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Best Glue to Stick on Mouldings, The Contenders…

One of the most common questions that we get asked here at CM is “what do I use to stick my mouldings to my project?”. There are a lot of different glues out there We thought it was about time we did a bit of a write up on the pro’s and cons of the different types of glues that people generally tell us they use.

Before doing a comparison I just want to point out that there is one huge factor that will affect the sticking of your mouldings. The back of the moulding must beSanding-Applique nice and flat. When a moulding is first de-moulded ​there is often a slight natural recess on the back and often a little roughness to the edges.
We machine sand the backs of all our mouldings on an industrial belt sander to ensure that the backs are nice and flat. We then refine sand the edges to ensure a nice finish all around. Most of our competitors do not bother to do this.
This has a big affect on the ability to glue the moulding to a flat surface as a slight recess will inhibit the glues performance dramatically

Best Glue to Stick on Mouldings, Contender No 1…

No nails. This is one of the common choices by many to apply their mouldings. There’s no denying it has quite a grip.

What we like about it…
This is an easy solution for a really strong bond to most surfaces and is available at most DIY stores. It sets reasonably quickly and is generally something that you may already have lurking in the shed if you’re a keen DIY’er.

What we don’t really like about it…
We do generally find this a bit clumsy to use. It’s usually supplied in a large tube to be applied with a mastic gun. This can be a little tricky to do with a degree of accuracy, which you will need for smaller mouldings.

As the adhesive is quite thick it has a tendency to hold the mouldings off just a little which can leave a bit of a gap around the edges of your mouldings.
We also had a bit of a problem with the smell. If you’re using it indoors it can leave a bit of a chemical odour which some may object to, especially if you have a lot of items to stick.

Lastly we also found that it takes a little time to cure the moulding. So, generally have to be held in place so that they don’t sag or drop out of place before they are set.

Best Glue to Stick on Mouldings, Contender No 2…

Wood Glue This is a very versatile and strong glue that sticks almost anything.Gorilla Glue(Pictured)and white PVA glue both fall under this category.

What we like about it…
Wood Glue is nice as it’s easy to apply to even the smaller mouldings with a good degree of accuracy. It sets reasonably quickly if you buy the quick drying option and is virtually odourless. It cleans up easily with water as well if you have a mishap. It has a low initial grab but once it sets the bond is extremely strong.
It also has a reasonably low viscosity so you shouldn’t have any awkward gaps left around the edges of your mouldings.

What we don’t really like about it…
Although this is a great versatile glue, the biggest problem for me is the lack of any initial grab to hold the moulding in place. The glue can be a little ‘greasy’ (if that’s the right word!). Therefore, as you press on your mouldings they tend to slide around a little until you have secured them into place while the glue sets.
It is quite runny, so be careful not to use too much. This is because it can have a tendency to run or drip a bit which can lead to a little extra work. Apart from that it’s a good choice.

Best Glue to Stick on Mouldings, Contender No 3…

Hot glue gun / glue sticks.​ This is an easy to use solution that many people seem to like.Glue Gun

What we like about it…
We used the hot glue method in some of our earlier projects as it’s a convenient way to stick just about anything to anything.

It’s quick with a good instant grab and as soon as the glue is cooled, it has set, usually within a minute or so.
There’s not really any clean-up to worry about as the glue cures so quickly,

There’s generally no need to support the mouldings in place until the glue has set.

What we don’t really like about it…
Hot glue is, well…hot! Get it on your fingers and you’re going to know all about it. Make no mistake, you will burn yourself while using this! The gun has to heat up enough to almost turn the glue to a liquid in order to be useful and this can take some time, as well as being dependent on being close to a power socket, not ideal in all cases so something to bear in mind.

As the glue is applied it also seems to create fine strands of glue that you just don’t seem able to get rid of, they get everywhere. It’s like you’ve had a row with Spiderman! So after you’ve attached your mouldings you will likely have sore fingers and strands of glue all over you. Not to mention, the glue is thick and leaves a gap around the moulding as a result. The bond is also not the strongest and mouldings can be knocked off with little effort.

Best Glue to Stick on Mouldings, Contender No 4…(And our favourite!)

Cyanoacrylate two part glue. This is what we use all day long at CMHQ, it’s the Mohammed Ali of glues!

What we like about it…
This glue is used exactly like superglue (or crazy glue if you’re from the USA, or craggle if you’re made of Lego!) If you haven’t seen the Lego movie, you won’t get that, and if you have, Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team. You’re going to be humming that all day now! I digress, back to the glue.

It comes in two parts. The first part is just like super glue. The second part is an activator which, when combined, sets the glue in seconds. It seems hard as granite! Only a small amount is needed and it will allow you to stick lots of mouldings is a very short space of time. There’s no need to secure your mouldings in place with tape etc as with the other glues as it sets so quickly and you will find 101 uses for it around the home as well.

What we don”t really like about it…
Well, not much actually, it’s pretty much the ideal glue for the job. The only thing we have found is that it’s not great on something like Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ if it hasn’t been sealed. It seems like it reacts and lifts the paint off. Once the paint has been sealed though, the glue is fine. As 99% of the time you will apply your mouldings before you paint, this is not really an issue to worry about.

You’ll need to be pretty accurate with positioning your mouldings once you have applied the glue as is sets very quickly. Oh, and it’s also a good idea to wear some plastic gloves as if you get this glue on your fingers it’s going to be there for a while!

All in all we find this to be the best glue to stick on mouldings with. Grab some, you’ll be glad that you did.​

Please post a comment below to let us know which glue you’ve tried and how you found using it. Remember to share and like on Facebook too, your likes and comments are always appreciated.


  1. Hi. I am in Massachusetts, USA. I will have no trouble finding super glue/crazy glue here, but what will I substitute for the activator here in the US?
    I wish there was a local place to get your mouldings!!! Haven’t tried any yet…but want to! Thanks

    • Carole, I was thinking the same thing. Just got to Amazon and search for “CA glue activator”. Several USA brands pop up with free 2 day shipping if you are a prime member. Or you can just pop into Home Depot or Lowes for an activator spray. A brand name “Bob’s” has the CA glue, Activator spray as well as a CA glue remover which is essential for when you get a bit on your fingers! Good luck!

  2. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.
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  3. I am doing crafting and I using Annie Sloan Chalk paint. I am sticking wooden and plastic, and I am sure with time other embellishments on top of the paint/wax, but I have ther problem where it is easily dislodged withe the paint. I love doing the work and the paint so I would love to find a solution. Ultimately the best would be to glue then paint, and certainly before wax. But, most of the embellishments are letters and intricate items that you would not want to wax around as the wax gathers around them and makes it messy. You can spend a lot of time sorting it out with poking and material but it is not greT. I need to be able to glue successfully on the paint and wax. I have started to paint as a hobby and I love it, so if anyone can help me with my glue issue I would be grateful. I have tried hot glue, super glue, ova, gorilla glue …..

  4. Hi, what glue will stick strips of plastic on to chalk paint.

    Kind regards
    Kitty 🐱

    • HI Kitty. Could you be more specific? It depends what type of plastic it is. Becky

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