Can You Glue Metal to Wood? What Kind of Glue Works on Both Surfaces?

Various DIY home projects involve attaching metal and wood surfaces together which often requires using nails, screws, and power tools. However, some might prefer to cut down on the cost and effort of using screws by using glue instead.

So, can you glue metal to wood? You can glue metal to wood as long as you’re using the right kind of glue that will be able to bond strongly with both surfaces. The best kinds of glue for both metal and metal are epoxy glue, super glue, or gorilla glue. You also need to make sure that both surfaces are clean and dry before applying the glue.

Keep reading to learn more about the kinds of glue that work on metal and wood surfaces and how to prepare both surfaces to bond with the glue.

You can also check out my guide to the best glues for attaching metal to wood here.

How to Attach Metal to Wood without Screws?

metal on wood to show how can you glue metal to wood without screws

Metal and wood are two vastly different materials which can make attaching them to each other without using nails or screws very challenging.

The best way to go about it is to use an adhesive material that will be able to bond strongly with both surfaces without causing any damage.

What Kind of Glue Works on Metal and Wood?

As mentioned before, metal and wood are different materials with different properties, particularly when it comes to their porosity and density. So, choosing a kind of glue that will be able to bond with both of them can be tricky.

Let’s take a look at the kinds of glue that effectively work when applied on both metal and wood:

Epoxy Glue

It is made from two main ingredients which are resin and hardening fluid. The two typically come in separate containers.

The glue bonds with the surface when the resin and hardening fluid are combined just before applying them to the surface.

It might take longer to dry than most kinds of glue, however, it can create an extremely strong bond that will withstand high degrees of pressure for extended periods of time.

Super Glue

Its main ingredient is a chemical compound called cyanoacrylate which gives it the ability to form extremely strong bonds with various kinds of surfaces including metal and wood.

The surface the glue is applied to needs to have some degree of moisture in order for the glue to react instantly and form a stronger bond.

Gorilla Glue

Its main ingredient is a chemical compound called polyurethane which makes it one of the strongest and longest-lasting adhesives.

It’s completely waterproof and can be used on various kinds of surfaces including metal, glass, stone, wood, and ceramic.

I recommend the Gorilla Superglue (amazon link).

How to Glue Metal to Wood?

In order to successfully glue metal to wood, you first need to prepare both surfaces for bonding before applying the glue.

Preparing The Surface for Bonding

To prepare metal and wood for bonding with the glue, you need to make sure they’re both completely clean and free from any contaminants that might interfere with the adhesive properties of the glue.

To clean the wood surface, you can wipe off any dirt using a cloth soaked in water and soap. However, to clean the metal, it’s recommended to scrub it using wire or fine-grid sandpaper to remove any dirt as water might cause some damage to the metal. 

It’s also recommended to apply some rubbing alcohol on both surfaces to remove any grease, oils, or waxes. Make sure to dry both surfaces with a clean cloth after cleaning them and avoid touching them with your bare fingers otherwise you will contaminate them again.

Applying the Glue

Apply a thin layer of glue on both surfaces you want to stick together. It’s recommended to use a brush to apply the glue for better control over where the glue goes and how thick the application is.

Keep both surfaces pressed together until the glue sets and try not to apply too much pressure until the glue is completely dried and cured. 

Make sure to also check out this guide to gluing glass to metal.

Related Questions

How to Remove Glue from Metal?

To remove glue from metal, you first need to soften the glue by using a strong solvent like acetone or by applying heat to the surface. Once the glue is soft, you can scrape it off the metal. You need to be careful when scraping the dried glue from the metal surface to avoid causing any damage.

What Is the Best Glue to Attach Wood to Wood?

The best glue to attach wood to wood is animal glue as it can form a strong bond with the surface. It dries clear so you can apply multiple layers of glue. It will also allow you to correct any irregular fits as you can separate the glue surfaces by softening the glue with heat.

How Fast Does Glue Dry on Metal?

Glue will take about 15-30 minutes to dry on metal. Then, it will take from 12-24 hours for the bond to cure completely before using the surface. The speed of the drying process mainly depends on the kind of glue used, the amount of glue used, and the conditions of the room you’re working in.

Helpful Resources 


Polyurethane Glue

Epoxy Glue

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