Whether you are planning to make a mosaic using stained glasses, need to fix your favorite glass vessel with sentimental value or quickly need to rescue a pair of glasses you’ve accidentally sat on, you are going to need a glass adhesive. You can also get glues that are specifically designed to bond glass with a range of materials, from fabric through to metal. But how do you choose the right glue for your particular task?
You may want to see: Best Glue for Ceramics or Best Wood Glue
In this post, we will take you through what glues are suitable for use as a glass adhesive, how to choose the right glue for certain projects, tips on how to use glass glue, a suggested project to get you started (making a stained glass window mosaic), and an overview of some of the best glass glues out there on the market to help you find the right glue for your crafting or repair needs.
What glues can be used as glass adhesives?
A glass adhesive can be best suited for glass to glass bonding, glass to metal, glass to fabric or be more versatile. However, what the majority of glass adhesives have in common is that they tend to be from the ‘superglue’ family, otherwise known as Cyanoacrylate (CA) glues. These glues start out runny and sticky but dry quickly and form super sturdy and plastic-like bonds. It’s a good idea to wear gloves when using this glue as it is very easy to get on, but hard to get off, your fingers.
Another type of glue that is suitable for use with glass is Epoxy glue. Unlike superglue, this adhesive takes a lot longer to dry and requires clamping in place to ensure the bond is maintained once dried. However, this can make certain tasks easier as it makes it easier to shimmy things into position. It is also not usually a particularly viscous glue so is good at getting into the cracks and crevices that might be hard to directly apply a more viscous glue to. Like superglue, epoxy is glue is waterproof and weather resistant.
A great glue to use if you are working with glass for small scale arts and crafts style projects like a mosaic from stained glass pieces or tiles, is actually silicone glue. This looks a lot like a gel when you use it and is a good choice for glass because it has a great deal of flexibility which is something that glass definitely doesn’t. The long curing time also makes it easy to work with as you can adjust things as you go. This is also weather resistant and waterproof so is fine for outdoor projects too.
A final glue type that works reasonably well with glass are polyurethane glues. This type of glue dries nice and clean so if you are working on a project that requires a crisp and clean finish you might want to check out variants of this adhesive type. This type of glue is akin to superglue in the strength of the bond it creates but has more give and flexibility once dried so can be a good option for projects that are more likely to be put under pressure.
Top Best Glues for Glass 2023 [Updated]
So you already know what types of glue are suitable for use with glass, how to use glass adhesives, and what makes a good glue, now all you need to do is pick the glue for your project using this knowledge. Here, we make it easier by outlining 8 of the best glues for different projects involving glass and an adhesive for every budget.
#1 Best glue for glass for versatility: Gorilla’s 6770002 Micro Precise Clear Drying Superglue
If you are someone who works with a range of materials and want a glue that comes complete with an applicator for precise application, then you’ll love this powerful Gorilla glue. These guys have been at the top of the superglue game for some time and they have upped their game with this product with the addition of the micro applicator that makes this a great choice for people working with glass and jewelry.
Other benefits of this glue are that: it cures fast, in as little as 10 seconds and up to 45 seconds depending on climate and humidity; it is suitable for use on pretty much every material you can think of; despite its high quality, it is still one of the cheapest glues on this list; a little goes a long way; it dries clear and smooth, and; it is shock absorbent. The downside of this glue is the fast tack means you need to have good placement when bonding your materials together.
2 Best glue for glass to metal: TroySys’s Nano470 Construction Glass Glue
If you’re after a glue that is an industrial strength and specifically designed for use sticking glass to metal, then you should check out this expensive but strong adhesive. This glue cures with white fluorescent light and is capable of pressure bearing positioning so is a good choice if your glass table needs a quick fix. Although the bottle is small you’ll find a little goes a long way with this stuff and will be impressed by the strength of the bonds formed between glass and metal.
Other pros of this glue are that: you have control over the curing process as it cures under fluorescent light; it cures quickly once light is applied, in as little as 5 minutes; it is a good choice if you need to wiggle something into position or know it is going to be difficult to bond things in exactly the right position, and; it has a useful applicator. The downside of this glue is that it is such a small bottle for the price. However, if you’re working with glass and metal this is the best glue for metal to glass by a long way so is well worth the money.
