Broken pottery can make a good day go south quickly. Whether it was a gift from someone close to you or a piece you worked hard on, it’s never fun having to pick up the pieces of a project that was once whole. Let alone explaining it to someone else if the piece you broke wasn’t your own.
If you’re looking for a solution, however, the hard work is over. In fact, this article will introduce you to a few solutions you can try in order to repair your broken pottery or ceramics. No matter which pottery and ceramic glue you choose, your project is most likely fixable. And if it’s not, you may want to try embracing the Japanese concept of imperfections, known as “wabi-sabi.”
Are you ready to find a ceramic glue you can trust when it comes to pottery and ceramic repair? Let’s get started with a list of our picks for the best glue for pottery repair.
Our Top Picks
Gorilla Glue Original Waterproof Polyurethane Glue: Best Overall Glue
Supertite Multi-Grab 360° Adhesive: Best Flexible Glue
HG Power Glue Cyanoacrylate (CA) Glue: Best Two-Part Glue
Gorilla Super Glue Gel: Best Gel Glue
Pratley Epoxy Glue: Best Transparent Glue
Devcon Epoxy Bathtub Repair Kit: Best Porcelain Repair Glue
Gorilla Clear Glue: Best All-Purpose Glue
Pratley Quickset White Epoxy: Best Epoxy Glue
Aleene’s Mixed Media Adhesive: Best Multipurpose Glue
Beacon Glass, Metal & More Premium Permanent Glue: Best Super-Strength Glue
What to Look for in a Glue for Pottery Repair and Broken Ceramics
Not all ceramic glues are made the same, which is something you’ve probably experienced if you’re trying to glue ceramic or pottery back together. There are some ceramic glues that just won’t stick. However, as you’re looking through our list of the best glues for ceramic and pottery repair, here are a few things you’ll want to pay attention to.
Ease of Use
We’ve all heard the stories about people using epoxy or super glue and ending up with digits glued together, rather than what they were supposed to be gluing. The best glue for ceramic and pottery repair is easy to use, which can mean a few different things.
For example, glues are easy to use if they don’t make a huge mess. That means a no-clog spout, a bottle or tube that doesn’t strain your hand to use it, and/or a replaceable cap that actually seals the glue up for next time.
The best glues for pottery and ceramic repair are also easy to use if they don’t require much more than applying the glue and allowing it to set. The requirement to clamp pieces together might not be possible for ceramic and pottery pieces, given their unique shapes and nonporous surfaces. The best glues will not require clamping if they’re used for ceramic repair.
Purchasing larger amounts of glue makes the most of your investment. While most glues for pottery and ceramic repair often go by the saying “a little goes a long way,” having more at your disposal can be useful at times. After all, accidents happen and there’s bound to be another time where you need more of the same glue that worked for you the first time.
Working and Set Time
Having a long working time can be great for ceramic and pottery repair. Sometimes getting the pieces to line up just right within that first 60 seconds of application can be intense. After all, once you glue the piece together, it’s kind of permanent.
The best glues for pottery and ceramic repair are those that have a reasonable working time, as well as a relatively short set, or curing, time. The work time allows you to position the piece how you like it and then curing time gives that bond time to set up. A longer curing time can delay the repair process, but in some cases it’s necessary to obtain the best bond possible.
Many people consider super glues to have a short shelf life. However, the best super glue for repairing lightweight ceramics forms a strong bond no matter how many times you’ve opened the tube. The best epoxy also forms a strong bond after being used a few times as well. The best epoxy and super glue should be something you can keep in your tool kit year-round.
Food and/or Dishwasher Safe
Many potters use their creations in daily life, such as in the form of coffee cups or plates. If you’re looking to repair a favorite saucer or object that requires washing and/or comes into contact with food, you’ll want to choose a glue that fits under those same requirements.
The best glue for ceramic and pottery repair holds tight, even under extreme pressure, temperature, and a changing environment. It’s also safe for pieces that touch food.
