Museum Putty Vs. Museum Wax Vs. Museum Gel: What’s the difference? At first glance, they seem about as similar as identical triplets raised in the same household.
Look a little closer, ‘cuz every cat person is watching them like 👁👄👁
Grab a snack and get comfortable as we sort through this sticky situation. We’ll examine the sticking power, look, and quirks of each adhesive. No valuables were harmed in the making of this article – though a few knick knacks might have gotten intimate with testing surfaces. Let’s peel back the layers on the museum putty vs. wax vs. gel debate.
❓ Museum Putty Vs. Museum Wax Vs. Museum Gel: What’s the Difference?
The main difference between Museum Putty Vs. Museum Wax Vs. Museum Gel:
- Museum Putty is the most universal and widest range of applications. It is recommended for frequently removed and reused objects.
- Museum Wax is the best for permanently located items (over 1 year) & some types of offbeat woods.
- Museum Gel is the best product for invisibility on glass & crystals.
✅Recommended 🤷♂️ You Decide ⛔️ Not Recommended
Notes: All will adhere to unfinished wood, and pictures on walls but may leave residue. We always recommend reapplying them when cleaning objects 3-4 times per year.
📝 My Hands-on Test of Museum Gel
This clear, thick gel can be applied to any surface where you want something to stay put, and it works like a charm but NOT on WOOD!!! So, it won’t fix the glass to wood.
The gel is completely clear and leaves zero residue. One little bottle of this gel can easily be used for every single drawer in my kitchen, my home office, my hubby’s home office, and all three of my bathrooms. This stuff is magic! It even worked really well to hold up long candlesticks that had a tendency to lean to one side.
I love that this product is not a permanent decision when arranging drawers. If your needs change, just remove and replace your item. It’s great that it’s not damaging anything at all, just to be clear. But, while it works well for glass objects, it’s not so great for figures like PopMart. It’s too thin, and the figures will move after you place them in their spot on a plastic shelf in a display case.
This museum gel is also great for crystal vases on side tables or even holding down trinkets in a travel trailer. It’s self-leveling and glass-clear, and so far, so good! I even used it on a fossil, and when it fell from standing upright, it didn’t break. It is easy to clean up and doesn’t stain. At least on nothing yet.
I got this to keep my cats from knocking things around on my desk/tables. It works like a charm! Firm hold but easily removable with a twisting motion and no damage to either surface! This product is truly a miracle worker. Our spicy baby cat used to knock anything and everything off every surface she could reach. Typical terror time was around 4:30 am to make sure she got her 5 am breakfast. But now, with this museum gel, she can no longer push my fragile vase & perfume bottles, my wife’s glasses holder, ANYTHING to make a commotion alarm.
💬 FAQ of Museum Gel
Q: Can this be used to hold up canvas art on a light wood surface for wall hanging?
A: Museum Gel is not recommended for use on
absorbent surfaces, such as light wood canvas art, as it can stain and is designed for use on horizontal surfaces with glass only.
Q: I am planning to use this to secure smaller candles in my brass candlestick holders. Can I use it without any issue, given that it is clear?
A: It should work well, as long as there are no gaps or holes underneath where you apply it. However, keep in mind that the Museum Gel will always seek out the lowest spot before it stops.
Q: Will it damage or
strip the patina of my wooden furniture if I use it to hold things in place?
A: Based on my experience, Museum Gel doesn’t strip paint, varnish, or ink. It’s made of incompletely cured silicone rubber that holds items in place using natural stickiness, not solvent bonds. I’ve also been able to remove it from painted, varnished, and inked surfaces without any damage or residue. However, it’s always best to test it on a small, hidden area before using it on your furniture.
Q: Can I use this to affix a small metal object, like a quarter, on plastic? Is it easy to remove?
A: While the Clear Museum Gel is designed for glass and crystal, it works well for adhering items to shelves and preventing them from falling. It can be easily removed by twisting the adhered item and rubbing off any excess gel. However, I’m not certain if it would work on plastic, so it’s best to test it first.
Q: Is it suitable for attaching pottery to wrought iron?
A: I’m not certain about using Museum Gel to stick items to wrought iron, as it may liquefy if exposed to heat. It’s best used indoors in normal temperatures.
Q: Can I use this to hang posters or signage on glass without causing damage?
