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How to Glue Pottery: Choosing the Right Type of Glue

In this blog post, we will talk about how to glue pottery. We will discuss how to choose the right type of glue for a particular project and how to use it correctly. Glue is an essential tool for repairing pottery and keeping them from falling apart.

For more information on how to glue pottery, keep reading!

How to Glue Pottery

Structure of pottery products

Pottery products are typically made of clay, which is dried into a hard shape.

The products can be glazed to better preserve their decoration and make them more resistant to water or other liquids that might spill on the surface. Clay objects are often decorated with slip – an un-fired material applied for smoother surfaces (like how you would use buttercream icing before frosting a cake).

Peculiarities of structure of pottery products

Pottery products are very fragile and often break. To repair pieces of ceramic you need to use glue.

The history of pottery dates back to the Stone Age, when people would start fires and then let them burn down until there was nothing but red-hot coals. The ashes left behind could be mixed with water to form a paste that you could use as glue.

In Ancient Egypt, it is known how Egyptians used coniferous resins for gluing pots or how they made bread dough out of flour and beer which mimicked natural adhesive qualities (the enzymes in raw yeast).

Nowadays many different types of adhesives are available on the market – each one has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Types of glue for repairing pottery

We’ve all done it – broken some pottery! Whether it was by accident or on purpose there are occasions when we have no choice but to repair your precious pieces before presenting them again. What most people don’t know is how many types of glues exist for this type of work. So today I’d like share with you my thoughts about which glue might be suitable for what task.

  • Regular PVA glue
  • Filler glues
  • Superglue or cyanoacrylate (CA)
  • Wood glue, epoxy resin, silicone sealants and hot melt glue.

Regular PVA glue is popular because it’s easy to use with pottery of all sizes. It dries quickly but the downside of this type of adhesive is how hard it becomes when dry – which makes it difficult to make any adjustments after you’ve glued something together.

Filler glues are thick in consistence and can be used for larger pieces that need a lot of structural strength as they dry out very slowly allowing more time to adjust them before setting in place permanently. Another disadvantage about fillers is how messy they are to work with – the adhesive oozes out from between the fabric and it’s difficult to clean.

Superglue or cyanoacrylate (CA) is a type of glue which remains liquid when applied on surfaces, allowing for quick adjustments after you glued something together.

Wood glue, epoxy resin, silicone sealants and hot melt glue can be used in cases where regular PVA glues won’t do as well due to how porous ceramic products are. They have high adhesiveness while still being flexible once dried. The downside is that each one has different drying time so make sure not to mix them up if you’re using more than one type of adhesive during repairs process!

How to prepare broken pottery for glueing

Well, it depends on how much time you have available but I always recommend having everything at hand: ceramic saws (for cutting rough edges), sandpaper or metal files (to smooth out cuts) as well as adhesive already mixed in water (if necessary). Of course there are other things such as silicon pads (for decoupage), materials for internal repairs such as glue, and a variety of clamps including wood and metal.

Tips and tricks for Picking Up pottery Pieces by PVA glue

  • Use a tool like pliers, wire or gloves to avoid your hands getting dirty
  • Pick up the pottery piece with both hands and turn it upside down. If there is any liquid or pieces of glue left on the surface – carefully wipe them off using a damp cloth.
  • Moisten the area that will be glued so that you get better adhesion between surfaces being repaired. The water should not drip from one side to another but rather stay in place just beneath the object’s surface. This prevents cracks as well as peeling later once dried in position (the moisture goes into adhesive allowing for bonding).
  • Spread some PVA glue onto both surfaces which will contact each other as this type of glue is not only more flexible when dried but also has great adhesion strength
  • Press them together and make sure that there is no space between surfaces. If glue seeps out of the joint, wipe it off immediately with a cloth as this prevents gluing any other pieces in place accidently.
  • Let dry for about 20 minutes before handling to allow better structural integrity since PVA glue starts to harden once drying process begins
  • Apply finishing touches by sanding edges or applying filler if needed.

Best glue for pottery

The top best product [hide]

Gorilla Super Glue

Gorilla Super Glue
Gorilla Super Glue is the best of the best when it comes to glues. Boasting unique rubber particles engineered to increase bond strength and impact resistance, this super glue can be used on many different surfaces including ceramic repairs, metal, stone, ferment and fabric. And if there's one thing you'll love about Gorilla Super Glue, it has applicators for both small cracks and quick-and-easy dispensing right at your fingertips! All you need is a dry glue in less than 45 seconds that drips out quickly through every nook and cranny.
impact resistance
fast dry
tube can be damaged

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Krazy Glue Home & Office Brush On Super Glue

Krazy Glue Home & Office Brush On Super Glue
Krazy Glue’s Home & Office Super Glue is perfect for both large and small projects in the home. The brush applicator allows you to get the tight corners of your ceramic mugs, or kitchen items like pot lids that just won’t stay on (does that ever happen to you?). Now with a two-pack, this handy low-priced adhesive helps fix what needs fixing.
includes brush applicator
easy to use
instant strength
single use only

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Gorilla Waterproof Polyurethane Glue

Gorilla Waterproof Polyurethane Glue
The Gorilla Waterproof Polyurethane Glue is a waterproof adhesive that’s perfect for outdoor use. Not only does it create a strong bond with ceramic, metal, glass, and more—it expands three times when exposed to water for extreme durability in the elements! This glue allows you work on your projects outside without worrying about water exposure. What could be better?
strong bond
durable Cons
sticks to hands

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J-B Weld MinuteWeld Instant-Setting Epoxy

J-B Weld MinuteWeld Instant-Setting Epoxy
Meet your best new fixer-upper. J-B Weld MinuteWeld Instant-Setting Epoxy is a two part epoxy that sets in under one minute and has the power to fill cracks, crevices on ceramics. Mixing this formula couldn't be easier with the syringe helping you get just the right amount of epoxy each time you use it. Plus, with close to 2,300 PSI strength rating this adhesive can handle any job while curing as hard as stone after an hour or so of drying time.
fill cracks
sets in under one minute
easy to use
bad smell

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Devcon Minute Epoxy Waterproof Glue

Devcon Minute Epoxy Waterproof Glue
Unlike any other product, Devcon offers a 5-minute epoxy glue that is durable and waterproof. The drying time of this glue gives you enough break to place the parts structurally for an accurate view of your final masterpiece. Yet with its quick curing properties, get back to whatever else was on your line without bits in between!
quick curing
short shelf life

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How do epoxies work for repairing pottery?

Epoxies are specifically designed to bond two surfaces together. They're used for sealing leaky pipes and metal parts with an epoxy coating or filling in between a crack, like how you might use silicone sealant for the same purposes (but epoxies work better). In this case, they would be perfect for helping pottery stick back together after breaking it. One of the main reasons why people love them so much is because their set time varies depending on how thick your application is--the thicker, the longer; thinner, less sticky.

Can I glue broken ceramic pieces back together?

A general rule of thumb when it comes to repairing pottery is that if the pieces are not too badly shattered, you can glue them back together. In this case, you should use a good quality white or black craft glue and keep in mind how porous your ceramic piece may be. A more porous material will need something like an epoxy for added strength so have some on hand just in case!


In the end, there is no perfect glue for pottery repair. Some glues work better than others in certain situations and all of them can be improved with a bit of experimentation on your part. The best way to use any type of glue for repairing pottery is by making sure that you are fully prepared before starting the process so that you don’t ruin what’s left after cleaning up some broken pieces.

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