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The Best Way to Glue Foam Board

Updated February 21, 2017

You have a task---make a model of your town's city hall out of foam board. You have gathered all the materials, including the foam board, paint, a cutting tool and even a large piece of foam board to serve as a foundation for the model. The only item you haven't purchased is the glue to hold the model together. The best way to glue pieces of foam board together is with a hot-glue gun and plenty of glue sticks.

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Hot-Glue Gun & Supplies Needed

The best way to glue pieces of foam board together is with a hot-glue gun that uses 3-inch glue sticks. The glue sticks melt quickly, they form an excellent bond and little to no waste is left. You will also need a pair of work gloves, a flat surface to work on, at least two clean cloths or rags and a set of clamps to hold the pieces of foam board together.

Hot Glue Tips

When buying hot-glue sticks, buy the "High Temperature" type of glue sticks. These sticks will hold longer and form a permanent bond. "High Temperature" glue is found at most craft and home-improvement stores. Hot-glue sticks have an indefinite shelf life.

To glue pieces of foam board together, arrange the pieces of foam board first in the position that you want, and then apply the hot glue. Use a cloth or rag to hold the hot-glue gun and push the pieces of foam board together right after you apply the hot glue. Remember---the glue is hot.

Issues With Foam Board

If the foam board project you are working on will be displayed or used outdoors and will be exposed to the sun or direct heat, use Liquid Nails or other similar brand of glue to bond the pieces of foam board together. The Liquid Nails or similar brand of glue will last longer than the hot glue for direct-sunlight or direct-heat gluing applications. Note: Use a putty knife to spread the Liquid Nails or similar glue on the foam board. You don't want to apply the glue too thick.


Hot glue can cause blistering and burns. Wear gloves when handling the glue gun, and work slowly to keep the glue from accidentally spilling onto the work surface, your hands or clothing. If you do get some hot glue on your skin or clothing, use ice to help cool and break up the glue, and then slowly scrape it off your skin or clothing.

Painting Foam Board

Wait until the hot glue or Liquid Nails/similar glue has completely dried before painting the foam board. Paint your foam board projects with spray paint, acrylic or another type of paint. If using an oil-based paint, apply a water-based primer first and then the oil-based paint. The water-based primer will help seal the edges of the foam board.

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About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.

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