Sometimes, pottery takes a spill. You’re minding your own business, and then suddenly, you notice a pottery piece is on the floor. You may be freaking out about how to repair this, or what the best adhesives are. Well, look no further, for you’re about to find out just what kind of pottery adhesive you should use in order to get the best results and to fix the pottery quickly. How do you do it? Well, read on to find out about helpful pottery adhesives to help repair broken pottery.
Epoxy or Superglue
The first thing you might ask yourself is if you should use epoxy or super glue. The answer to that is based on three things, and they are:
- The attributes of these
- Any problems these might have when you use one over the other
- The type of adhesive that it is
These are usually the most popular type of pottery adhesive when you’re looking to fix pottery. That’s because they often involve a couple of different types of options, and you’ll be able to easily create the best pottery experience that you have with this, and have a great result achieved from this as well.
We will go over in the next section the benefits of each of these, and when to use either of these.
All About Epoxies
Epoxies are known for a couple of things, and they’re usually chosen over the latter because of a couple of things, and they are:
- They contain an extremely strong bond
- They have a structural strength that’s much better than most
- You can fill the voids between parts much better
These are the primary reasons, but remember that epoxy has two parts to it, which is the hardener, that hardens the pieces together, and then the resin to fill this in. These need to be mixed well in order to really get a result from it.
Sometimes, you can get resin and hardeners that are different in terms of color, and mix these two correctly does create a different color, and you can see this when you mix it. The good thing about epoxies, is the fact that they actually have a lot of different options, including sizes, containers, and even styles of application. There are even different epoxies that can be used for different purposes, including the following:
- Mending the piece
- Filling the piece in
- Creating a protective coating
You essentially need this for any mending that you plan on doing, especially if you want a strong adhesive. But, there are a couple of downsides to epoxy as well.
Before we get into what a few of the downsides and precautions that come with epoxy are, you may wonder if the superglue is a good option. The answer is not really. Super glues are made from something called polyacrylamide, which does harden very fast, and you can still maintain a good bond even when it is exposed to air and moisture.
The good thing about these is the fact that they have a low strength of sheering, which essentially means side pulling, and that means that it will resist pulling whenever there is stress at the angle. However, there are a couple of downsides to them, and they are:
- You need to fit them with a very tight fit, sometimes super hard to achieve
- You need to put a very thin layer of film between each of these parts, so it will not fill in voids
- You often if you’re working with porous materials, will need to get more adhesive or something stronger
The problem with superglue is that with pots and ceramics, most of it is made of porous materials, so the glue ends up being absorbed. It’s not the ideal choice in terms of adhesive, but if you’re really desperate, combining it might end up working.
If you’re going to be going for a good superglue, you should use it for certain types of pottery, including the following:
- Porcelain Repair
- Ceramics that are vertical
The cool thing about this is that with certain brands, including Loctite, it does work with virtually any product, and it can be used with certain surfaces. It is also safe to use outdoors, and it is weatherproof, just make sure you’re not using this with any type of ceramics that involves any porous substances.
Loctite is one of the best adhesives out there, and they’re known for manufacturing glues. Of course, you should make sure you use it correctly and do make sure that you use it with the right types of pieces. However, it does resist any impacts and shock, so if you do have young children around, it can resist this.
Some of the good things to consider with this are:
- If you have a vertical surface, this works best
- If you want it to dry correctly, it does clear without the clamping
- It is made of a very tough formula
- It does come with the squeeze design for easy applications
You also have wood glue or polyvinyl acetate, and this is often an adhesive some people think about using. The glue is very slow in terms of drying, but you can reposition it if you feel like you need this. However, when it does dry, the glue does dry in a clear manner, and it’s a decent one that you can use.
There are a few downsides to using this, and they are as follows:
- It takes a long time
- Sometimes if you use too much, it will create a white sheen
- It often can be seen even though it does dry in a “barely visible” manner
If you’re desperate and don’t want to spend the money with this, you can simply use white glue, and for basic pottery pieces, it is an option if you’re not planning on doing something super complex.
