The typical ratio for mixing PVA glue with water is 1 part PVA glue to 4 parts water. This means for every 1 unit (e.g., tablespoon, cup) of PVA glue, you’ll need 4 units of water.
  3. Mixing: Pour the PVA glue into a container. Then, add the appropriate amount of water based on the 1:4 ratio. Mix the PVA glue and water thoroughly until they are well combined. You can use a stir stick or a utensil to mix them.
  4. Consistency: The resulting mixture should have a smooth and uniform consistency. It should be thinner and easier to spread than the undiluted PVA glue.
  5. Application: Apply the diluted PVA glue using a brush, roller, or other suitable applicator. Because the glue is now thinner, it should spread more evenly and smoothly.


With this simple guide, you now have a way to make your PVA glue waterproof. With just a few household ingredients and steps, you can transform a water-soluble glue to a waterproof adhesive that can be used in outdoor projects or aquatic environments. Remember to dilute, mix, and apply in layers, ensuring each coat dries before the next.

1 thought on “How to Make PVA Glue Waterproof (6 Simple Steps)”

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