Having one of your favorite pieces of ceramic decor break can be devastating. Did your ceramic dish, sculpture, or wall art fall and shatter, but you aren't giving up hope? Is there a way to repair cracked ceramic, or should you let it go? Does glue work?
Luckily, we've done plenty of searching and have the answer below.
Yes, you can use glue to piece together ceramic. Generally, you can follow these easy steps to repair your item:
- Add ceramic glue in a thin layering on either side of the crack.
- Press your glued pieces together and hold them in place for a few minutes.
- Clean off any excess glue from your ceramic and let it dry.
Of course, you want to follow the manufacturer's instructions when letting your glue dry, so some products may take longer to cure than others.
As we start this post, we will cover all things repairing cracked ceramic and show you how to glue your piece back together. Whether you have a small piece broken or the whole thing shattered, we're here to help. With that said, let's dive right into this post below!
Can You Use Glue To Repair Cracked Ceramic?
Yes! If you have a cracked ceramic dish, sculpture, wall art, etc., you should be able to use glue to repair it. Generally, epoxy is the best formula for fixing ceramic, as it can handle the texture.
Whether or not your ceramic is glazed, epoxy will bond it together seamlessly. According to experts, one reason for this is that epoxy is two parts: resin and hardener.
When you mix these two, you can expect your ceramic to have a durable, high-strength bond. On top of that, repairing ceramic shouldn't be too difficult if you have all the original pieces.
For example, fixing the handle will be pretty straightforward if the handle falls off a ceramic mug. However, if the ceramic handle is completely shattered and missing pieces, that's when you should worry.
Luckily, most glazed ceramics won't shatter into a million tiny pieces because they have that top coating, unlike unglazed/unfinished pieces.
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How Do You Glue Ceramic Back Together?
Suppose your ceramic decor or dinnerware becomes damaged. You first need to gather all the broken pieces and put them in a safe spot.
As we mentioned before, fixing the ceramic with glue should be pretty easy: assuming all the pieces are present. Once you have everything together:
- Add your ceramic glue (ideally an epoxy) to either side of the crack.
- Press the ends of each glued piece together.
- Hold the ceramic in place according to the glue manufacturer's instructions.
- Allow your ceramic to cure for 24 or so hours before regular use.
One of the most important things when gluing ceramic together is that you let the two pieces bond together before letting go. Sometimes, this process can be as little as 60 seconds, while other times: expect closer to 3-5.
If you don't give your ceramic glue enough time to settle between the cracking, it won't hold. Unfortunately, this will require you to clean off the glue and start from scratch.
We recommend checking the instructions with your adhesive/epoxy before starting so you don't run into any surprises. It could also be helpful to have a fan turned on and positioned toward your repair station to speed up the dry time.
A tip for gluing ceramic is to have the temperature on the cooler side, as adhesives cure faster if it's cold. If the weather's too warm or humid, expect to wait longer for your pieces to set.
Loctite Epoxy Five-Minute Instant Mix
This quick-drying epoxy works on ceramic, has a clear amber color, comes in a syringe, dries in as little as five minutes, is permanent, can be painted over, and comes in various bundle options.
Gaiatop USB Desk Fan
This portable desk fan has three-speed settings, works through a USB plug-in, rotates, is perfect for crafting, does not need batteries, and has great online reviews.
How Long Does Glue Take To Dry On Ceramic?
Once you have your ceramic pieces glued together, you want to give them at least 24 hours to dry. Most times, this will be enough time for the glue to cure, although many experts suggest waiting closer to 48 hours.
Waiting two days essentially ensures that your ceramic is 100% done drying. If you are gluing a mug or dish you regularly use, that's when we agree with the two-day dry time.
A common mistake people make when repairing ceramic is using it before it settles. Even if the adhesive looks and feels dry after a couple of hours, that doesn't mean the ceramic is ready for everyday use.
Let your item sit in a cool room and dry for 24-48 hours, regardless of how dry it looks and feels. You don't want to have to redo your entire repair, which only means more waiting.
