AbstractSoy protein adhesives are good candidates for the replacement of formaldehyde-based adhesives due to environmental concerns. However, poor water resistance has limited their application. This study was conducted to improve the water resistance of a soy-protein adhesive intended for plywood by polyethylene glycol (PEG) with different molecular weights. Ethylene glycol (EG), diethylene glycol (DEG), 400-, 2000-, and 10000-dalton polyethylene glycols were used as additives to soy protein isolate (SPI). The hydrogen bonding interaction, thermal properties, wettabilities on poplar veneer, and adhesion properties of the blended adhesives were investigated. Results showed that improving the wettability and intermolecular hydrogen bonding, induced by ethylene glycol, increased the wet adhesion strength by 30%. Higher-molecular weight polyethylene glycol imposed a decrease in adhesion due to its poor water resistance. Based on the present results, it is proposed to improve the water resistance of soy adhesives by introducing hydrophilic polyols, which also could simultaneously improve surface wetting and wet adhesion.