How to repair broken ceramic, pottery, porcelain or china?

Picture of How to repair broken ceramic, pottery, porcelain or china?

Lakeside Pottery is a ceramic, sculpting and repair / restoration studio.

See details on this tutorial and all of our repair and restoration lessons and tips.

Below is a basic lesson / tutorial on how to fix / mend broken pottery if you choose to do it yourself. This tutorial may assist you to repair your broken ceramic object using commonly 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.

LESSON 1: How to Fix Broken Pottery, Ceramic or Glass
(To see a repair process of a broken pot with missing pieces, antiquing and color restoration, go to: Lesson 2 )

We are often asked if we can refire a broken pot or a statue and make it "perfect" again. A potter simply cannot refire a pot and make it whole again. The only thing that will fix pottery is epoxy glue. With modern adhesives, it's possible to make nearly invisible repairs to damaged ceramic and glass items.

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

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Step 1: Choose your adhesive

Picture of Choose your adhesive

Before starting, make sure your item is clean - see some cleaning instructions here.

Specific kinds of adhesives are generally used to mend ceramics and glass. We recommend clear, 5 minutes - setting two-part epoxy. There are cases where a slow 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 that are listed in our Where to Purchase Ceramic Repair Materials page.

sandy2535 days ago
Marcia.Purse7 months ago

The picture of how to use modeling clay to hold something together isn't there. It sure would be helpful to see what you mean!

lakesidepottery (author)  Marcia.Purse1 month ago

Hi Marcia, see step 3 for the modeling clay photos.

sue.hallhill3 months ago

Cementruck there are professionals who repair items like your grandmothers platter! Just check on the work they have done before you let them do it but it should come out at least pretty close to perfect. They will also apply paint etc where needed to cover up any fine lines, can fill in spots where there is missing pieces etc.!! Make it a Xmas present one year! Good luck.

Istarian1 year ago

You can actually glue glass and ceramics with fairly standard Elmer's glue. It's not the prettiest and I wouldn't eat off of anything I used it on, but it works. You just have to let it set for a couple of days. They probably sell something more appropriate specifically for this purpose though.

scoochmaroo3 years ago
This is extremely useful, thank you!
CementTruck3 years ago
My wife's grandmother shipped a family heirloom (serving platter) to my wife just weeks before she died. Her mental state was severely compromised due to the pain medication she was on and she put the platter in a cardboard pizza box without any padding, taped it shut, and shipped it parcel post. I remember receiving the badly mangled box and hearing the clatter of broken porcelain inside as I handed it to my wife. It was pretty heart rending. I have held on to the pieces (still in the pizza box so I have all the parts) and am planning on restoring it for my wife when the time permits. Your Instructable gives me hope.

Thank you!!!