Do you have broken pottery or ceramic pieces that need repairing? Have you wondered what the best glues are for repairing ceramics and pottery?
If you have then keep reading.
In this article, we will explain our top choices in adhesives for repairing pottery and ceramics, explain what you should look for when shopping for glues, and answer a few questions we often hear on the subject.
Don’t have time or the desire to read the entire article, here is a quick summary of what consider the best glues for repairing ceramics and pottery.
Easiest to find:
Loctite Super Glue – We love Loctite Super Glue for the simple reason that it works well and is available everywhere. From grocery and convenience stores to craft and art supply shops, you are almost always within 15 minutes of a bottle. That is if you don’t already have a bottle handy.
Best glue for general household use:
Gorilla-2 Part Epoxy – Comming in an easy-to-use syringe, being waterproof, and having one of the highest tensile strengths on the market makes Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy a great general-purpose adhesive. There is little it won’t bond and once it cures stays where it is supposed to.
Best ceramic epoxy glue:
J-B Weld MinuteWeld Instant-Setting Epoxy – J-B Weld Minute weld is a ceramic epoxy with a tensile strength of 2300 pounds per square inch. This makes it one of the strongest adhesives available to the general public.
Best clear adhesive:
Weldbond Universal Adhesive – If you need a truly clear adhesive that dries with a glossy finish, then this is our top choice. It also works well for other types of crafts and cleans up with water.
Overall best super glue for ceramics:
Gorilla Super Glue Gel – Thicker than most other cyno-acrylic glues, Gorilla Super Glue Gel is easier to control. It is impact and moister resistant and has a long tip to reach into tight spots.
Best for filling cracks:
Devcon Home 2 Ton Epoxy – When you have gaps and cracks to fill in, you need an adhesive thick enough to stay in place and strong enough to reinforce your pottery. Devcon Home, 2 Ton Epoxy, fits this description perfectly.
Best epoxy putty:
Visbella Epoxy Putty Stick – For a solid waterproof repair, Visbella Epoxy Putty Stick is just the ticket. It can be sanded and painted to make repairs unnoticeable, and there is no measuring required to use it. All you need to do is knead and apply.
Best waterproof glue:
Gorilla Glue – Sandable, sustainable, paintable, and waterproof, Gorilla Glue creates a prominent repair that can be rendered almost completely unnoticeable.
Best Glue to Repair Pottery and Ceramics
1. Loctite Super Glue
Loctite Super Glue is America’s go-to adhesive for many reasons. A small bottle can generally last through numerous gluing jobs. It bonds a wide range of materials. Best of all, its long, slim, no-clog applicator makes it possible to reach difficult locations with ease. This tip also serves to keep the glue away from your fingers.
Water-resistant and impervious to most solvents, Loctite Super Glue works with just a tiny amount. This makes it possible to make near-seamless repairs to ceramics and pottery without the risk of drips and runs.
The downsides to using this glue are that it is not food safe and provides a near-instant bond. Because of this, you need to position pieces very carefully and avoid getting it on your fingers. Most people who have used Loctite Super Glue have at least one story of becoming too attached to their work.
2. Gorilla 2-Part Epoxy
The entire Gorilla glue family is known for its strength and durability. Their two-part epoxy more than meets expectations. Water and solvent resistant, it is ideal for surfaces that require frequent cleaning.
One reason for its high durability is the fact that while solid, it retains slight flexibility. The ability to flex means that the normal vibrations in a home or slight bangs and bumps are less likely to cause future breaks.
Capable of bonding a wide variety of different surfaces, Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy is ideal for repairing pottery, ceramics, and mixed medium pieces of artwork. The one negative we can find about this adhesive is that it does not stand up to heat well. This makes it unsuitable for repairing clay and earthenware cooking pots.
If you only want to keep one adhesive around the house for repairing everything from ceramics to automotive trim, we highly recommend Gorilla two-part epoxy. Its five-minute set time is just long enough to allow you to make needed adjustments without the need to sit all day, letting it develop its grip.
