How to Fix a Glass Shade with Glue

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Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper or old cloth

  • Gloves

  • Fine-grit sandpaper

  • Cloth

  • Glass cement or glue

  • Masking tape

  • Paper towel

  • Nail polish remover


If you have multiple broken pieces, you may find it helpful to glue the pieces together first. Sand down one side of a broken piece, apply glue and use masking tape to hold the pieces together until the glue dries. Once the glue dries, sand another edge and glue another piece in place. Continue until all the pieces are securely glued together and then glue onto the lamp shade.

Use a glass glue or glass cement. Even if it looks white in the bottle, it dries clear.

Glass shades become broken when dropped or damaged.

Glass lamp shades have an elegant and tasteful look, provided you care for the pieces properly. The shades are available in a wide range of styles and fit nearly every room in the house including the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. In the case of antique lamps, some of the shades are even quite valuable. Fixing a glass shade with the right glue will make the shade look almost new again. Because of the transparent nature of glass however, small hairline seams might be noticeable.

Step 1

Cover your workspace with newspaper or an old cloth, which protects the surface from glue smears. Cover your hands with a pair of gloves to keep glass shards from getting stuck in your hands.

Step 2

Rub the edges of the smallest piece of damaged or loose glass lightly with fine-grit sandpaper. This gives the glue something to stick to. Rub the sanded edge with a cloth to remove any traces of glass dust.

Step 3

Apply a thin layer of glass cement or glass glue to the sanded edges. Quickly push the piece into place on the lamp shade.

Step 4

Place a piece of masking tape along each edge where the sanded edge meets the lamp shade. Repeat with any additional broken pieces of the lamp shade. Wait a minimum of three hours for the glue to dry before removing the tape.

Step 5

Remove the masking tape slowly once the glue dries. Clean any glue smudges or drips from the glass lamp shade with a paper towel coated with nail polish remover. Rub the towel across the excess glue and dry with a second towel. Do not squeeze the nail polish remover into the crack as it might dissolve the glue holding the piece together.

references & resources

Jennifer Eblin

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.