Having ceramic items around the home, it not only means they give a nice appearance to your place, but they also take the risk of… having accidents happen to them, no matter how much attention you pay.
Once your beloved ceramic item is broken, you need to decide if you are able to repair it at home or send it out for professional repair, as experience and practice matter in the art of gluing ceramic together.
In case you are experienced enough or determined to repair you ceramic objects on your own, you not only need a good glue, but you also need to follow some specific steps in order to get the best results.
How to fix your ceramics at home
As long as you’re not expecting “invisible” repairs, there’s no obvious reason for you not to try to fix ceramics at home. Some even like their ceramics better like that. You may do it in a very artistic way at home. A process that yields barely visible results requires more time and skill, especially if some painting is involved.
There are two main types of adhesives for ceramics: white glue (the polyvinyl acetate) and the two-part epoxy glue.
The white glue needs more time for drying but it gives you the chance to reposition the parts for the perfect fit. This kind of adhesive is the best choice for ceramics and pottery.
The two-part epoxy and the instant epoxy dry too fast and don’t give you the possibility to achieve the perfect fit. This kind of adhesive works better for porcelain, glass pieces and ironstone.
The steps you need to follow
The first step you need to take when repairing your ceramic broken pieces at home is to lay them out in a pattern that resembles the finished piece. For a three-dimensional piece, like a vase, you need to lay the broken pieces on the table in front of the object and place them in the order they are going back in. You get a good visual of the pieces and you can decide which way to go next.
You also need to clean the pieces of any debris or dust and practice the fitting of each piece together, without producing further damage to them.
Use some mild dish washing soap and warm water to remove any oils and grime from the repair surfaces. Get some help from a toothbrush or a soft scrubbing pad to lose any stuck on grime. Rinse firmly and let it dry completely. Don’t hurry up as the drying may take a whole day. Wait a full day just to be on the safe side.
Some people recommend using thick rubber gloves when fixing ceramics, because of the cuts, but it might get a bit too difficult to handle the small pieces. You can get some protection from latex free gloves or exam gloves.
You have to apply the adhesive as thinly as possible to both sides of the break. This way the adhesive doesn’t seep out the edges onto the surface when the two pieces are tightly pressed together. Get a small paintbrush or a small disposable brush for a thinner application of the adhesive. Keep in mind that the thinner the adhesive, the faster it dries too.
It’s not the end of the world when your favorite ceramic breaks and you can go either of two ways when this happens. The barely visible repair, aka “the museum look” and the invisible repair.
When your skills and will are reliable, you can do it yourself at home, and you simply need patience and a good glue. And… some time to kill for the procedure 🙂
Best Glue for Ceramic Reviews
An epoxy type of glue for your ceramics is the Loctite 442-21426 Epoxy. This glue is made in the USA and has great qualities:
- The Loctite 442-21426 Epoxy is efficient for ceramic, concrete, wood, plastic and metal
- It is a two-part epoxy adhesive
- The color for the epoxy is grey
- The glue needs 5 minutes to work
- It gives good performance with a shear of strength of 1995 psi
- The tensile strength is 3815psi
- The maximum operating temperature is +180F
- The full cure time for this epoxy is of 10 minutes at 77F degrees
- Once you’re done with the repair, the pieces won’t loosen up
For the parts we didn’t like, we need to mention only the downsides of epoxy itself. You need to work really fast and accurately. Epoxy doesn’t give you the chance to make any more adjustments once you put the pieces together…
Also made in the USA, the Gorilla Glue Original is an efficient glue that sticks ceramic and whatever else you need around the house.
The pros we found are as follows:
- The Gorilla Glue Orgnl is very strong and versatile
- It is a water activated polyurethane
- It expands into materials to form a very strong bond to anything you need
- The glue is strong enough to take the elements
- It is 100% waterproof
- It’s safe to use it outdoor and indoor
- It doesn’t leave a smell
- You may use it on ceramic, wood, stone, metal, foam, glass, concrete
- It is not affected by hot and cold temperatures
- It comes in 36 oz. tube
When we talk about the cons, we need to mention that the Gorilla Glue Orgnl needs quite some time to dry, but that also gives you time to further adjust the pieces.
The Franklin 2300 Titebond Polyurethane Liquid Glue is a strong glue that’s 100% waterproof. There are many other good things to mention about it so here are the pros:
- The glue passes ANSI Type I&II water-resistance testing
- It sticks almost anything
- You may use it for ceramics, wood, stone, metals, non-porous materials
- You don’t need to mix it
- The Franklin 2300 gives an epoxy-like power
- It’s strong enough to keep joints tightly together
- The glue is solvent free
- It doesn’t contain ozone-depleting chemical
- It doesn’t emit harmful fumes
- There’s no smell while you’re using the glue or afterwards
- It is not flammable
- You need to have at least 50F degree when applying it
- It needs up to 30 minutes to dry so you may get the perfect adjustments
- It gives around 250 square feet per gallon
- You may easily spread to glue with a roller, spreader or brush
- You may scrape or sand off dried excess as mineral spirits while the glue is wet
- It has great sand ability and doesn’t expand or contract in wood joints
- It is not affected either by finishes/stains
As for the cons, we need to mention some things:
- The glue is not for structural applications
- You can’t use it below the waterline either
- The temperature of application always needs to be below 50F degree. Lower than that, and the glue thickens
- It cures by reaction with moisture, so any changes in the humidity or temperature of the glued surfaces affect open time and minimum clamp time.
An efficient glue that sticks anything to anything, including ceramics, is the Evo-Stik Nail & Seal Waterproof Grab Adhesive Sealant. Here are our pros:
- The adhesive is very strong and may be used in many situations
- The glue dries off white
- You may paint it afterwards
- It is solvent free so it may be used indoor and outdoor as well
- It leaves no smell
- The Evo-Stick is very strong and sealant with a very powerful grip
- The Evo-Stick is also very thin
- You may use the glue on metal, mirrors, ceramics, MDF, plastic, PvCu, brick
- It may be applied in damp or even wet conditions
- It’s easy to apply it
- There’s no mess when applying the glue
- It bonds to porous and non-porous surfaces, wet surfaces
- The Evo-Stick works even under water
- The Evo-Stick is waterproof and flexible
- The price is good for the quality you get
As for the cons, here are ours:
- This glue needs 16 hours to dry
- Some people may find it to be quite sticky and messy
The Premium Super Glue Bundle – EZ Bond CA needs only 60 seconds to cure and here are the pros that got us:
- This is an efficient glue
- It lasts on the shelf for more than 1 year
- The curing is fast
- The glue gives a strong bond
- It’s great for filling big gaps
- It’s easy to use the glue
- It is efficient on ceramics, metals, plastic, wood and so much more
- The Premium Super Glue leaves a precise bond
- It doesn’t clog
As for the cons, we only need to mention the powerful smell.