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Spray Adhesives and Mounts

Spray adhesive is a low viscosity glue that is contained in an aerosol can and dispensed in micro-droplet form. There are dozens of different kinds of spray glue that are designed to be applied to many different kinds of surfaces. Some are fabric specific, rubber specific, or even temporary.

Spray glue tacks quickly and forms strong bonds in very little time. Because you are spritzing a high-tack adhesive onto a surface, it has very little surface penetration. This characteristic makes it ideal for forming bonds with everything from paper, cardboard, fabric and foam to plastic, metal, wood and much more.

Spray glue is awesome because it dries so quickly and can regularly be substituted for white glue, hot glue, tape, and other adhesives, just be sure that the adhesive you are using can be bonded to your project materials. In making a choice of spray adhesive, it is important to note how quickly it bonds, and whether the bond is permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary.


Tips and Facts

Spray adhesives have oodles of options when it comes to its level of tack and cure speed. Some are designed to be repositionable - great for piecing fabric or making a photo collage, others behave more like a contact cement - where you spray two surfaces, allow to dry, then permanently bond the two faces.

When working with mating dissimilar surfaces, like textile to wood, or rubber to metal, spray adhesive is the best option because of it's cure speed and ease of application. It should be noted that spray glue is rarely structural, so mating heavy surfaces is not advised.

Like any aerosol product, spray adhesive produces a lot of overspray, and it is important to keep that overspray to a minimum. You can mask areas with masking tape and plastic sheeting. Placing your parts in an empty cardboard box before you spray this is a great way to keep overspray to a contained area.

To ensure even coverage, it is best to start spraying from 2" to 3" off of the project's surface on one side and finish spraying 2" to 3" off of the project's surface on the other side. Start off. Finish off.

Most spray adhesives will advise when the open time of the adhesive ends, but most spray adhesives require at least 30 seconds after the adhesive is applied before mating surfaces. This allows the solvents to evaporate and improves the bond strength.

When spraying from the can, try to hold the can as upright as possible. Holding the can horizontally may cause uneven coverage, especially if the can is near empty and already sputtering. Spray glue is designed to defy gravity, so if you can, coat your pieces perpendicular to the ground.

Applying two thin coats of glue is advised over spraying one thick coat of glue. Spraying too much or too closely can wet the surfaces you are trying to bond, or cause puddling. Uneven adhesive thickness means you have uneven cure times within your project.

Working with aerosol cans of any material like glue, paint, or lubricant requires some degree of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Wearing gloves is a good way to protect your skin, but be sure to keep micro-droplets out of your eyes by wearing some safety glasses. Some spray adhesives will have a smell strong of solvents, so be sure to work in a well-ventilated area or wear a respirator


Removal

Removal of dried spray adhesives can be accomplished using acetone, mineral spirits or citrus oil based removers. Apply the solvent to a clean cloth and place it on the glue layer for several minutes.The glue will soften, and then can be removed with a clean dry cloth.

When working with solvents like acetone, or mineral spirits, you have to be aware of what kind of surface you are applying it to. Solvents can take paint off walls and or damage wood finishes. Be sure to only use solvents on unfinished surfaces, or be prepared to refinish your surface if necessary.

It is best to catch overspray before it cures, here are some easy tips for removing spray adhesive from various surfaces without damaging your hard work.

  • Isopropyl alcohol works great on laminate counters, plastic, and most metals. Be sure to patch test your surface before applying a chemical like alcohol to a visible area.
  • Clay! A mechanic friend told me about this tip, and it blew my mind. If you need to get spray glue off a finished surface, you can swab it with an auto detailing clay bar, the glue particles will be picked up without any surface scratches made.
  • Nail Polish Remover is a diluted form of acetone - and gentler on many finished surfaces than 100% pure acetone.

Spray nozzles can get clogged too. If the nozzles you are working with gets clogged, try inverting the can and press down on the nozzle - this should blast out any residue. If that doesn't work, try soaking it in turpentine or mineral spirits. You can also save good nozzles from empty cans to use as replacements.


Class Project

This can work with any figurine, or really anything I suppose, so use your imagination. I found this particular figurine in a box of things my mom had given me a few years ago - I had painted the dog at one of those Glaze-your-own ceramic shops in 1997, I was 10. It didn't really work in my current apartment, but I thought it would be fun to dress up this piece of history and turn it into a keepsake I still want to hold on to.

Materials Needed

Start by painting the figurine with acrylic paint. Depending on the surface material you are painting, you may need multiple coats of paint. Acrylic paint bonds really well to most surfaces, but especially clothes, so be sure to wear an apron or things you don't care too much about, just in case. Give the paint a full day to cure.

To prevent overspray going all over the place, it is smart to place the figurine in a box. I like to wear gloves while handling and moving pieces coated in spray adhesive, once it coats skin it can be really tricky to handle the project.

To avoid the flocking dust from sticking in awkward clumps, the mini strainer works like a flour sifter to distribute the flocking powder evenly across the surface of the figurine. Shake out a little bit at a time, and gently turn the figurine to coat the surface in velvety powder.

The spray adhesive you choose will specify how long it remains tacky for, in this case, the adhesive I was using would remain sticky for 30 minutes before it began to cure. The flocking dust is a little tricky to get into all the nooks and crannies of figurines, so the period of the cure time is actually very helpful.

Repeat until the figurine is flocked to your heart's content. Some figurines I've made needed just one coat, others needed two to three.

Let cure overnight and voila! I turned a relic from my personal history into some 60s inspired throwback decor. This technique works great with glitter too, but I recommend spraying a few coats of clear coat after you apply glitter to a surface with spray adhesive. This will prevent it flaking off when it comes into contact with other surfaces.

Spray glue may be the fastest glue we'll work with during this class, but in our next lesson, we'll work with an adhesive that can either bond very quickly or very slowly, epoxy! Epoxy is great for making structural repairs with super-strong plastic based adhesive. Get ready for a smashing good time!


Quiz

{
    "id": "quiz-1",
    "question": "What's the best way to contain overspray?", 
    "answers":[
        {
            "title": "Using spray glue in a ventilated area",
            "correct": false
        },
        {
            "title": "Placing your project in a cardboard box while applying",
            "correct": true
        },
       {
            "title": "Shooting glue 2-3 inches away from your project",
            "correct": false
        }

    ],
    "correctNotice": "That's correct",
    "incorrectNotice": "That's incorrect"
}
{
    "id": "quiz-2",
    "question": "When would you need to hold the can upside down and spray",
    "answers":[
        {
            "title": "For coating unique forms and shapes with adhesive",
            "correct": false
        },
       {
            "title": "To remove cured glue from a clogged nozzle",
            "correct": true
        }

    ],
    "correctNotice": "That's correct",
    "incorrectNotice": "That's incorrect"
}
{
    "id": "quiz-3",
    "question": "What can cause an uneven cure time?",
    "answers":[
        {
            "title": "Thin and even coats of glue on your bonding surface, applied multiple times",
            "correct": false
        },
        {
            "title": "Applying too much glue in places, causing puddles of adhesive",
            "correct": true
        }
   
    ],
    "correctNotice": "That's correct",
    "incorrectNotice": "That's incorrect"
}

CLASS PROJECT

Share a photo of your finished project with the class!

Nice work! You've completed the class project