Sealing Chipboard With PVA

Chipboard is a cheap and highly versatile material that can be used in several ways in woodworking. Whatever you use it for, you need to ensure that it is not vulnerable to water. PVA is a popular high-performance sealer, but does it work on chipboard?

sealing chipboard with PVA

You can seal chipboards using PVA, but it may not be effective if the material is exposed to a lot of moisture since dried PVA may not repel water and the chipboard is not waterproof. To use PVA as a sealer, you should dilute it with water at a ratio of 1:4 and apply it using a paintbrush. 

In the rest of this article, I will explain everything you need to know about PVA as a sealant and how it works with chipboard.

Will PVA Seal Chipboard?

When you’re using chipboard for something that may come into contact with water or other liquids, you may need to use sealant to make sure that there’s no water damage. Different types of sealants go with different materials, but you may have heard some recommend using PVA for chipboard.

There is an ongoing debate about using PVA as a sealant for chipboard. Some agree that it works as a good sealant; it may even be recommended in the instructions that come with the chipboard planks you buy. Others maintain that PVA is not the best solution and can lead to water damage.


Generally speaking, PVA acts as a good sealant for chipboard, although it needs to be diluted with water. As long as the chipboard is not in contact with too much moisture, it should work fine. Use PVA for woodwork in a relatively dry environment; for extra caution, get waterproof chipboard.

Chipboard shouldn’t be in contact with too much water in the first place since it’s not waterproof and can swell with moisture, even when it’s sealed. Even the so-called waterproof chipboard is vulnerable, so make sure not to use it on bathroom or kitchen floors, for instance. If you decide to use chipboards and PVA, coat it twice or apply a layer of varnish on top of the PVA. 

How To Seal Chipboard With PVA

If you decide to seal the chipboard with PVA, keeping in mind everything I’ve explained so far, you must follow all the necessary steps for sealing chipboards. Before starting work, gather everything that you’ll need for this process. You’re going to need the following:

  • PVA sealer 
  • Water 
  • A bowl
  • Dry cloth
  • A paintbrush (some use a paint roller, but a brush works better for absorption), 
  • Working gloves 

Once you have everything you need, you can start applying PVA as a sealer for chipboard, following these steps:

  1. Dilute the PVA sealer. Mix one part PVA with four parts water in a bowl. 
  2. Clean the surface of your woodworking project with a dry cloth. Make sure there is no debris of any kind on the surface so that nothing will adhere to the PVA.
  3. Apply the dilated PVA to the chipboard piece. Apply it evenly and get the edges and all the areas exposed to moisture.
  4. Allow the area to dry sufficiently for at least an hour to be sure.
  5. Optionally, apply another coat if needed. You can also apply a layer of paint or varnish, depending on what you want to do with the chipboard piece.

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What You Need To Know About PVA

PVA is mainly known as an adhesive for different types of materials, but it can serve various purposes in DIY projects, like sealing, priming, and dust-proofing. You can use it on chipboard and plywood, in addition to proper wood. Like any other material, PVA has its advantages and advantages.

Chipboard with PVA


PVA is made of polyvinyl acetate and is safe to handle with bare hands, although working gloves are always recommended when working with wood and sealers. Additionally, PVA doesn’t give off any odors or dangerous fumes.

Because it’s primarily used as a sealer, PVA dries very quickly, typically in 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the material it’s used on. It’s a very potent adhesive and can handle a lot of pressure.

PVA has multiple uses in addition to sealing chipboards, as you’ve seen so far. Being non-toxic, powerful, and easy to apply, PVA has found uses in all types of DIY work around the house:

  • Drywall primer
  • Wallpaper adhesive
  • Wood glue
  • Wood filler
  • Bookbinder


Dried PVA does not work well in freezing temperatures. Be careful to avoid using it in projects that will be exposed to low temperatures, especially as an adhesive. PVA can also be broken down by various fungi, algae, and bacteria.

Moreover, as I explained above, PVA is not entirely waterproof, so don’t use it as a sealer in humid conditions. It’s not a good idea to use it as an adhesive in those conditions, either, since moisture breaks down the glue.

Final Thoughts

Chipboard is one of the cheapest materials in woodworking, making it a popular choice for many people. However, since it’s not waterproof, it needs sealing to ensure it doesn’t swell because of moisture.

You can use PVA to seal the chipboard, but only on surfaces that won’t be exposed to too much moisture. PVA is a good sealant but can’t resist too much humidity or low temperatures. To apply it to a surface, dilute it with water and use a paintbrush.