A: Yes, I believe it would work well for hanging posters on glass, as it holds a large lamp in place on polished glass and tacks down the corner of a framed picture on a wall. The substance is a tacky wax that can be rolled into a ball and flattened as you press the poster onto the glass. It’s a better alternative to tape.
Q: Is Museum Gel suitable for toddler proofing?
A: No, the Museum Gel is a clear, non-messy gel that’s similar to bubble gum and can be easily pulled loose by small children. It holds well but isn’t a good option for toddler-proofing.
Q: Can I use this on my sealed quartz countertops without staining them?
A: Yes, since your countertop has been sealed, the gel won’t stain or damage it. When you remove the item, there may be some residue left behind, but it can be easily wiped away.
Q: Can I use this to affix my model car rubber tires to a plastic display case?
A: Yes, Museum Gel can be used on almost any material, except wood. It’s ideal for small ceramics, plastic items, rocks, and other collectibles, and doesn’t leave any marks or stains when you reposition the item. However, you may need to use a bit more of the product to account for some getting lost in the treads of the tires.
Q: Can I use this for hanging lightweight pictures or frames?
A: No, the Museum Gel is intended for use on shelves or counters and isn’t suitable for hanging pictures.
Q: Can I use this to temporarily join fractured stone artifacts for photography purposes?
A: Yes, Museum Gel should work well for temporarily conjoining fractured stone artifacts for photography purposes. Use small amounts to avoid it being visible and give it some time to adhere before moving it around.
Q: Will Museum Gel melt in the sun, like Museum Wax?
A: It’s uncertain if Museum Gel will melt in the sun, but it’s best to avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, as the point of the museum is to preserve objects. You may want to consider using a different outdoor product.
Q: Can this hold a coffee pot in place?
A: Although I’ve never tried using Museum Gel to hold a coffee pot, it has worked well for everything else I’ve used it for.
Q: Can I use this to
hold a soap dish in my RV shower?
A: While Museum Gel is a gel, it’s still a liquid and will act as such with gravity. It’s not recommended for use in vertical positions. Instead, you may want to consider using VELCRO, double-sided adhesive tape, or a pop rivet.
Q: I cannot remove my tall delicate crystal-blown glass from the table where it has been stuck for several years. How can I remove it?
A: If you used this specific gel, gently twist the glass from the very bottom to avoid breaking it, as the gel doesn’t solidify like glue or enamel.
Q: Can I use this to secure a ceramic soap dish onto a tile wall in my bathroom?
A: Yes, Museum Gel can be used to secure a ceramic soap dish onto a tile wall in your bathroom. It’s important to clean the surface of the tile and the bottom of the soap dish before applying the gel. However, keep in mind that Museum Gel is not recommended for use in vertical positions, so you may want to test its effectiveness first.
📝 My Hands-on Test of Museum Putty
I use this putty to keep my lamps in place because I have cats, and we ourselves can be quite clumsy at times. I want to have nice things, and the museum putty lets me have glass objects without the fear of breaking them. I put a little on the bottom of my lamps, and they are in place. Even when they have been bumped or headbutted by my cats, they do not move.
Besides that, this putty has been holding my antique vases securely on a shelf for eight years now. I occasionally remove the vases and wash the shelf, then replace them with new putty, and I have had no problems.
That said, you get enough putty in the package to do this a couple of dozen times, so I can’t really complain about that. It’s still a great value for the price.
I also used it to keep people in my house from moving things around and dragging heavy items across furniture, which scratches furniture surfaces. It worked so well that I bought it again to prevent fragile items from falling off of pedestals. It lasts years and years with even heavy items.
The law of gravity still applies, and I have never tried to use this with something heavy mounted fully upright. I have, however, used this to hold a plate to a tripod easel that is mounted on the wall. If someone were to accidentally bump the easel frame, then the plate could fall. So I adhered the plate to the easel, and I no longer have to worry about it.
I have used it to prop up a three-legged brass deer, and he managed to keep himself upright with this stuff. I used goops of it underneath several of his legs. I never found that the grip loosens with time.
I have also used it on delicate, vintage wood, and it lasted years without taking off the finish when I removed it. It does leave some oils behind on drywall or regular paint on walls, but I don’t mind patching those with kilz. I would be cautious on
unfinished wood or porous surfaces. My next use will be for a pair of vintage lamps my wife could inadvertently knock over – with this stuff underneath them – she can be a bull in a china shop.
💬 FAQ of Museum Putty
Q: What is the best way to remove museum putty that has secured a vase on a shelf and won’t come off?
