Learn how to glue pictures to wood here. Choose the right adhesives and methods with our simple instructions for all types of mountings.
An overview of how to glue pictures to wood
Do you have some photos you’d love to display around your home? It’s a great way to keep your memories alive. Sometimes, you might want a variation from the traditional picture frame.
Mounting photos on a beautiful piece of wood, cork, or decorative cardboard can be a fun project. You’ll want to make sure you use a suitable adhesive to do the job right. We’re here to help!
Here are some basic considerations before you begin your project:
- Make sure to choose an adhesive that is compatible with the photo paper. (Some glues may tend to curl the corners or even bleed through the paper. Check the manufacturer’s instructions.)
- Will you be displaying the photo outdoors? If so, you will need to use a glue that will stand up to the elements. Choose an adhesive that is moisture resistant and can stand up to temperature changes and UV light. This is true even though you will likely also laminate the picture for protection.
- Is the picture an irreplaceable keepsake? If it is, make sure to have a digital copy saved so that it can be replaced if damaged.
Glue pictures on wood: permanent mounting
For permanently gluing photos to wood, spray adhesive is a great choice. It dries clear, creates a strong, even bond, and won’t bleed through or curl the photo paper. It’s also quick and easy to use.
Here are the basic instructions for gluing photos to wood with spray adhesive:
- Set up in a well-ventilated area and cover items that might get overspray on them.
- Lay out the photos where they are to be mounted and make a small pencil mark at the corners if needed so you can place them quickly and accurately once the glue is applied.
- Shake the can of adhesive spray 10–12 times, then remove the cap and turn the nozzle towards the black dot on the can.
- Spray a light even coat of adhesive onto the back of your photo. Try to hold the can as close to vertical as possible and about 20–25cm from the surface.
- Place the picture onto the wood surface in the designated place. Reposition immediately if necessary by lifting one corner of the photo and peeling away.
- Use a soft cloth or dry paint roller to smooth out the photo, remove any air bubbles, and ensure the adhesive bonds evenly across the entire photo.
Another permanent method of gluing photos to wood that is especially suitable for outdoor displays is a water-resistant mounting tape. Double-sided tape is ideal, since it can be applied to the wood first, then, after peeling away the plastic coating on the top side of the tape, the picture can be easily mounted.
This type of tape holds up well to the elements and moisture, but it is recommended that you use a clear plastic laminate to cover the photo for protection.
Since there are a wide variety of types of photo paper and poster paper, it is good practice to test a small amount of whatever adhesive you are using before spreading it on the photo. Test glue on the corner of the photo or on a similar one that you will not be mounting to ensure compatibility.
Temporary methods of gluing photos to wood
Need to mount a photo temporarily for your big event? Mounting putty is an easy solution. Choose a putty that is non-toxic, removable, and won’t damage walls and you’re in business.
Here’s how to use putty for gluing pictures to wood:
- Open the sealed packet and pull off an appropriate amount of putty.
- Knead the putty for about a minute and form it into a small ball.
- Press the putty to the back of the photo. (If necessary, apply putty to all four corners.)
- Place the photo into position on the wood surface and press firmly on each ball of putty.
When it’s time to remove the photo, gently peel the picture away. If necessary, use a plastic putty knife to gently pry the putty loose from the wall. Remaining putty can be removed by rolling some fresh putty over top of the residue.
For an amazing putty with a million uses, try Loctite Kintsuglue. Mold it and shape it for any purpose. It’s great for repairs, protecting fragile cables, and reconstructing broken parts. It forms a strong bond but stays flexible and removable. It is available in white or black.