Working with glass can be a tricky because certain jobs require different glues. The right glass adhesive is crucial to working with glass. There are many different types, ranging from thick mastic, to water based, silicon and even special UV-cured types. Studying a glass project and knowing what is the best way of affixing it to a surface is an important step of any job.
Mastic is a common type of glass adhesive that is easily found in most hardware and art supply stores. This adhesive is a thick, white, spackle-like material that can be spread on the back of glass with a spoon or flat stick. It provides excellent bonding for glass and metal projects, like fusing mosaic tiles together. Mastic works well for transparent glasses because it dries white and provides a plain background. This type of glue does have its drawbacks, like its slow drying time and how it is difficult to remove from hands or drips along the glass surface.
A water based glass adhesive is another good choice for metal, wood and glass-on-glass projects. This glue comes in a tube and can be applied in its container, removing the need for spoon applications. This type of adhesive normally dries more clearly than mastic and is easier to remove from hands and drips. Its major drawback is that it lacks the strength of mastic.
A silicone glass adhesive is ideal for speed, ease and weathering. This type of epoxy has rubber properties once it dries and can be applied by squeezing a tube in most cases. Its rubbery feel provides an excellent choice for glass that is going to be outdoors and exposed to the elements. Unlike other types of adhesive, silicone is excellent at repelling water and holding its bond in high heat, so glass will be less prone to shift or break.
An interesting option that is utilized by many professionals is a UV-cured glass adhesive. This adhesive is applied to the glass and then a UV ray emitting light is held over the bond. In a matter of seconds, this adhesive dries and creates a tight connection to glass and metal surfaces. This speed is a major advantage, and it also saves time by eliminating the mixing stage that other adhesives require.