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When it comes to construction and home projects, liquid nails are a great alternative to traditional nails and hammer.
However, unlike nails and screws which hold immediately, liquid nails require some time to dry in order to hold these surfaces strongly.
For starters, this drying is what is known as liquid nails cure time.
In this post, I will walk you through how long it takes for liquid nails to cure fully.
Read on for a detailed explanation of the issue…
Liquid nails cure time [Here is how long you’ll wait!]
The drying time of liquid nails varies depending on the material you are using it on, how well you follow the application instructions, and a couple of other external factors.
So, how long do liquid nails take to cure? (estimate/average time)..
Typically, liquid nails adhesive will begin to dry in about 15 minutes after you have applied it.
Underline the words begin to dry because it is what it is – your project will just have begun drying (and it is not cured!).
So here’s the fact:
Liquid nails adhesives require anywhere between 4 and 24 hours to substantially dry.
And indeed, for them to achieve maximum holding strength, they may require up to seven days!
The good news is that after this period, I can guarantee you (with almost 100% certainty) that not even a hailstorm will separate your two surfaces!
Let me add this…..
The brand of the liquid nails matter
Now, as you might be aware, there are numerous types of liquid nails adhesives out there.
And they are all designed to be used on different materials.
The most important thing to bear in mind is that these liquid nails have different dry times (and instructions).
Now, this is greatly dependent on the ingredients used to manufacture the liquid nails.
Another determinant is how closely you follow their application instructions.
I’m telling you this because I do not want you to get shocked if your project takes 36 hours to cure- it might be due to the brand and you may have overlooked certain instructions.
How to speed up liquid nails dry time
We are humans and thin on patience- with a few exceptions- so you may just want to speed up the dry time of your liquid nails adhesive.
If that’s so, I have some great news: Speeding up your liquid nails cure time isn’t as complicated as you might be thinking and all you need to do is just follow a few fairly simple steps to achieve this.
Here are these steps:
Using the recommended amount of liquid nails
Using the excessive deposits of liquid nails will probably result in longer dry times for your project.
So be sure to use the right amount as indicated in the application guidelines on the package.
Ensure optimal temperature
Liquid nails will tend to dry slowly in cold temperatures.
To be specific, liquid nails are designed to optimally dry at a temperature of 70⁰ F(21⁰ C) so you want to maintain a temperature of around 70⁰ F (21⁰ C) for faster drying.
Side note: Be careful also not to increase your heat past 120⁰ F also. Temps above this will soften your liquid nails causing the overall drying time of your adhesive to lengthen.
Improve the ventilation
Ensuring good ventilation helps air to circulate more efficiently thus cranking up the absorption process that helps the solvent in the liquid nails construction adhesive to evaporate and harden.
This again fastens their drying time significantly.
Of course, this strategy only helps when you are working in closed environments.
Liquid nails not drying – what you can try if liquid nails are taking too long to dry or won’t cure at all
Have you noticed that your liquid nails are taking longer than their advertised time to cure?
If yes, there may be a few reasons that might be behind the problem….
Let us briefly look into them so that you can know where to begin.
You have used too much liquid nails adhesive
To begin with, you may have used more liquid nails adhesive than the recommended amount.
As I had told you earlier, this sometimes lengthens the dry time.
Solution: If you suspect that this is what you did, you should try and increase the temperature within your environment to around 70⁰ F (21⁰ C). It might do the trick.
Did you use the right product really?
Another plausible reason is that you could have used the wrong liquid nails product for your surface.
You see, manufacturers design different construction adhesives for different surfaces- there are different liquid nails products for surfaces such as concrete, wood, glass, bricks, metal, Styrofoam, plastic, and more.
And it is an open secret that using the wrong liquid nails product for the wrong surface might result in the surfaces taking too long to cure (they may end up not bonding at all if the liquid nails brand you bought is incorrect).
Solution: Get the right product and repeat the entire process.
Is the environment conducive for quicker drying?
Your liquid nails could as well be taking too long to set because you applied your adhesive in a moist / humid environment.
The fact is excessive humidity in the air will often make liquid nails to take longer to dry.
Solution: Here you will want to increase your ambient temperature(you can heat up the garage). Also if there’s adequate ventilation(where you’re working from).
Did you clean the surface properly before application?
The last possible cause is applying liquid nails while the surface is grimy and dirty.
I really cannot insist on using liquid nails on clean surfaces enough- it will always be a problem to set and even hold solidly and securely if you did not clean the surface before applying your adhesive.
Liquid nails cure time -Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does liquid nails take to dry on plastic?
Depending on the brand, it can take anywhere between 4 and 16 hours.
It’s worth mentioning that a major reason this is normally shorter than other liquid nails adhesives is that the liquid nails specially designed to bond plastics are oftentimes less thick.
Bear in mind that, for total curing, up to 1 week of uninterrupted drying may be necessary for a strong hold.
How long does liquid nails take to dry on metal?
Liquid nails products used to bond metals are usually thicker than other adhesives.
That means that they ordinarily take a bit longer to dry- 24 hours of un-interrupted drying is recommended if you want a good hold.
1 week is again recommended for 100% cure.
Do liquid nails dry clear?
When it comes to drying, liquid nails don’t dry clear, for the most part-you will instead note that they dry with a shade of white or grey.
Otherwise, there are brands of liquid nails adhesives including the popular silicone sealant that will almost dry clear.
Problem is, these brands are only suitable for small aesthetic projects as they don’t provide strong enough holds for heavier construction projects.
Liquid nails cure time – final thoughts
When it comes to drying time, most construction adhesives will begin holding within 15 minutes of application.
However, it may take 24 hours to develop a good hold.
As for total curing of liquid nails, you may have to leave your project for up to 7 days.
Do not forget that factors such as dirty surfaces, low temperature, and high humidity lower the drying time of liquid nails so you might want to eliminate them to reduce your waiting time.
How to use liquid nails on wood [Step-by-step]
What is liquid nails used for? [Detailed answer]
Liquid nails for baseboards – Do they really work?