#3 Best glue for glass to plastic: Beacon’s Premium Glass, Metal & More Permanent Glue
One of the difficulties when working on projects involving plastic and glass is that a lot of the glues that work well with glass are made from chemicals which are too strong to use with plastic and will ruin the finish of the task at hand. Fortunately, this excellent adhesive that is made right here in the USA exists to chase away all those troubles and works great with both glass and plastic. For strong and flexible glass to plastic bonds, this should be your glue of choice.
Other things to like about this glue are that: it has a quick initial tack meaning you won’t need to clamp your materials in place; this glue is fully waterproof and will withstand challenging weather conditions so is a good choice if you working on something for outside, and; it also works great bonding metal and glass. The downside of this glue is it is highly toxic and really kicks up a stink so make sure you use it in a well-ventilated area and preferably wear a face mask too.
#4 Best glue for glass to wood: Gorilla’s Clear Gorilla Glue
If you really want a challenge and need a glue that powerfully binds glass to wood, then you’ll love this clear drying glue that has been designed to be effective on pretty much any material. The crystal clear and perfectly smooth finish also makes this a great choice for use on glass to glass projects so if you want to rescue your favorite beer or wine glass, or any other item with sentimental value that has broken for that matter, this could be the glue for you.
Other pluses of this glass to wood glue are that: it’s made in the USA so you can be sure of its safety and quality; it forms an incredibly strong bond with any material you use it with (make sure to dampen non-porous materials before application), and; it is incredibly cheap! The downsides of this glue are that it’s only water resistant, rather than waterproof, so shouldn’t be used on projects likely to spend most of their time outdoors and it needs to be clamped for a full 2 hours to bond completely.
#5 Best instant drying glass glue: Loctite’s Glass Glue
If you are looking for a glue that is great for quick repairs and doesn’t require clamping to make in place for hours to make the bond you so desperately crave happen, then this is going to be the glue to make you happy. Even if the item you’re fixing is going to find its way into a dishwasher or a microwave, this glue will stand up to the challenge and pass the test as it is both waterproof and heat resistant.
Other pros of this glue are that: it works particularly well with glass to glass bonds, but is suitable for glass to metal as well; it has a long shelf life of 18 months; it dries super clear and will be barely noticeable if you are using it to fix a broken glass, and; it is suitable for use on stained glass mosaics (but preferably with larger tiles as it sticks instantly). The downside of this glue is that the nozzle does clog up pretty easily and it is not very viscous so can be a bit messy.
#6 Best glue to use on glass mosaics: GE’s Silicone II Household Glue & Seal
If you fancy giving the mosaic activity a whirl, then the best type of glue to use is probably silicone as this is a forgiving glue that takes a long time to cure giving you plenty of time to wiggle things into place. This silicone also dries completely clear so if your handy-work is a bit messy it won’t look unsightly. Its viscous nature also provides decent padding between stained glass tiles and will help to ensure your masterpiece stands the test of time whether you keep it inside or outside.
Other good things about this silicone glue are that: it’s super cheap; when it dries, it does not form into any bubbles helping you to keep a neater finish; it is resistant to mold and mildew so you won’t see your mosaic changing to an all green color in humid weather, and; if you put too much on it is easy to remove once dry with a razor blade. The downside of this glue is that it is not suitable for holding any weight.
#7 Best industrial strength glue: Eclectic Products’ E6800 262011 UV Resistant Pro-Grade Adhesive Cartridge
If you are working on a project with glass that is going to come into contact with harsh chemicals, then you are going to need to stump up the cash and buy some industrial strength glue. Fortunately, this glue is actually pretty good value but still has the strength and chemical resistance you need. It is also resistant to saltwater so is a good choice of glue for people needing to do glass-based boat repairs.
Other positives about this glue are that: it is fully non-flammable once it has completely cured as well as resistant to both extreme heat and intense cold; it creates an extremely flexible bond that outdoes polyurethane glues, and; it can be painted over so is easy to cover up minor wobbles you’ve made. The downside of this glue is that it is highly toxic itself so you have to wear a mask when using this as the vapor it gives off is harmful.
