With reverence, Dad would open the heavy, brown-paper-wrapped bundle that was decorated with the feathery writing of Granny Ruffman and at least 20 stamps.
Inside the package, smelling like all things holy, would be a five-pound tin of rich, dark demerara sugar and at least one box of cookies we called ‘hats’; penny-sized biscuits topped with pointy swirls of hard icing in seven or eight colours. Just seeing the blue foil packaging on a box of ‘hats’ turned 3-year-old salivary glands into geysers.
And just like the cherished treats of one’s youth, good adhesives are capable of creating an emotional bond. (Bond, get it?)
For example, when I worked in construction in California, the go-to adhesive was Liquid Nails. Ever since I moved back to Canada I’ve been nostalgic about how easy it was to get Liquid Nails at any California hardware store, but not a drop could be found north of the 49th.
Well, it’s finally here and boy is it welcome.
Stuck On It
The average home is a minefield of failed adhesives; masking tape that leaked spider veins of paint under its edges, caulk that pulled away from tub surrounds, super glue that wasn’t even in the gifted category let alone ‘super’.
You come to a point in life, the earlier the better, when it’s not worth wasting your time or money on substandard products that clog, dry out in the tube after a few months or ruin a job because they don’t adhere well. Finding adhesives that work beautifully is one way to carve back a little control in middle-to-upper adulthood.
Back in California my favourite Liquid Nails products were construction adhesive, sub-floor adhesive and paneling/moulding adhesive.
If you’re renovating right now, here’s the rundown:
- Construction adhesive is the king of the line; its tack level is so high it could stick hydrogen to oxygen (if they weren’t already in a relationship).
- Sub-floor adhesive, squeezed onto joists before putting down a plywood subfloor, results in a rubbery barrier that guarantees a 100% squeak-proof floor.
- Liquid Nails panel adhesive is like high-end denture cream for wainscoting or paneling; your installation will never fail or gap and you don’t need nails or screws to clamp it in place while it cures.
If you’re not into heavy remodeling, there are two new small-size Liquid Nails products that I love. Between All-Purpose Home Projects adhesive and General Repair and Small Projects Adhesive, you can bond an insane number of things to each other and live to brag about it.
And by the way, both of these products carry the Greenguard Children and Schools Certification, which means that they meet stringent indoor air quality criteria for sensitive environments such as schools and hospitals. Gone are the days of stinky, solvent-laced household cements.
Liquid Nails All Purpose Home Projects adhesive is designed for interior/exterior use. It sets up in one hour and cures fully in 24 hours. It’s the Miss Congeniality of glues with the ability to provide a waterproof bond between textiles, wood, paper, leather, ceramic, foam insulation, rubber, canvas, stone, cardboard, brick, marble and concrete, aluminum, steel, brass, PVC, fiberglass, neoprene, nylon, and ABS. Absolute gold for any crafter, maker, tinker or hobbyist. It dries clear and cleans up with water.
Liquid Nails General Repair and Small Projects Adhesive is focused on the home improver who’s repairing or installing common building materials – vinyl, wood, concrete, moulding, tile, carpet or cork. It sets up fast (20 minutes) and takes 48 hours to cure fully. It can be sanded, painted or stained after curing. Dries white and cleans up with soap and water.
With these two products in your home repair arsenal there’s almost nothing you can’t mend or rejuvenate. And for the chronically handy, Liquid Nails is way classier than duct tape.
Where to get it:
If there’s any downside to Liquid Nails, it’s that you can’t find it in every hardware store. Liquid Nails products are available through Dulux stores and savvy local hardware suppliers. Check for your closest store at www.liquidnails.ca.
— Mag Ruffman appears regularly on radio and TV. Visit her online at www.toolgirl.com.