3. J-B Weld Minute Weld Instant-Setting Epoxy
We consider J-B Weld Minute Weld to be the best epoxy for repairing pottery and ceramics mainly due to its high strength and durability. The fact that it is chemical and water-resistant doesn’t hurt any.
With 2300 pounds per square inch of tensile strength, it can be used to repair large pottery terra cotta planters, and smaller works are no challenge.
Minute Weld comes in a two-chamber syringe to make measuring a perfect balance of resin and hardener effortless. Best of all, as the name implies, J-B Weld Minute Weld Instant-Setting Epoxy sets up very quickly and reaches its full strength in a matter of a few hours.
The only weakness that we have found with this adhesive is that it does not bond well with glass. It will stick, but the joints tend to pull apart if heavily strained.
4. Weldbond Universal Adhesive
A professional-grade glue that is well known among the arts and crafts crowd, Weldbond Universal Adhesive is an easy-to-use adhesive that also can be pressed into service as a protective coating.
It dries crystal clear and remains flexible, making it great for collage pieces as well as repairing pottery and ceramics. Weldbond requires no mixing and can be brushed on. This makes it ideal for fixing complex shapes like sculpted work with hard-to-reach crannies.
Weld bond is ideal for repair projects you want to include your kids in. It is non-toxic, odorless, and cleaned up with soap and water before it dries.
One major weakness we have found with Weldbond Universal Adhesive is that many plastics and rubber compounds, as well as cast metals, do not bond well with it. So, don’t take the universal part of the name too seriously.
5. Gorilla Super Glue Gel
Gorilla Super Glue Gel gets our vote as the best super glue for ceramics and pottery primarily for one reason. It is thick.
Like most adhesives in this class, it bonds very quickly and provides a very solid repair. In all probability, your patchwork will be stronger than the original piece.
What sets Gorilla Super part is that it is thick enough to stay where you put it. You can even apply it overhead with little chance of it dripping or running.
This glue is packaged in a conveniently small bottle with a long spout perfect for reaching tight places. As an added bonus, we are yet to find any materials that it will not stick together.
Whether you need a super-strong bond for holding large pieces of pottery together or fine control to repair ceramics without leaving a visible seam, Gorilla Super Gell delivers.
6. Devcon Home 2 Ton Epoxy
When mixed, Devcon Home 2 Ton Epoxy has a consistency much like butter. It resists running and sagging and stays where it is put. That, along with the fact that Devcon 2-Ton is a zero shrinkage adhesive, makes it ideal for filling large cracks and seams or spots where pieces are missing.
Like all non-clay epoxy adhesives, it comes in two parts; a hardener and a resin. When these are mixed, you have a 30-minute window to make your repair, and it will reach full strength within 24-hours.
Providing 2,500 pounds per square inch of bonding power and being waterproof, Devcon Home 2 Ton Epoxy can be used to bond and fill gaps in large urns or delicate ceramics with equal ability.
7. Visbella Epoxy Putty Stick
There are times when you need to make a repair that goes beyond simply gluing pieces together. The missing pieces are too large, or the gaps are too wide. That is when epoxy putty comes in handy.
Visbella Epoxy Putty Stick comes as a solid bar with clay-like resin wrapped around the hardener. You simply break or cut off the amount you need and work it until well blended. No measuring is necessary. You end up with a clay-like material that can be molded and shaped however you wish.
As a general rule, you will have about 20-minutes to work with the putty before it becomes too stiff. After one hour, it can be sanded, drilled, carved, and painted.
Visbella Epoxy Putty Stick is ideal for patching large gaps in pottery, replacing handles on ceramic mugs, and a multitude of other pottery and ceramic repair tasks.
8. Gorilla Glue
Gorilla Glue’s motto is “for the toughest jobs on planet Earth.” I’m not sure where else we would use it, but it is a good marketing line mainly because it is true.
