Tackling shards, cracks, and chips

How to fix broken ceramic

If you need to know how to fix broken ceramic, we have the recipe for success. The most important ingredients are the right glue and some patience.

The right adhesive for gluing ceramic back together

Learning how to repair ceramic means learning to pick the right adhesive. So first make sure your adhesive bonds with ceramic.

Will the object you are repairing contact food or go in the dishwasher or microwave? If so, your product must be food safe, dishwasher safe, and/or microwave safe.

For example, Loctite Super Glue Ultra Gel Control is ideal for repairing ceramic figurines, but it is not suitable for items that hold hot liquids. Therefore, that adhesive is great for keepsake figurines but not for your favorite mug. Loctite Stik’n Seal Indoor Adhesive is recommended for use on ceramic mugs.

What kind of repair are you performing? If you are filling in a chip or crack, you need a gap-filling adhesive or touch-up glaze with volume. A thin fluid is better suited to joining pieces. If you want to paint over your repair, make sure the product is paintable.

How to glue ceramic back together

While your procedure will vary depending on the number, size, and location of the pieces you need to bond, you can use the following steps as guidelines for how to fix broken ceramic figurines, plates, mugs, and pottery.

Gather your materials. You need the right adhesive, a paper towel or rag, soap, and water.

Stay safe. Wear gloves to protect your hands if edges are sharp.

Wash and dry pieces. This makes sure the pieces are free of dirt and contaminants. Handle them with caution to prevent additional damage.

Dry-fit. Make sure you have all the pieces, then dry-fit them. In other words, recreate the figurine or vessel (as much as possible) without gluing the pieces into place.

Glue ceramic back together. Apply adhesive to adjoining surfaces and hold them in place according to the product information. Some products require direct application to both surfaces while others need to be applied to only one surface.

If you are fixing a ceramic mug handle, let the bonds sit a while after you have glued all the pieces together. This gives the handle time to stabilize.

Keep everything in place. You don’t want pieces moving around, so if some of them are unstable, hold them in place with masking tape until the bonds set.

Clean-up. Wash your hands and remove any excess cured adhesive from the ceramic using a sharp knife.

How to repair chipped ceramic mugs and other objects

Gather tools. You need gap-filling adhesive/touch-up glaze, an emery board, and soap and water.

Wash and dry chipped surfaces.

Apply glue. Complying with the instructions in the product information, fill in chips or cracks and rebuild any lost material to protect the mug or object from further chipping.

Dry and file. After the glue has dried, you can file it down, so it follows the object’s contours.

Clean-up. Wash your hands. Note that your object may no longer be safe for use in kitchen appliances.