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How to repair broken ceramic-pottery

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  • How to repair broken ceramic-pottery

    To see a full presentation of this tutorial, visit: Fixing and Restoring Broken Pottery or Ceramic Objects | Tutorial and Repair Service

    Below is a basic lesson with instructions on how to cement broken pottery if you choose to do it yourself. This lesson willy assist you to repair broken ceramic item using commercially available materials and tools saving you the cost of repair. If you decide to use our restoration services, we will be glad to provide you with an estimate for the repair.

    See more advance repair tutorial

    What do you need in a restoration studio

    Before and After Ceramic restoration pictures


    What you will need for a simple repair:
    1. Adhesive - two-part clear epoxy glue
    2. Wooden stick or a pin-tool for applying adhesive
    3. Clay
    4. Razor blade
    5. Gloves


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    Prepare the surface. The most important step in repairing a broken glass or ceramic item is to make sure the pieces are clean. If the item has been fixed before, undo the old repair, or the new adhesive may not bond. Before handling the pieces, you may want to put on clean gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges. Clean the pieces with a mixture of mild dishwashing liquid and warm water; gently loosen dirt with a plastic scrubbing pad. Rinse the pieces and let them dry completely. If stains persist, fill a plastic basin with warm water and add 1 cup of liquid chlorine bleach. Carefully submerge the pieces in the liquid. Cover the basin with plastic wrap to contain the fumes and let it sit undisturbed for 2 to 3 days. Remove the pieces, rinse them under running water, and let them dry overnight.


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    Choose your adhesive. Specific kinds of adhesives are used to cement ceramics and glass. We recommend clear, slow- setting 2-part epoxy. There are cases where a quick set epoxy will work better. In order to choose the correct adhesive for a ceramic repair, you must first identify the type of ceramic involved. Because an exact fit is essential in repairing ceramics and glass, you must adjust the pieces precisely before the glue sets. Five-minute epoxies and instant glues might dry too fast and are not recommended if you need longer time to match and adjust precise fit. We use different adhesives for different applications. For the purpose of this tutorial, we recommend more commercially available brands Choose the right Epoxy


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    Mix well


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    Applying the adhesive. Use a wooden stick, paper clip or a pin tool and apply glue to only one of the broken edges. Use only enough adhesive to cover the edge. Too little will leave gaps, resulting in a weak repair; too much will make it difficult to achieve a tight joint. Quickly join the pieces together while applying light pressure squeezing extra glue out. Use clay as illustrated below to hold the pieces together. If clay is not available, you can fill a container with rice or beans which will hold the repaired piece in place while it dries. Avoid shifting the pieces; small particles may come loose, ruining the repair. Any glue that oozes from the joint can be removed later using a razor blade. Use tweezers to apply small pieces.


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    squeeze togehter


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    Use clay to hold pieces


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    Applied clay


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    Wait a few hours



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    Clean cure epoxy


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    Painting / color touch up: If the glued seam shows or the filler is visibile and this is not acceptable to you, color touch up is required and is not covered here due to numerous possibilities and the complexity of it. We use high end acrylic paints or coloring pigments powders and colored hardeners mixed with proper additives to create strength and the right light reflection to emulate the broken item's glaze affect as close as possible - see our tools and materials tutorial page. Note that this is the most difficult part to master and it is very time consuming in particular repairing objects with multiple colors. See Lesson 2 for more details
    Last edited by Andy Clift; 01-23-2012, 08:12 PM.

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