Repairing Pottery with Glue

It’s a familiar sight. Pieces of broken pottery……but what is the best way to put them together? There are several ‘possible’ glues to use but without doubt, the best glue to use for repairing pottery is our X5 five minute epoxy glue.

The X5 epoxy gives a strong bond and are the best choice for filling voids between parts.

Our X5 epoxy glue consists of two parts, the resin (part A) and the hardener (part B). By mixing both parts together, a very strong and hard adhesive is formed, which will withstand loads of pushes and pulls. The epoxy glue is supplied in handy 25 ml cartridges and should be mixed with a small toothpick or something similar

First of all, clean all of the broken pieces in a basin of warm water, in which there are a few drops of washing up liquid. Use an old toothbrush or similar to very gently loosen any dirt. It is very important that the surfaces are clean, there is no point in applying glue to a coating of dirt!

After washing, rinse the broken pieces in cold clean water, and allow them to dry naturally. Don’t forget, some pottery may be porous so may take longer to dry.

Next, prime the surfaces with our X255 primer. Although not always needed, function of X255 primer is to strengthen the surfaces in preparation for the application of the glue. We suggest that you dry-fit the parts together. This is particularly important if there are several parts to be glued together. You need to make sure that all of the parts are present. If there are many parts, label them so you know what parts are glued together.

Next comes the glue. The X5 epoxy glue is manufactured in two pack sizes, 50 ml and 25 ml. The 50 ml cartridge utilises both an application gun and a mixing nozzle which is attached to the top of the cartridge. Upon squeezing the trigger of the application gun, the X5 epoxy is extruded and is automatically mixed in the mixing nozzle.

The 25 ml cartridge of X5 is very handy to use in that it does not require the use of an application gun or a mixing nozzle. Cut the tip off the 25 ml cartridge of X5-50 epoxy resin. Press the plunger with the thumb, and extrude the adhesive onto a non porous surface, such as a ceramic tile or a piece of plastic.

Using a toothpick, mix the X5 epoxy adhesive for about 20 seconds. Using a new toothpick, apply the adhesive to both ends or sides of the parts being glued. Try to apply the epoxy glue in the centre of the pieces of broken pottery and avoid applying too much. A thin film of glue is all that is required.

Press the parts together, and if any glue is extruded from the joint, clean if off immediately using a lint free cloth which has been dipped in white spirit. Don’t be tempted to fiddle with the glued parts. Set them aside for 12 hours. If there are several parts to glue, glue them individually, again, allowing the glue to set for 12 hours.

What about using super glue for repairing pottery? The Glue Guru does not suggest this. Why? Pottery glued with super glue has very low resistance to shear strength (a push or pull from the side) which means that the parts bonded will resist direct pulling but not off angle stress.

In addition, super glue is very bad at filling gaps. It requires a very tight fit with a very thin film layer between the broken pieces, therefore, it will not fill any gaps. Super glue has very low resistance to moisture. Therefore, pottery repaired with superglue, must not get wet!!

Our X5 epoxy glue is available from our trade counter. It is supplied in handy 25 ml or 50 ml cartridges.