#8 Best spray glue for glass: 3M’s High strength 90 contact spray adhesive
If you have a huge project planned involving glass, then you might want to take a look at spray can glues that are suitable for use with glass as these can help you cover large areas quickly and uniformly. This great can of spray glue is also industrial strength, so don’t think that because it comes out as a spray this stuff is going to be weak. With just a one minute dry time you have to work quickly but have enough leeway to spray a large area with time to spare to position your glass in place.
Other things to shout about regarding this spray glue are that: it is incredibly heat resistant; the spraying feature helps to ensure a uniform application creating a neater finish to projects; the spray does not mist (although it is still advisable to wear a face mask and use in a well-ventilated area), and; it is effective on all materials as well as glass. The downside of this glue is that it is scarily flammable and highly toxic so be careful when using this.
How to choose the right glass adhesive
To pick the right glue you are going to think about the nuts and bolts tasks that are associated with the project you are working on. Here, we will outline some of the major things you will need to consider when working with glass adhesives to help you make the right choice of glue for your specific task.
#1 Is your project indoors or outdoors?
If your project is going to be kept on the shelf inside, then you don’t need to worry much about how weatherproof your glue is. However, if you are fixing a pair of broken glasses, or are designing a sculpture for the garden, or any other task that might see your glass project come into contact with the outside world, then you need to make sure you glass glue is waterproof.
#2 Curing time and clamping
Curing refers to how long it takes for your glue to dry and harden into its final bond. Curing time ranges from seconds through to days. A longer curing time means you will need to be able to clamp things in position. Glues that are tackier on initial contact often don’t need clamping, whereas a weak tack will require clamping for anything from 5 minutes and upwards.
Whilst needing to clamp something in place might seem like a hindrance, at times this can be a useful trait as it can give you the time to perfectly adjust things into position. Ideally, when working with glass you will have a fast curing and a slow curing glue to hand as you’ll probably need both traits in most projects. Always remember, first think of what the task requires, then pick the right type of glue accordingly.
#3 Glue color & paintable glue
These days, most glues are designed to dry in the most unobtrusive fashion as possible meaning they dry transparently and can often be painted over which makes it easy to ensure your projects have a nice finish. However, some cheaper glues dry yellow or white once cured or a year down the line if they deteriorate. So if you are working on a project that needs a clean and crisp finish, you need to make sure the glue will dry clear, can be painted over, and is resistant to the ravages of time.
#4 Is it dishwasher and microwave safe?
As strange as this might seem, people often form strong attachments to their favorite drinking vessel and if a handle falls off are not going to want to send it to the out with the trash. Fortunately, there are a range of glues that can be used on ceramic and glass that are ok for use in both the dishwasher and the microwave. If your project might someday find itself inside a microwave, an oven, or a dishwasher, then you are going to want a heat resistant glue that is also waterproof.
If your project isn’t going to be put under much strain, then you aren’t going to need to spend the big bucks on an industrial strength glass adhesive. However, if you are fixing a glass table or a project that is likely to see pressure applied to your final product, then industrial strength glue might be the way to go as these can withstand up to as much pressure as 5,000 pounds per just a square-inch.
As you can see, picking the right glass glue does require some consideration but if you have these things in mind before you go out and buy your glue, then you’ll be sure to pick the right one for your needs.
How to use glass glue
So now you know how to pick the right glass glue, but how do go about actually using it safely and appropriately once you’ve got it in your cupboard, toolbox, or workshop shelf? Here, we will outline some of the key things to remember when using glass glue.
Unfortunately, glass glues are all chemical based and are not non-toxic so you need to make sure that when you are working with them you have a well-ventilated space to work in or a decent face mask. However, make sure if you are working in a well-ventilated area that it is clean. If you are gluing something in a workshop filled with sawdust and it blows into your glue, this is going to weaken the bond and lead to deterioration over time.
#2 Cleaning spills
At this point, it’s probably good to point out that accidents do happen and glue is easily spilled in places you don’t want it to stay. As glass adhesives are chemical based you will almost always need to use something stronger than soapy water to clean them up even when they are still wet (although there are some exceptions you’ll find on our list below). Super-glue tends to dry pretty much on contact so adding water once you’ve spilled it is not going to help. However, a simple solvent like nail polish remover or paint thinner can stand up to the task on tougher to clean glues.
