Liquid Nails are a very popular brand of construction adhesive that is used for a wide variety of heavy-duty projects that require bonding things together, as regular nails would.
It begins drying in approximately 15 minutes, but it takes a full week to fully cure and reach its maximum strength.
However, how long Liquid Nails take to dry will depend on diverse factors that range from environmental conditions to the type of materials bonded together and the thickness of application.
Keep reading to find out what Liquid Nails can be used for and how you can speed up the drying process!
What Are Liquid Nails?
As we’ve mentioned before, Liquid Nails is the brand name for a construction adhesive. Using regular nails to build or repair something can be a hassle. It’s a repetitive and tiring task, and there’s also the possibility of hurting your hands with the hammer.
If you want a permanent, durable, water-proof alternative then this adhesive is the best choice!
You can use Liquid Nails to hang drywall, attach molding, lay tile, and many other projects as it’s formulated to work with different types of materials such as foam board, plasterboard, plywood, concrete, ceramics, metals, fiberglass, and more.
The only situations in which it’s not recommended to use it are: when working with a material that’s powdery, chalky, or flaky, if it moves excessively, or is submerged in water.
What Is the Difference between Liquid Nails and Wood Glue?
Wood glue is another versatile adhesive, but it’s very different from Liquid Nails as regards dry time and use. While wood glue makes a stronger bond on wood, it takes longer than Liquid Nails to dry. What’s more, Liquid Nails are better than glue for adhering nonporous surfaces such as metal, plastic, or glass together.
What Is the Difference between Dry Time and Cure Time?
The dry time and cure time are very different things, and one shouldn’t be mistaken for the other.
Liquid Nails dry time refers to how long it takes for the adhesive takes to dry so that it’s hard to the touch. During the dry time, the bonded surfaces should be clamped to hold the adhesion in place.
How long Liquid Nails take to actually dry might vary depending on the product you purchase, so make sure you read the label before applying it.
Cure time, on the other hand, is the amount of time it takes for the Liquid Nails to reach full hardness and strength. You’ll notice that cure time is significantly longer than dry time, typically about 7 days. However, there are some products that might take several weeks to fully cure.
Allowing the construction adhesive to fully cure is crucial to ensure a strong bond.
Factors That Affect Liquid Nail Dry Time
There are several factors that can have an impact on how long Liquid Nails take to dry. It’s important to account for them if your project is time-sensitive.
It’s not only the temperature of the air or the room you’re working in that affects the dry time of Liquid Nails, but also that of the bonding surfaces.
Low temperatures can significantly slow the drying and curing processes, so it’s recommended to apply the adhesive when the temperature is between 40 °F and 90 °F (between 5 °C – 32 °C).
Porosity of the Bonded Material
We’ve said that Liquid Nails can be used on nonporous materials, and it definitely can! The only problem is that these surfaces won’t absorb the water and the solvents in the adhesive, so it will take longer to dry.
It’s recommended that at least one of the bonding surfaces be porous. It’s alright if both are non-porous, just be prepared to wait a week or more for the adhesive to fully harden.
Humidity and Moisture
Another environmental condition that can affect how long liquid nails take to dry is humidity. Humidity should be lower than 60 percent for an extended period, or the adhesive might never fully cure.
Moisture is important as well, particularly when it comes to the surfaces you’re bonding. Some of the most common ingredients in construction adhesives include polyurethane acrylics, resin, clay, cement, rubber, and different solvents.
Rubber-based adhesives will dry faster when the bonding material is damp or moist, whereas solvent-based ones will take a lot longer to dry.
Since there are different types of Liquid Nails adhesives, you should read the label for specific and more accurate drying conditions.
Working in a well-ventilated area can impact dry time by accelerating the evaporation process of the water and solvent in the Liquid Nails. Moreover, solvent-based adhesives can release harmful fumes, so cross ventilation is essential to dissipate these fumes and the solvent odor.
Amount of Liquid Nails Applied
Just as with paint and many other types of glues and adhesives, the thickness of the layer you apply can impact the dry time of Liquid Nails. Thick layers of adhesive can increase the dry time by days! Remember to check the application instructions on the label to apply the correct amount of product.
How Do I Make My Liquid Nails Dry Quicker?
If you wish to speed up the drying process of Liquid Nails, you should take the factors we’ve previously mentioned and improve any lacking conditions. These are some strategies you can implement:
You should keep the bonding piece in a place where it isn’t too hot nor too cold. If you’re working on a hot day, turning on a fan to keep the room cool can help. For colder days, setting up a space heater can improve the dry time.
Just be careful of where you place the appliance. Neither of them should face the bonding piece directly.
If you’re working in an enclosed space such as a shed or a garage, improve the airflow by opening the windows and turning on a fan. Not only can air help speed up the absorption process of the solvent in the adhesive, but also reduce the humidity levels in your working area.
However, the fan shouldn’t aim directly at the bonded piece, but rather generate a nice cross breeze.
Correct Application of Liquid Nails
Always try to apply the exact amount suggested on the product’s label. A thick layer can take ages to dry, and a thin one might not be strong enough to hold the bond.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Liquid Nails toxic?
The solvent in the adhesive makes Liquid Nails toxic before drying. Once the adhesive is dry, the solvent is no longer present and so the product is no longer toxic.
Is Liquid Nails flammable?
Again, the solvent in the adhesive makes Liquid Nails extremely flammable before drying. This is the main reason why we recommend you don’t place a space heater facing the workpiece directly.
How long do Liquid Nails last?
Liquid Nails adhesives typically last for about 2 years after the manufacturing date on the label or at the bottom of the container. However, storage conditions can impact the shelf life of the adhesive, so the company recommends using it within one year after your purchase.
Can I reposition my workpiece after applying Liquid Nails?
You can only reposition your workpiece within the first 15 minutes, so make sure you check that everything is in the right place as soon as you apply the adhesive.
Can Liquid Nails be removed?
Yes, it can, but it’s going to require quite a bit of patience. To removed Liquid Nails you have to apply direct heat to the bonded surface to soften the adhesive. Once softened, it’ll be easier to separate the bonded materials.
If you’re looking for a high-strength, multi-purpose construction adhesive, then Liquid Nails is here to save the day. This adhesive typically dries within a day and cures in about a week. If you’re in a rush, we’ve provided some useful tips that can help you speed up the drying process.