A: To remove the museum putty from your vase, gently and slowly start to rock it, and it will eventually loosen. Museum Putty works best when not subjected to sudden movements. If you used too much putty in one spot, try using three or four smaller pieces on the base instead of one large glob. If these methods do not work, try putting some warm water in the vase to soften the putty. While it may take some time, the putty will come off.
Q: Can I use this product to move items around on my wood veneer-finished particleboard shelves without damaging them?
A: Based on my personal experience, I have not encountered any issues with using the museum putty on wood surfaces. Therefore, I do not think it would harm your wood veneer-finished particleboard shelves.
Q: Is it safe to use this product to secure wood picture frames on a shelf without damaging the wood shelf?
A: In my opinion, this product would work well to secure your picture frames. I have used it in a similar fashion with no issues. However, whether it could harm the wood shelf depends on many variables, such as the age and condition of the shelf. Therefore, I cannot say for sure whether it will cause damage.
Q: Can the museum putty withstand the extreme heat of storage in an RV in Arizona?
A: I have seen Museum Putty used in some pretty hot and exposed conditions to hold lightweight objects, such as tins for K9 Nosework, and it seems to work fine. However, I would not recommend using it for very heavy objects. Therefore, the putty may be able to withstand the heat of storage in an RV in Arizona, but it may not work for heavier items.
Q: Is it possible to use this product outside to keep animals from knocking over my planters on a shelf?
A: Yes, this product can be used outside to help stabilize your planters. However, since it is not glue, it is possible that animals could still disrupt your planters. And since it’s outside, it’s also possible to consider adhesive for shower walls in case of heavy rain or moisture environment.
Q: Will Museum Putty damage my valuable wood table while protecting my vase?
A: I have used this product on my wood paneling and table with vases without any issues. It comes off with ease, and I have not experienced any damage. If you are still concerned, test it on a place that won’t show to alleviate your worries.
Q: How do I remove dried museum putty from carpeting?
A: To remove dried museum putty from your carpeting, we recommend using a citrus-based adhesive remover, such as Goo Gone, which works well with our Collector’s Hold Museum Putty.
Q: How much weight can this museum putty hold? I want to use it to secure my brass artifacts on the bottom of a shadow box without them falling forward.
A: The weight capacity of the museum putty depends on the weight of your objects. If you are using it to keep items in place, it should work. However, if you place them at an angle, I would not trust it. You can find more information on using museum putty on YouTube.
Q: Is it safe to use this product to
hold teeth in dentures?
A: No, Collector’s Hold Museum Putty is not intended for medical or oral purposes.
Q: Can I use this product to secure small tapers in ceramic holders that are too big for them?
A: Yes, Collector’s Hold Museum Putty works well with candles.
Q: What distinguishes the ‘white’ from the ‘neutral’ version of the Quakehold 88111 Museum Putty?
A: The main difference between the white and neutral versions of the Quakehold 88111 Museum Putty is the color. The white version is visibly white when applied, while the neutral version is transparent. This may be important in situations where the putty is visible, such as when used to secure a clear object. However, in most cases, the color is not important, as the putty is not visible once applied. Both versions of the Quakehold 88111 Museum Putty are designed to hold objects securely in place and are made by the same manufacturer.
📝 My Hands-on Test of Museum Wax
I use it to hold small diecast parts on a wood dowel for painting, and the parts stay in place and the adhesive is easy to remove when I’m done. I’ve also used it to prevent my cats from knocking items off of shelves, and it works better than I expected.
A small pea-grape size ball is all you need to keep items in place. Just press the ball gently onto the item, then press the item down firmly on the table or shelf. I’ve found that the item won’t move even if kids or cats bump into it. For larger items, I use three small balls.
However, it’s important to note that it shouldn’t be used on brick or porous surfaces as it can be hard to remove from the cracks. To remove the wax, simply tilt the item and lift it. Scrape up all the wax you can (it is reusable) and then buff off the rest with a paper towel.
While I have never had any issues with this product, it’s important to remember that it is wax, so it shouldn’t be used in any place that gets warm. Also, it’s not clear, but rather frost colored, so it may not be suitable for holding clear glass items. I use it to hold vases, marble Christmas stocking holders, and other decor items – so many things.
💬 FAQ of Museum Wax
Q: Can Museum Wax be used to keep a wine bottle from rolling off a shelf?
