How to Glue Leather to Wood In 9 Easy Steps

How to Glue Leather to Wood? Photo of a person applying glue to a piece of leather.

If you need to re-attach worn leather to a wooden frame, there’s a specific process to take to protect both surfaces but still get the job done! Here’s how to glue leather to wood, and all you should know.

You can glue leather to wood by using white or yellow wood glue. Another method of gluing leather to the wood is to use contact cement to create a strong and firm hold between leather and wood.

Choosing between classic wood glue and purpose-designed leather glues, as well as sorting through all of the glue options on the market, is a personal choice.

Can you use wood glue for leather?

It often surprises many people to learn that you can use wood glue with leather, but it’s true! However, you’ll want to stick with a light-colored and general-purpose wood glue to protect your leather’s integrity and color.

What is the best way to glue leather to wood?

If you want to stick to the most straightforward option out there, you can use tried-and-tested wood glue. Either yellow or white glue will work well and will protect your leather while you attach it permanently to the wooden item. 

You can also consider a clear-finish glue if you have no experience with leather and glue and don’t want to risk glue showing on your final product!

Simple is great, but you can also consider more specific options out there. There are lots of job-specific glues that can do a better job than classic wood glue. One of them is contact cement, and it’s one of the most common types of glue to bond leather and wood together.

Can hot glue gun glue wood and leather together?

Hot glue guns are fantastic; most will have one somewhere in their home. It makes sense that you’d want to try it with leather and wood. You can use a hot glue gun to attach the leather to wood temporarily, but it won’t hold for long.

Unlike other kinds of glue, this is a temporary bond rather than a permanent bond. So, it’s great for testing something out or using something in a pinch, but you’ll still want to use a regular purpose-designed glue!

Is Super Glue good for gluing leather to wood?

Another household favorite is Super Glue. This is an example of a permanent bonding glue that many use for crafts and even general household repairs! You can safely use Super Glue to attach leather and wood permanently.

Hint:

Consider a practice take with glue gun glue. Super Glue has a short curing time and is a permanent bond. If you get it wrong, it will stay that way!

The main thing to think about with Super Glue is that it’s best used for smaller projects. Larger projects will be better off with a more specific kind of glue since the curing time will be much more forgiving!

What kind of glue will glue leather to wood?

As you’re learning, quite a few different types of glue will work well with leather and wood. The actual glue types include:

  • Wood glue
  • Cement glue
  • Cyanoacrylate (CA) glue
  • Epoxy glue
  • Polyurethane glue
  • Polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue

When shopping for glue, these glues are all good ones to consider for your needs. Most of these serve more than one purpose, too, so they’re simply great to have around the house!

Best glues for leather to wood

Are you looking to get more specific about the actual types of glues and how to know what you should buy when you get to the store? Here are some of the best glues that many swear by:

  • Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue
  • Gorilla Super Glue Gel
  • Loctite Super Glue 
  • Barge All-Purpose TF Cement Glue
  • Glue Masters 

If you look at that list, you’ll find it interesting that wood glue is listed first! That’s because even with all of the available options, wood glue is still your best choice for working with leather and glue together.

The Super Glue gel is an excellent option if you want to use something that you can then use for just about everything else in your home. As well you can also rely on Super Glue to repair small rips, tears, or imperfections in your leather!

If you’re looking for a glue that is going to go above and beyond, you’ll find the Glue Masters to be helpful — it’s an industrial glue. Your best bet is to use this for repairs to furniture or other items that are going to get a lot of use.

How to glue leather to wood step by step

If you’re looking for some support on using these glues and your leather and wood together, keep reading for the step-by-step process that will help show you just how easy it is to work with these glues.

  1. Read the instructions
  2. Rough up your leather and wood
  3. Apply glue to the leather
  4. Allow the leather to dry until it’s tacky
  5. Apply glue to the wood
  6. Allow the wood to try until its tacky
  7. Press together firmly
  8. Use clamps or heavy objects to keep it in contact
  9. Dry thoroughly

Sure, no one wants to take the time to read the instructions, but they’ll be very helpful in ensuring you know how to use the glue you’ve bought properly! 

Fun Fact:

Roughing up the two surfaces helps open the nap and grain, respectively, so they’ll better receive the glue. You can get away with only sanding one surface, but it won’t hold as well!

Can faux leather be glued to wood?

If you’re working with faux leather, you can still attach it to wood. The only difference, according to eHow, is that you’ll want to get a product specifically designed for faux leather. If it says that it’ll work with faux leather, it means that it will bond properly. 

FAQ on leather and glue

Have you worked away on gluing your leather and found that you’re having some problems with it? Take a look below at some of the most common problems!

  • My leather won’t glue to the wood. Why?
  • Will the glue discolor my leather?
  • Why didn’t the glue work?

My leather won’t glue to the wood. Why?

This answer applies to wood glue (more on general glue issues below). If you are using wood glue and it doesn’t seem to want to bond between wood and leather, it might be due to a treatment or a color choice. Sometimes a specific treatment or coloring can reduce the actual bonding capability!

Will the glue discolor my leather? 

This is a common question and a good one to ask! Most of the time, the glue itself won’t discolor your leather. You’ll still want to make sure you use it properly and don’t get it everywhere in the process. If you’re concerned, or your leather is especially light in its color, consider getting a clear-drying glue!

Why didn’t the glue work?

Let’s assume that you didn’t use wood glue in this response. The most likely scenario if the gluing process didn’t work is that you skipped a step or you modified a step!

Many failed glue sessions are due to not leaving enough time to cure. The other likely scenario is that you used the wrong type of glue! This is why reading the instructions is so important.

Gluing leather to wood can be a learning experience, but it’s definitely possible with the right products. You can use wood glue or a purpose-designed cement glue when looking to attach wood and leather.

There are a lot of products out there to help you choose just the right one for your needs and your overall experience level. Make sure to get familiar with the step-by-step process of gluing leather and wood together for the best results!

If you know someone who’s looking for help repairing and gluing a leather piece of furniture, share this article with them to help them out!

Andre from leatherninja.com

Andre is a passionate leatherworker who spends his spare time working with leather. He loves the smell and feel of leather, and he takes great care in selecting the right pieces of leather for his projects. Read more here.