Best Glues for Pottery Repair & Fixing Broken Ceramics
Here are our picks for the best glues for pottery repair and fixing broken ceramic items.
Gorilla Glue Original Waterproof Polyurethane Glue
Originals often can’t be topped, and the same can be said for the Gorilla Glue Original Waterproof Polyurethane Glue. That’s why we’ve chosen it as the best glue to use for pottery and ceramic repairs.
This 8 ounce bottle of Gorilla Glue should be plenty to repair your broken ceramic projects. In fact, the glue itself expands three times the amount you apply, so a little goes a long way. The glue itself is 100% waterproof and applies and dries clear.
Even though this ceramic glue is waterproof, it actually requires water in order to activate. You’ll want to dampen the surfaces you’re gluing before applying the glue. If you plan on gluing surfaces that are smooth, you may want to scratch them up a bit in order to give the micro-precise super glue a purchase.
Gorilla Waterproof Polyurethane Glue bonds wood, stone, metal, foam, glass, concrete, and most importantly, broken ceramic. Plus, there are a few other materials you can glue with this Gorilla Glue product. You can bond pieces together in both hot and cold temperatures, so you don’t have to worry about working in a summer-like environment to get the best results.
This Gorilla Glue product will stain skin and clothes, so be cautious when you apply it. You can easily wipe away any excess ceramic glue within the first 15 minutes after application. Clamp the pieces together (if possible) for about 2 hours and then let the project cure for at least 24 hours to set completely.
Gorilla Waterproof Polyurethane Glue is the best glue to repair broken pieces of ceramics and pottery. In fact, it can tackle most ceramic materials and other materials, which is the main reason why we chose it as the best ceramic glue.
- Expands three times the amount you apply
- Cures fully in 24 hours
- Bonds in both hot and cold temperatures
- Stains skin and clothes
Supertite Multi-Grab 360° Adhesive
If you’re looking to take your repair project full-circle, check out the Supertite Multi-Grab 360° Adhesive glue. It’s one of the best flexible ceramic glues you can invest in to repair any broken ceramic pieces.
Supertite’s Multi-Grab 360° Adhesive is low-odor and remains transparent throughout the application and drying process. Within the 2 ounce tube is a glue that is waterproof, flexible, and permanently forms an industrial-strength bond. In fact, Supertite makes it so that the micro-precise super glue won’t dry out in the tube, so you don’t have to consider them single-use tubes like many other super glues.
Supertite’s Multi-Grab 360° Adhesive works both indoors and out, on materials such as plastic (flexible and rigid), cloth wood, stone, paper, crystals, rhinestones, foam building blocks, craft foams, metal, glass, and of course, ceramics.
- Low-odor during application
- Sold in small amounts so you may need a few tubes for larger broken pieces
HG Power Glue Cyanoacrylate (CA) Glue
Many people think of CA glue as a stinky super glue that has to be handled with care so as not to get it everywhere you don’t want it. Plus, doesn’t CA glue dry out practically as soon as you open the super glue tube?
That’s not the case with HG Power Glue’s CA Glue. In fact, this particular CA glue can actually be placed in your refrigerator or freezer for 1-2 years or more to keep until you need it. Because the CA glue is a chemical weld that happens when two substances come together, you can easily store them away from one another and they should keep for quite a while.
HG Power Glue CA Glue is made here in the United States. The chemical bond it forms is weatherproof, waterproof, and can be sanded, lacquered, machined, and/or drilled after it’s cured. HG Power Glue is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. It bonds together wood, rubber, plastic, glass, metal, aluminum, stone, and ceramics.
Though HG Power CA Glue doesn’t react well with clothing and other absorbent materials, it is resistant to diesel, gas, water, UV rays, and the dishwasher. In order to apply HG Power CA Glue, simply apply the powder to the broken pieces and then apply the adhesive component. Allow the adhesive to harden for a few seconds and the bond is set. You can also just use the adhesive without the powder as well when it comes to this waterproof glue.
