Introduction: $10 Broken Phone Screen Fix

About: Photography teacher, woodworker, and general repair man

Well, I've done it again. I've cracked my screen. For those of you who may remember, I did this just over a year ago and needed a temporary fix to get me through until I could change providers and get a new phone. It was functional, it lasted for at least a couple of months, and it was ugly.

Now, I need a repair that doesn't look like I slathered superglue all over my phone and can last about a year. I had some success fixing my wife's windshield and figured that may also work on a phone.

This whole thing is way more simple than it needs to be so this is going to be a quick instructable.


Step 1: Prep Work

Clean your phone with something that doesn't leave much of a residue. To be honest, I just used a shirt because my phone was relatively clean. You're just looking to get all of the shards and particulate matter cleaned off.

If you do use some sort of cleaner, make sure it is residue free. You don't want that getting into the cracks while you're trying to fill them with glue.

Step 2: Apply Glue

Before we get to gluing, you should know that this stuff cures in UV light. Don't try and do this step near a window or outside. Go into an interior room in your home (like a windowless bathroom), close the door, and then do this step.

You don't need much glue for this. I used too much and it go everywhere. It's easy to clean so it's not a huge deal, I just don't want you getting it on something that you care about.

Apply glue over the cracks. It's ok if the glue beads up on the glass surface. Then, apply your little sheets of plastic that came with the kit. My phone is a curved so I tried using tape over the plastic to match the curve. It's not a great technique, but it got the job done will enough. If you have something that has a bezel that stands up a bit, you may want to cut your plastic to fit inside the bezel.

Step 3: Cure the Glue

I just put it outside on the hood of my care for this step. In hindsight, that wasn't a brilliant idea because it could have slid off. The more direct the sunlight is, the better. In other words, don't do this on a cloudy day because the glue won't cure well. Early morning sun also doesn't have as much direct UV as when the sun is directly overhead. So, even though it's sunny, it will still take longer to cure than it would if you did this step at noon.

You can also use a UV flashlight for this step if you have one.

Tip: Use your finger nail to push at the edges of the bubbles. When they stop moving, your glue is cured (obviously, don't sit there poking at the glue until it stops moving. put it down, let the sun do its job, and then check periodically).

Step 4: Scrape the Excess Glue

Remove the plastic pieces. Use a razor to scrape the excess glue off. Then, clean your phone to remove all the leftover plastic.

Important tip: Scrape with the razor perpendicular to the cracks. The more parallel that you are, the more likely that you are to accidentally hit the edge of the crack and potentially cause a chip in the glass. This is especially true if you are trying to fix parts with actual pieces of glass missing.

Step 5: Finished!

The results of this are great. I'm really pleased.

The front impact mark is still slightly noticeable when the screen is off but when it's on, it just looks like a very light fingerprint. I had to take the photo at a different angle because you couldn't see the damage otherwise. It's right on the edge of the curve so it was tough to repair. The cracks that went across the screen are nearly imperceptible unless you know where to look.

The back glass is amazing considering the damage that was there to begin with. Again, you can see that there is some damage but I would say that it is 95% fixed.

I hope that helps your cracked screen problem!

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