The best kind of glue for this is, of course, Gorilla glue. Don’t get Elmer’s stuff if you’re actually going to be putting adhesives together. Gorilla glue is one of the top glue companies out there, and it’s a great glue for both wood surfaces, and for ceramics.
This is actually considered one of the highest-rated DIY glues out there, and it’s great for ceramics if you don’t want to use epoxy. It does dry in a bit, as any white glue, but the nice part about this, is that anyone could use this, and it doesn’t come with any possible potential dangers that epoxy does have. You will also notice that with this white glue, in particular, it does dry in a clear fashion, so it won’t ruin the color of the product.
This glue is a heavy-duty one, so it will allow for a nice look to it, so you’ll be able to use this on your pottery without it getting messed up.
Another great feature of this is that you can bond this to concrete features, stone features, any glass or wood features, and a whole lot more. If you haven’t used it yet, then gorilla glue might be your best option.
Some good things about this are the following:
- Unlike epoxy that has the dangers, this is safe and very simple to use
- The glue is totally waterproof
- If you want to wait a little while for the piece, it is possible to keep the bond working for a long time
- It’s a very versatile one, and it’s quite strong too
Again, some people like this, some don’t, it’s virtually up to you whether or not you want to use a white glue or another type of adhesive.
3M Ceramic Adhesive
This is another great one, but it is an epoxy, and it’s a good one for indoor surfaces, and for ceramics. It comes with you normal glue features, and it’s a great one to use on glass and wood. It’s pretty versatile, and one of the best choices.
However, it is an epoxy, so remember that you’re going to have to take the necessary safety precautions for this. There are a few good elements associated with this though:
- It has a clear dry to it
- You can use this indoors
- It sets in just 5 minutes
- It’s dishwasher safe in terms of adhesives
Again though, you can’t use this outside, so don’t bother. It does dry fast though.
If Gorilla is your company, but you don’t want to use the white glue, why not try an epoxy. This is pretty popular, and it’s one that’s used quite a bit in terms of ceramics. It’s great for ceramic mugs, and if you have pottery that’s more in the glass and cup form, this may be a better option than others.
The one possible downside to this is that it does create a permanent bond, so you’ll need to be careful with this, and you’ll also want to make sure you do this right. However, there are some resin barrels along with hardeners added to this to help protect the glue from getting hard too fast. However, it is easy to finish, and it does have a clear drying process, and you can use the multi-use cape in order to help get the application correctly. You can even put this on multiple surfaces.
Here are just a couple of the benefits of it:
- The glue sets in only five minutes
- It does have solvent resistance
- You can use the filling gap option if you don’t want to have to worry about doing it all at once
- It’s quite easy to use
Remember though, this does involve epoxy, so you have to take the necessary precautions, which we will highlight later on in this post, and some of the downsides to epoxy use.
Dap All-Purpose Sealant
This is a great one for repairing porcelain. It lasts a super long time, and it has a bond that’s super powerful to help you fix everything that you need to. The best part is, that there isn’t a risk associated with this, and you can use this on kid products to help fix them, and it’s safe, unlike epoxy which does pose a risk. It’s also good for household items, so if you have items that need to be fixed at home, this is the way to go.
Another element is that it’s great for household items since it is food safe. You can also use this in a dishwasher or even the microwave, so you have a lot of options. It’s good if you need a quick fix and an all-purpose glue.
However, it is flexible, which could mean you may end up pulling it apart accidentally, so if you tend to have a strong grip and a tendency to pull things apart, wait before moving this, and also make sure that you’re careful.
Some of the best parts of it are:
- It isn’t toxic
- The glue is waterproof and dishwasher proof
- It won’t crack or sink, so it’ll stay on
- Can be used on many surfaces
This is a decent glue if you want a simple solution fast, and allows for many different options to come about as a result of this.
Cautions with Epoxies
There are a few cautions that epoxies have, and this section will highlight some of the big parts
of this and what to watch out for.