- Keeps for years even after opened
- Bonds a variety of materials
- Dishwasher safe
- Cannot be used on absorbent materials, such as clothing
Gorilla Super Glue Gel
This single pack of Gorilla Super Glue Gel might not look like much, but there’s a lot of bonding power in that 20 grams of super glue gel. The ceramic glue itself is clear and dries within 10-45 seconds after application. You won’t need to clamp your pieces together, since this super glue sets up so quickly.
You also won’t need to use much of this type of Gorilla Glue. In fact, Gorilla Glue recommends using a single drop of super glue per square inch, which means you can glue more repairs with a single bottle. Speaking of which, the bottle has an anti-clog cap. Rather than having to throw away your super glue bottle because of a clog, you can keep using that bottle for many, many projects.
Gorilla Super Glue Gel isn’t recommended for use with certain plastic types. However, it is impact-resistant, heat-resistant, and strong. The super glue gel formula won’t run, so you can precisely apply the glue where needed. Gorilla Glue Gel will bond metal, rubber, leather, paper, wood, and ceramic.
- Quick dry with zero clamping
- A little bit goes a long way
- Super glue gel formula is easy to apply
- Not for use on polyethylene or polypropylene plastic
Pratley Epoxy Glue
For those of you who prefer to work with epoxy, the Pratley Epoxy Glue might be your new best friend. This epoxy glue is a two-part system of 20 mL tubes each. Separating these two parts may seem like an extra step in some cases, but it can actually extend the life of the epoxy so you can continue to use it for a few years.
The Pratley Epoxy Glue is clear when it applies and sets clear for invisible repair. The epoxy sets quickly like most epoxies do, so you don’t have to worry too much about clamping and letting the parts sit there for a day or two to cure.
Pratley’s Epoxy Glue is a bit of a runnier consistency for hard to reach places. Sometimes getting thicker glues into the smallest of crevices can be a hard task, but doing so can make the difference between a strong repair and a problem spot that’s weak.
Glass, plastic, jewelry, metal, stone, porcelain, and broken ceramic can be repaired with Pratley’s Epoxy Glue.
- Clear application that dries invisible
- Runnier consistency fills in the smallest of cracks
- Quick set time
- Epoxy can have a distinct smell that may be irritating to some folks
Devcon Epoxy Bathtub Repair Kit
You may not think to repair your pottery or ceramics with bathtub epoxy, but when you use the Devcon Epoxy Bathtub Repair Kit, you’ll see why it’s a good alternative.
This bathtub repair kit of Devcon epoxy glue contains a 1.06 ounce tube of almond and white epoxy. The epoxy has a 1,500 PSI strength rating and bonds fiberglass, porcelain, and plastic. If you’re worried about maintaining a food-safe quality, this waterproof ceramic glue has you covered.
- 1,500 PSI strength rating
- Bonds fiberglass, porcelain, and plastic
- May not bond some types of pottery (those without porcelain) as well as other types of glue
Gorilla Clear Glue
Gorilla Glue makes a strong lineup of glues, and the Gorilla Clear Glue is no exception. This super glue comes in a 5.75 ounce bottle that’s easy to use. The glue itself is clear and dries clear so you won’t see the seams once your piece is glued back together. Plus, it’s also heat-resistant.
Gorilla Clear Glue bonds stone, metal, foam, glass, wood, and ceramic. It’s a water-resistant formula that you actually want to store with exposure to light. If you don’t expose this Gorilla Glue to light, it can actually make the ceramic glue expire sooner.
To apply the Gorilla Clear Glue, dampen the surface with water. Apply a few drops of super glue to the surfaces you’ll be gluing together, but don’t be tempted to use too much. A small drop can bond together a large area in most cases.
Within 15 minutes of applying the Gorilla Clear Glue, you can wipe away the excess without having to worry about it setting up too quickly. Even after the ceramic glue hardens, you can sand off the excess if it oozes out of the seam.