A: Museum Wax is a wax-like substance that can hold items in place. It is likely that it would work to keep a wine bottle from rolling off a shelf. However, it is important to note that depending on the surface the wax is applied to, such as finished wood, it can cause damage. The clear Museum Gel is a better option as it has been found to not damage any surface. The wax is reusable and can hold the bottle securely, but can be easily adjusted without leaving any residue behind.
Q: Is it possible to use Museum Wax to
hold silver spoons vertically?
A: The instructions on the label only mention that the product can hold items on a table, and do not mention anything about vertical applications. The label mentions that museum conservators use it to secure priceless art, historical artifacts, and antiques from breakage due to accidents and earthquakes. To test whether the wax can hold an item vertically, it is suggested to nudge at the base of the item to see if it is gripping and not slipping. The effectiveness of the wax in vertical applications would depend on the weight of the item and the surface it is being secured to.
Q: Can I use this to hold glass bottles on glass shelves?
A: Yes, Museum Wax can be used to hold glass bottles on glass shelves. This has been tried by the reviewer and has worked well.
Q: Will Museum Wax stick to a raw sandstone fireplace mantel?
A: It is believed that Museum Wax will stick to a raw sandstone fireplace mantel. However, it is important to note that the wax becomes soft with heat, so if the mantel gets warm or hot, the wax will become liquid. As long as the temperature remains at room temperature, the product should work.
Q: Is it safe to use Museum Wax on painted surfaces?
A: Museum Wax has been used on a painted fireplace mantel without causing any noticeable damage. However, there is no 100% guarantee that it won’t cause any damage.
Q: Can Museum Wax withstand freezing temperatures if left outside during delivery?
A: The consistency of Museum Wax is similar to soft candle wax. If it hardens due to freezing temperatures during delivery, it will soften again once brought indoors to a warmer temperature.
Q: How much Museum Wax is needed to hold down 30 teapots on a shelf?
A: While a little Museum Wax goes a long way, it is difficult to determine how much would be needed to hold down 30 teapots. It is suggested to start with a smaller number of teapots and adjust from there.
Q: Can Museum Wax be used to hold frosted glass slip shades in a brass light fixture where heat from the lights is a factor?
A: It is not recommended to use Museum Wax in a fixture where heat is a factor, as the heat may melt the wax.
Q: Has anyone used Museum Wax on RV counters or on horizontal surfaces covered in fabric?
A: Museum Wax has been used to secure wooden elephant figures and brass candlesticks, but it is not certain whether it would work on surfaces covered in fabric. While a little Museum Wax goes a long way, it can be messy, so it is not recommended for use on fabric-covered surfaces.
Q: Can Museum Wax be used to adhere a mineral crystal specimen to acrylic?
A: Yes, Museum Wax can be used to adhere a mineral crystal specimen to acrylic.
Q: Is Museum Wax clear?
A: Museum Wax is a clearish/whiteish color and not completely transparent. It does not require a large amount and may not be noticeable unless pointed out or used in large quantities.
Q: Can Museum Wax be used to hold a cement floor vase on vinyl flooring to prevent pets from knocking it over?
A: It is not recommended to use Museum Wax on porous surfaces, so it may not be suitable for holding a cement floor vase. While it could help prevent the vase from being knocked over, the holding strength would depend on the size of the vase and the amount of wax used.
Q: Is Museum Wax reusable?
A: The effectiveness of the product varies by individual experience. While some have found it effective enough to reuse, others have not.
Q: Can Museum Wax be used to secure geodes, crystals, and rocks weighing up to 5lbs to a steel mantel finished with auto paint?
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A: While there is no information on the weight load of Museum Wax, it is believed that the finish of the surface it is applied to does not affect its effectiveness.
Q: Will Museum Wax work for
hanging posters on painted cinderblock walls in an elementary school?
A: Museum Wax is intended for securing items on a horizontal surface and may not work as well on vertical surfaces. A removable adhesive putty such as Scotch Adhesive Putty or Sticky Tac may be a better option for hanging posters on painted walls.
Q: Can Museum Wax be used to install something vertically on a glass window?
A: The effectiveness of Museum Wax in a vertical application on a glass window would depend on the weight of the item being installed and the surface of the glass. It is recommended to test a small, inconspicuous area before using it to install the item. However, it is important to note that the wax becomes soft with heat, so if the window gets warm or hot, the wax will become liquid and the item may fall. Therefore, it may not be the best option for long-term or heavy installations on a glass window.