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How to Fix Broken Glass: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Fix Broken Glass: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’ve ever accidentally dropped a picture frame, knocked over a vase, or cracked a window, you might be wondering how to fix broken glass without having to call an expert. We’ll show you how below.

The Short Answer

Breaking sentimental or expensive glass items is all too common and easy to do within a household. Luckily, there are ways you can fix broken or cracked glass without having to throw an item away or call for help.

With the following seven steps, you can repair cracks or broken glass pieces and restore any sentimental or decorative items you might have thought were lost.

The steps are:

  1. Set up your workstation
  2. Clean and dry the glass
  3. Get your epoxy ready
  4. Apply the epoxy
  5. Remove excess epoxy
  6. Allow the epoxy to cure
  7. Clean the repaired glass

That said, there are times when fixing broken glass just isn’t worth it.

If there are more than a few missing pieces, this process will be nearly impossible. However, if there’s just a crack or your piece has just split in two, the steps are fairly straightforward.

How to Fix Broken Glass in 7 Easy Steps

Step 1: Set Up Your Workstation

First, you need to gather your materials and set up where you’ll work with all the tools and materials you need.

To fix a broken piece of glass, you need to prepare by gathering the following tools and items:

  • Glass cleaner or dish soap
  • Two-part epoxy
  • Disposable mixing dish
  • Wooden mixing stick
  • Putty knife 
  • Painter’s tape
  • Razorblade or rag dampened with acetone
  • Gloves for safety

Once your workstation is ready to go with these materials and your gloves are on, ensuring your safety, you’re prepared to follow the next steps to restore your broken glass item.

Step 2: Clean and Dry the Glass

Make sure the glass is clean and dry. Using gloves, clean around the edges of the broken glass with either dish soap or glass cleaner.

Wipe away any soap or cleaner residue, and let the glass dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step.

Ensuring there are no fingerprints or dust on the glass helps the glue more effectively bond the broken pieces or cracks back together.

Step 3: Get your Epoxy Ready

Prepare your two-part epoxy in a disposable mixing dish or plate. Epoxy is the strongest structural adhesive and has the highest temperature resistance compared to other reactive adhesives, so it’s the best option for repairing cracked or broken glass.

There are many different brands of epoxy to choose from, which you can find online or in most home improvement or craft stores.

The epoxy contains two parts in separate cylinders: a resin and a hardener that you mix together when you’re ready to use it.

With many different epoxy brands available, it’s important to double-check the instructions for directions, mixing ratio, and curing time.

Following these instructions, mix the directed ratio of resin and hardener in the disposable dish with a wooden stick and prepare to apply it to the broken glass.

Step 4: Apply the Epoxy

Using a putty knife, apply the epoxy to the broken glass and gently work it back and forth onto the broken area with the knife. 

As you’re working, you should alter this step based on the type of repair you’re attempting.

  • Broken glass or fully separated pieces: If you’re re-attaching glass that broke into multiple pieces, apply a small amount of epoxy to the edge of the broken pieces and press the pieces gently and firmly back together. Then apply strips of painter’s tape to the separated components to hold the item together as it cures.
  • Cracked glass: If you’re fixing a crack in a window or glass frame, use the putty knife to press the epoxy over the crack and gently work it into the cracked area.

Speaking from experience, use this sparingly. It cures extremely fast, and removing excess epoxy can be nearly impossible. So always start with just a bit. You can add more later if necessary.

Step 5: Remove Excess Epoxy

To remove excess epoxy from the glass, use a razor blade or rag soaked with acetone. Use either of these tools to wipe away any excess epoxy or epoxy that is raised above the cracks in the glass.

This step is critical, as it ensures the repair is clear, smooth, and not noticeable when the item is restored and complete.

Step 6: Allow the Epoxy to Cure

Allow the epoxy to sit for the instructed amount of curing time. The curing time is typically between 12 and 24 hours, but make sure to read the instructions carefully to find the exact time recommendation.

Step 7: Clean the Repaired Glass

Once the epoxy fully cures, clean the item again with a glass cleaner and rag to wipe away any residue or fingerprints.

Wiping away the residue and other impurities on top of the glass item will result in the glass being polished, and wiping away other residues allows you to fully see the repair to the crack or break in the glass.

Upon completing these steps and cleaning the glass, your glass item will be fully restored and ready for you to gaze at and enjoy again.

Things to Consider

These steps should help you repair most cracked or broken glass items in your household. But there are also important considerations as you’re working that can impact your success in restoring glass:

  • Won’t fix every type of glass. These steps will be most effective on common single-pane glass items found around a household. Those everyday and sentimental single-pane items can include vases, glass frames, kitchen glassware, or single-pane glass windows, doors, or tables. Things such as microwave glass, car windshields, or double-pane glass windows or doors require a different technique to fix.
  • Choose the right epoxy. While there are many effective options, buyers recommend Gorilla Clear epoxy as an easy-to-use and effective choice for glass repair or J-B Weld Clearweld epoxy as a durable and versatile option. Along with these brands, there are plenty of well-trusted two-part epoxy brands at any home improvement store, so you have plenty of options to choose from when you’re looking to repair broken glass.
  • Don’t forget to clean the glass. Any fingerprints, dust, or oil on the cracked glass or broken pieces weaken the epoxy’s bonding to the glass. To get the best results, make sure any glass piece is thoroughly cleaned and dried before getting started.
  • Prioritize your safety. When you’re working with broken glass pieces, always remember gloves for protection. If you’re using a razor blade to scrape away excess epoxy, always scrape away from you.

So, How Do You Fix Broken Glass?

If you’ve accidentally knocked over a vase or cracked a frame, you might have thought it was the end of the item’s life in your household. However, it’s possible to restore many glass items to almost their original state in only seven steps.

With two-step epoxy, you can bond glass pieces back together and stop cracks from spreading and becoming noticeable. Too often, sentimental or expensive pieces are lost after being cracked, broken, or shattered.

If you find yourself in that situation, try following the steps in the guide above to save any single-pane glass piece and prevent an item you care about from going to waste.