Gorilla Clear Glue won’t work well with certain types of plastics. However, you will want to clamp the piece together for about 2 hours and then allow the piece to set up fully for 24 hours in order to fully cure the glue.
- Can (and should) be stored with exposure to light
- Clear during application and after curing
- Cannot be used with certain types of plastic
Pratley Quickset White Epoxy
We talked about a Pratley epoxy earlier, but this particular Pratley Quickset White Epoxy can actually offer you a different set of benefits. For example, this Pratley white epoxy is ideal for heavy-duty applications, where strength is required.
The epoxy is contained within two separate tubes to be mixed when you’re ready to start gluing. There’s about 36 mL of epoxy component in each tube, so you should have plenty of epoxy to conquer most repairs.
Pratley’s quickset epoxy is not only strong, but it can also fill large gaps if there are any pieces missing in your pottery or ceramics. The fact that it dries white also helps, since you can paint over the epoxy to make it seem like the repair never happened. Besides painting the epoxy, you can also saw, machine, sand, and file it as well.
The Pratley white ceramic glue sets within 14 minutes and achieves full-strength adhesion within 24 hours of curing. You can use the Pratley ceramic glue filler to fix broken ceramic basins, toilets, and ceramic tiles. The water-resistant formula makes repairing a porcelain toilet an easy task. Additional applications beyond ceramic materials include metal, wood, stone, concrete, glass, fiberglass, and ceramic, of course.
- Fills large gaps with ease
- High-strength formula for industrial applications
- Can be manipulated after curing
- Requires 24 hours to fully cure
Aleene’s Mixed Media Adhesive
Glues that can be used to repair ceramics and pottery oftentimes are limited to certain applications, but with Aleene’s Mixed Media Adhesive, general purpose takes on a new meaning.
We chose Aleene’s Mixed Media Adhesive because it can be used for a variety of applications. This product can be applied to metal, glass, plastic, wood, tile, stone, fabric, and more. The adhesive creates a permanent, durable bond that dries clear, so you don’t have to worry about finishing the adhesive afterwards to hide your repair.
Aleene uses an acid-free formula that sets in seconds. It’s also waterproof and comes in a 1.5 ounce tube that should get you out of trouble on many fronts, no matter what media you’re working with. Choose Aleene’s Mixed Media Adhesive multi-purpose glue for a strong, durable bond if you need to repair ceramic pieces.
- Multitude of uses around the home and in the studio
- Acid-free formula
- May be more of a jack-of-all-trades, rather than a master
Beacon Glass, Metal & More Premium Permanent Glue
It might be the last pottery and ceramic piece repair glue on our list, but Beacon Glass, Metal & More Premium Permanent Glue holds up the end of our list with a strong presence. As the name implies, this ceramic glue is super strong and grabs fast for a permanent bond you can depend on.
Beacon’s Premium Permanent Glue bonds glass, mosaics, mirrors, jewelry, canvas, wire, metal, plastic, and more. The ceramic glue is waterproof, weatherproof, and remains pliable so you can set your projects back together just how you like them. It’s also heat-resistant, too.
Beacon Glass, Metal & More Premium Permanent Glue dries clear and resist UV rays to never yellow as it ages. The ceramic glue itself can be thinned and cleaned up with toluene when wet. The 2 ounce tube contains quite a bit of glue, as you don’t need to use too much for repairs.
In order to use Beacon Glass, Metal & More Premium Permanent Glue, lightly sand the surfaces you’ll be joining. Apply the ceramic glue and allow it to set and cure completely. Beacon Glass, Metal & More Premium Permanent Glue shouldn’t be used on rigid foams, and it will emit an odor during use, so be sure to work in a well-ventilated area during application.
- UV- and water-resistant
- Dries clear
- A small drop makes a big difference
- Omits an odor that may irritate some folks
Types of Pottery and Ceramic Glues
There are a few types of glue you’ll come across when you search for glue to repair pottery and ceramics. Here are a few of the most common types you’ll see, along with characteristics of each type that may or may not make them ideal for your individual repair situation.