There are very few items you can’t repair using Gorilla Glue, including ceramics and pottery. It is waterproof, heat and cold resistant, solvent resistant, and super strong. It can even be sanded, drilled, stained, and painted.
Being polymer-based, Gorilla Glue is three times stronger than other non-epoxy type adhesives. If you have pottery or ceramic repair jobs, large or small, inside or out, Gorilla Glue shines.
What to Consider When Buying Glue for Pottery
While any of the adhesives on our list can be used on any broken pottery or ceramics you may have, they each have their strengths and weaknesses. Below are seven areas of concern you should consider before picking glue to repair your ceramics or pottery.
1. What are you repairing?
The first thing you should look at is what you are repairing. Is the piece painted, glazed in large chunks, or just chipped along the edge. If you want the repair to be unseen, it is best to choose a glue that closely matches the color of your artwork or can be painted or stained to blend in. If there are small pieces missing, then you may be better off with a putty-type adhesive that can be used to fill in space and reinforce your ceramics.
2. Does the glue need to be water-resistant?
In general, if you are repairing a piece of pottery that will need to be washed or hold water, you are going to want to use a waterproof adhesive. Most epoxies are waterproof, while cyno-acrylic super glues are less so. Most white crafting glues are not waterproof at all. To avoid having your ceramics fall apart when they get wet, read the manufacturer’s labeling to be sure your glue can stand up to getting.
3. Does the adhesive need to be food-safe?
Many ceramic glues contain chemicals that you would not want to leach into your food. If your pottery is going to be used for eating, drinking, or cooking, look for the FDA approval stamp on the glue’s label. Unless you have a degree in chemistry, this is the surest way to know that the adhesive is food safe.
4. How is the glue dispenser shaped?
You may think this is an odd thing to consider, but don’t laugh too quickly. Trying to do a neat job of repairing a piece of ceramic depends on getting glue only where it is needed. Using adhesives that have long thin applicator spouts or can be brushed on is a big help. Breaking your favorite piece is frustrating. Repairing it shouldn’t be.
5. How long does the glue take to set?
Different adhesives have different working times. As a general rule, super glues set faster than epoxies. Still, within each category, times can vary greatly. It is best if you consider how long you have to make a repair and how complicated it may be. You want a glue that allows sufficient time for you to place each piece. However, you don’t want to be sitting and trying not to wiggle so long you get fatigued.
6. How does the glue looks when it dries?
Most glues change appearance as they dry. Some adhesives become clear, some turn white, and some look like rock. Many adhesives have a milky look. While this may not be an issue when only hairline cracks are visible, it can be a major concern when fill work is needed. As a general rule, you want to use glue that will as closely match the original finish as possible. Even if you are going to paint over a repair, the texture should be a consideration.
7. How much does the adhesive cost?
Price is always a consideration when making any purchase. Glues are no different. While price does follow quality in most cases, with glues for ceramics, this isn’t always the case. Some lesser-known and priced adhesives have proven to deliver excellent performance. Our best advice is to create a shortlist of possible glues to use and then check the reviews on them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Gorilla Glue food safe?
Yes, Gorilla Glue is FDA certified as Food safe. This means it can be used on items that may come into contact with food and drinks. Gorilla Glue contains no toxic substances that have been found to present a danger to humans.
Is it Safe to repair ceramic kitchenware?
You can repair ceramic kitchenware and even clay cooking pots, provided you use a food-safe adhesive. If you are going to repair any kitchenware, be sure to use FDA-certified adhesives. These are easy to identify by the FDA symbol displayed on their packaging.
Is Gorilla Glue appropriate for repairing pottery and ceramics?
Gorilla Glue is definitely usable on ceramic and pottery items. It is one of the most often recommended adhesives for repairing clayware on the market. You can use it indoors and out and it is even food safe.