#3 Test your glue
As tempting as it might be to dive right in and use your glue on your project, we highly recommend testing on some comparable materials first so you can see exactly how quickly the tack is going to come into play, what it will look like when dry, and how strong the bond is.
#4 Prepare the applicator tip
When using the applicator for the first time you want to aim to snip off no more than an eighth of an inch to help with controlled use. This can be done easily with a decent pair of scissors or a Stanley knife. Be sure to place the lid on this after use so your glue doesn’t dry out. If you have returned to your glue a month after use and find this nozzle has now sealed over, then you can either scrape out the dried glue or poke a pin or a needle through to create a new hole. Snipping further down the applicator is another option, but this may be at the expense of precision.
#5 Apply your glue
Once you are happy you have the right glue for your needs, it’s time to use it for the real deal. If you are working on something that requires the precise application of small amounts of glue, then you might want to choose a glue that comes with an applicator. Whereas, if you need it to seep into space, you should choose a low viscosity glue.
Note: Viscosity refers to how thick a liquid is. Low viscosity means something is likely to be runny, whilst something that is highly viscous is going to be much thicker and unlikely to run.
#6 Make the bond
Once you have applied your glue you are going to have to act fast to get your glass stuck into the position you want it. If you have chosen a glue with a slower cure that requires clamping, make sure you have thought about how you are going to do this clamping in practice before you’ve applied the glue. If you have gone for an almost instant tack, then make sure you act fast but with a controlled hand as you stick your glass into position. Even if the tack is instant, be sure to leave the glue to cure for the full length of time described on your specific glue before using what you have glued together.
Glass glue projects: How to make a stained glass mosaic
This project is for lovers of arts and crafts who want to try their hand at a project involving the beautiful but challenging to handle material of stained glass. Here, we will outline what you need and how to do it!
What you’ll need
- A picture frame (complete with a glass panel)
- An assortment of stained glass mosaic tiles
- Glass cutters
- Polyurethane glue (slow cure and not strong initial tack)
- A sponge
- A cloth
- Some glass cleaner
#1 Place your picture frame upside down on the table.
#2 Draw out your design using a dry erase marker. If you want, you can place a tablet or print out of a picture underneath to help you draw out your lines. The dry erase marker can be easily rubbed off if you make any mistakes.
#3 Turn your frame the right way around.
#4 Play around with your mosaic tiles to see how the colors will look when positioned over your design. Cut any pieces down to size if you have curves or other difficult shapes and spaces to fill.
#5 Once you are happy with how your mosaic looks not stuck down, you are ready to start sticking things into place. You may need to take off a few pieces at once so that as you push the tile into place the displaced glue doesn’t half stick another tile down. Use the sponge to wipe off excess glue as you go.
#6 Once all your tiles have been carefully glued in place make sure to leave the mosaic overnight so that your glue can completely cure.
#7 Take the glass out of the frame and use the glass cleaner and the cloth to polish up your mosaic.
#8 Return your mosaic to the frame and hang it in your desired location!
Remember, you are not going to want to use a super-glue for this task as you need a bit of time to be able to position each mosaic tile into place. The beauty of using a picture frame is that you don’t need to be good at drawing to make a beautiful mosaic as you can just trace all sorts of designs straight on to the glass panel from the frame. Glass cutters will come in handy though as they will ensure you can cover every gap with a stained glass mosaic tile.
Working with glass is probably one of the most challenging materials, it is often easy to break, can be very heavy, and is not something most glues can handle. However, fortunately, there are a range of glues that are suitable for use on projects involving glass. In this post, we have outlined the 4 major glue types suitable for use with glass (CA or ‘superglue’, polyurethanes, silicone, and epoxy) and the various benefits associated with each to help you pick the right one for your specific needs.
Always remember that, when working with glass glues, it is a good idea to do this in a well-ventilated space and to preferably wear a face mask. Once you have your project in mind, be it the mosaic on this list or something more industrial in nature, all you have to do is follow the instructions and advice above to help you pick the right one for your needs. Soon, you’ll find that thanks to a good glue working with glass is not as hard as it previously seemed.
> Read More: Best Glue Gun.