As we shared above, placing a fan near your glue might help speed things up: but still wait 24 hours. The longer you wait, the better your result will be.
How Long Does Super Glue Take To Dry On Ceramic?
If you use super glue rather than epoxy or regular crafting glue on ceramic, expect a slightly faster dry time. Since most superglue formulas have fast-bonding ingredients, you could only need to hold your piece together for 30-60 seconds.
However, to let your ceramic fully cure, you will need to wait around still 24 hours. Even faster-drying glues need time to cure and set themselves for a permanent result.
For example, according to Loctite, their fast-drying super glues generally set in seconds on ceramic surfaces. Again, you still need to let the super glue dry for about a day.
Interestingly enough, the brand recommends leaving your ceramic repair alone and "undisturbed" for around ten minutes immediately after using the glue.
That may be something to adapt with other products, as it gives your adhesive a little bit to do its thing.
Many super glues can be tricky to work with, especially if they're instant-drying. Suppose you want to try a more long-term bond like Gorilla.
Your immediate dry time may only be a few seconds, but a complete cure takes 12-24 hours. Also, cleaning up stronger glues can be a hassle if you aren't quick, which is why most people stick to epoxies.
Do You Fix Ceramic And Porcelain The Same Way?
Yes. For the most part, you will repair ceramic and porcelain pieces the same way. Since both have a more delicate repair process and require special adhesives, you can share products.
Let's say your ceramic is glazed and needs to be glued together. Like repairing porcelain with the same problem, you can add epoxy to the cracked sides, press them together, and let everything cure for a day.
Many tiles are porcelain and ceramic, so you might need to make a double repair. Luckily, your products should be similar or the same.
Many professionals suggest using clear glue, liquid or gel, for ceramic and porcelain. That helps keep the mended pieces together without a white substance or unattractive finish.
Especially for glazed ceramic and finer porcelain items, you don't want to use colored glue.
Can You Hot Glue Ceramic Back Together?
Although you can try and use hot glue to bond ceramic, this isn't always 100% effective. Depending on the glue brand and formula, your hot adhesive may not be strong enough to hold ceramic together.
Unfortunately, most crafting glue sticks you find at the store for a glue gun aren't durable enough to use for ceramic repairs. Instead, you want a product that mentions a permanent finish and ceramic/porcelain compatibility.
One misconception about glue is that it's all the same. This is far from true, considering how many different levels of bonding a glue product can give your ceramics.
In addition, you don't always want to use hot glue between two pieces of broken ceramic, as you need to hold them together. If you use too much glue, your fingers may burn or get bonded to your ceramic.
Therefore, we recommend finer glue sticks and precision guns for fixing ceramics and making sure to use very little product during the repair. Your fingers will thank you!
Is It Worth It To Repair Broken Ceramic?
In general, we would agree it is worth it to repair broken ceramic pieces. As long as the ceramic isn't shattered in more than a few pieces, gluing it back together should be pretty straightforward.
As we said, ceramics tend to mend well and don't require much more than a strong adhesive. However, if your ceramic is broken beyond repair and you don't think glue will fix it, it may be time to move on.
Depending on the damage, your ceramic may be unable to fix, with glue or another option. We recommend keeping ceramic pieces away from high-traffic areas, pets, and children, to prevent any shattering from happening.
To Finish It Up
Whether you have a shattered ceramic dish, wall art, decor, or anything else, it's always good to figure out the best way to repair it. We found that glue does work for ceramic and should be a pretty easy repair process.
First, you want to find glue, like epoxy, which can bond ceramics together. Not all glues work on this material, so make sure the product you buy lists ceramic as compatible.
Furthermore, it would help if you let your mended ceramic dry for 24-48 hours. Allowing your item to cure is crucial, so don't use it or hang it back on the wall before a day or two.
And while we have you with us, check out these related craft articles!
Can You Use Hot Glue On Glass? [And How To]
Wood Glue Vs. Super Glue: What Are The Differences?