Remember, that epoxies are also gap fillers, and if the pieces aren’t perfectly fit, epoxies are good for this, because they do the following:
- They fill in the gap so that it can be used
- It also is used to help pull pieces together
- It can work well with thick pieces
However, you need to be careful of the body and thickness between each of the pieces. If you clamp this too much, the epoxy won’t actually stay in place, and from there, it will end up spilling all over the place. If it’s too thin, the bond won’t actually work, so you have to be exact with this. But, if you use this on multiple pieces, you’ll need to look at the thickness between each piece, and you can kind of compensate with this, and be able to change the distortion of items once you finish this. It is both a good thing and a bad thing as well.
Then there is the setting time, which goes from a couple of minutes to hours, and this is another challenge. You don’t want to sit there and hold something for three hours, right? And if you have to do multiple pieces, this can end up being a nightmare.
You can determine the time that you need to use based on the following:
- The composition of the hardener
- The setting of the object with the hardener
Some pieces require you to have it set for a long time, but other ones work better if they’re fast. The ones that are listed above are quick-setting ones, so remember that.
Then there is the possibility for high-temperature failure, which is both a good and a bad thing. Now, epoxies have a very high-temperature failure, around 200 degrees for the low-temperature ones, and 400 for the really high ones. Superglue tends to high-temperature failure around 180 degrees, and it’s important to understand this.
If you have a high-temperature failure epoxy, this means the following will happen:
- You have to set it right the first time
- There isn’t room for mistakes
- It can be very hard to move this around
Remember this when you’re choosing the epoxy, since this is often one of the downsides, along with how toxic it can be.
Why go with a Slow Epoxy
You may wonder why you should go with a slower epoxy. After all, waiting a few hours for something seems like a waste, right? Well if you want to secure something quickly, you go with a slower epoxy, but if you’re going to be setting a huge product, you’ll be needing to put something on there with a much slower setting time. If you have a lot of pieces, you’ll want something that sets much slower.
Those that set slower tend to be stronger as well, but the ones that set fast tend to be pretty good too especially if you’re in a pinch.
The Repair Line Thickness
One of the primary differences between super glues and epoxies is the color that they leave when they have a mending line. It can be a bit different at times, and it’s important to understand
As a general rule, typically the following happens with these adhesives:
- Super Glues tend to be thinner in terms of a mending line
- They also tend to have a clear and white mending line
- Some epoxies do have color when they’re set
- Some epoxies do also tend to have a clear look to them
- All epoxies have a thicker line
With that in mind, you should consider the appearance when you’re thinking about using an epoxy. You should also consider what you want to get from this as well, whether you want to hide the repair lines, or if you want to fill it with a color or even a cold glaze.
If you really want to fully restore something though, you should always choose a strong epoxy, regardless of the color. However, most of the clear mending ones do have some yellowing to them if they’re exposed to UV lights of any kind, and this can damage the overall painting quality when you’re restoring this.
Finally, let’s talk about health risks. Unlike say, the superglue which often doesn’t come with health risks, you should know a little bit about the health risks that epoxy has because there’s a few of them.
If you use epoxy, it’s actually not food-safe, and it’s not liquid-proof. You should be careful with any restoration really, and try not to use them unless the adhesive itself says that it’s safe with this. But, epoxy is toxic, so you’ll want to shy away from actually using this with foodstuffs.
Now, any items that you do repair should also not be used in food serving ware or cooking. Decorative pieces should use epoxy. If you’re fixing a cup that you use for example try to use something that’s not epoxy, in order to prevent the possibility of toxins in place. You should also watch out for if you’re going to be using it in the dishwasher that the adhesive is made to be used in this. It can be poisonous, so watch out.
Also, it’s important to watch out for health risks when applying this. You should always work in an area that’s super well ventilated, and you should wear gloves and a way to protect the eyes. It’s also encouraged to wear a mask as well to prevent any of this to come in contact with your body.
Sometimes, some people are allergic to the hardener, so watch out for this. You should watch out when applying epoxy, and if you’re getting a reaction, stop.
With superglues, you should make sure that you use protection as well since they can irritate the eyes, throat, and nose. They also do bond to anything immediately, and this is flammable, so you should make sure that if you’re going to use this, keep it away from heat sources.
This post discussed how adhesives work, and the best ones to help you, allowing you a chance for you to figure out the best way to use the adhesives with your pottery as well, and the best one to work for you and your pottery.