MAU Art & Design Glossary

Spray Adhesive



Spray adhesive is an admixture of an adhesive synthetic rubber (such as acrylic resin-based rubber) and a volatile organic solvent (like isohexane or acetone) packaged together in liquefied or compressed gas form so that the adhesive can be sprayed. Spray adhesive is useful for quickly applying a broad and even layer of adhesive over thin, flat objects like paper, cloth, or photographs. The volatile solvent in spray adhesive lets you bond materials without having to worry about the warping that water-soluble glues can cause.

There are various spray adhesives for specific applications. Some have weak adhesive force for temporary use, while others are super strong and heat resistant. Some have coloring that fades after drying. In addition to bonding paper, some are designed to bond materials with uneven surfaces such as cloth, wood, and metal.

Before using spray adhesive, set up a spray booth or cardboard box in a well-ventilated area. The box prevents the adhesive from coming into contact with other objects. Shake the spray can well and spray the surface in even strokes from about 20 cm away to avoid irregular distribution. Do not apply the adhesive with the can held upside down. Wait about 10 seconds after spraying before bonding the materials. If you accidentally get the adhesive on the floor or a desk, you can remove it with a special cleaner. When you are finished using the adhesive, hold the can upside down and spray for about one second to clear out adhesive on the spray nozzle and prevent clogging. (Some products come with a replacement spray nozzle in case the spray nozzle becomes clogged.)

Be sure to use spray adhesives in well-ventilated areas only and wear a mask during prolonged use. Immediately rinse any areas of the body that are exposed to the adhesive with warm water. Check all usage warnings and instructions on the product before use. Spray adhesive and related products are available for purchase at art stores, stationery stores, and home improvement stores.