Super Glue (CA Glue)
You’re probably familiar with super glue and may have even stuck your own appendages together with the substance. This fast-acting ceramic glue is good for many purposes, from pottery and ceramics to broken toys and household items.
The one difference you’ll want to pay attention to with super glues is a chemical called cyanoacrylate. It’s the main component in cyanoacrylate adhesives, or CA glues. These glues require moisture in order to cure, as the CA molecules bond with the water molecules to create adhesion.
It’s important to note that CA glues should not be used on broken ceramic items that will come into contact with food or drink. Most super glues, including CA glues, are toxic and therefore will not only degrade in the dishwasher, but they will also leak these toxic chemicals into your food/drink as well.
Many epoxies come as a two-part system: one being the inert component and the other the activator. When mixed, this two part epoxy reacts in order to form a strong bond. J B Weld is a common epoxy many people use on a variety of projects, from indoor repairs to outdoors fixes. However, J B Weld is often not used in pottery repair.
Epoxies can dry transparent or white, depending on the type and application. Most bathroom epoxies dry white, to match the grout and caulking surrounding the tiles and bathroom fixtures. However, that’s not to say epoxies can’t be used outside the bathroom. In fact, they’re a great way to bond pottery and ceramics.
Can you use ceramic glue that’s meant for bathroom use to repair pottery?
Yes, porcelain glues can be used for ceramics and pottery repair. Porcelain is made from clay, just like ceramics and pottery are, though porcelain is fired at higher temperatures. If you need to fix ceramic tiles in your home, you can also use that same strong glue to repair broken pottery. Ceramic floor tiles aren’t so different from the creative ceramic piece on your mantle.
Is pottery repair glue food safe once cured?
Most pottery and ceramic glues are food and dishwasher safe. However, that’s assuming they are non-toxic. Typically, this means they don’t contain a toxic element that could seep out in the dishwasher and/or into your food. The toxic element that typically determines whether or not a glue is food safe is cyanoacrylate. This substance can be found in super glues, also known as CA glues (the CA standing for cyanoacrylate adhesives).
What is the best ceramic glue for pottery repair?
We found the Gorilla Glue Original Waterproof Polyurethane Glue to be the best ceramic glue for repair. However, you may have better results from other glues on our list, depending on what you’re gluing together. Finding a good ceramic glue can seem hard if you’re not sure where to start. This article is a good resource to find ceramic adhesives that will fix your problems.
What’s the difference between super glues and epoxy glues?
When it’s time to glue ceramics together, you typically have both super glue and epoxy glue to choose from. Epoxy glues can be harder to work with compared to regular glue or even high power super glue, since they set up so quickly. However, they are a strong adhesive that weather the outdoor elements for a long period of time.
Super glues can also be water resistant glue, too. Where epoxy adhesives tend to have an odor, super glues have a less volatile chemical composition.
Can you use glass cement glue for ceramic repairs?
Yes, you can use glass cement glue for ceramic piece repairs, especially if you want to keep those items food safe. Simply look for “china and glass cement” the next time you’re shopping. You can also search “porcelain adhesive” to find the best ceramic glues for fixing a porcelain toilet, if that’s the material you’re working with.
One type of glue you don’t want to invest in when it comes to repairing ceramics is wood glue. Wood glue is not the correct glue to bond the type of material found in ceramics.
How do you glue broken pottery?
Broken pottery should first be cleaned of any debris. Then, depending on the type of glue you use, you may need to score the areas you’ll join in order to give the glue something to stick to. For many of the glues we’ve included on our list, a drop of glue will go a long way, so use the product sparingly.
Once you’ve applied the glue, you’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for curing. Some may require clamping, while others may cure in just a few hours. It really depends on which glue you choose and how much repair was necessary.
We hope you’ve found this article on the best glue for ceramic and pottery repair useful in your own applications. It’s never fun to have to repair a broken pottery project, but the good news is that if/when you need a solution, you’ve got a list of products to turn to.