Introduction: Repairing a Stone Sculpture or Statue

About: Lakeside Pottery, a nationally recognized Ceramic and Sculpture Repair and Restoration studio, established in 2001 as a ceramic art and pottery teaching facility. We are also craft Kintsugi / Kintsukuroi Japan…

Below is a basic lesson / tutorial on how to fix / mend broken stone sculpture if you choose to do it yourself. This tutorial may assist you to repair your broken statue using commonly available materials and tools saving you the cost of repair.

Lakeside Pottery repair, fix and restore a wide range of materials which include pottery, ceramic, porcelain, china, terra-cotta, clay, stoneware, stone and metal sculpture, plaster and resin.

For more lessons and tutorial and more detailed sculpture repair step by step instructions and where to buy materials.

For "before and after" repair examples

If you decide to use our restoration services, we will be glad to provide you with an estimate for the repair.

Step 1: Drill Holes Using Carbide Tipped Bit

This statue is about 3 feet tall and about 70 lbs. Remove loose fragments or old glue.

The selection of drilling location needs to be in the center of stone mass on both parts, the head and the body.

The drilled stone dust is saved for later to be used to fill in the large gaps between the two parts once cemented.

Step 2: Drilling Holes on the Other Broken Part Matching Location and Angle

Once you have drilled the holes on one side of the broken sculpture, how do you match the holes in the other side? Place a paper over the drilled surface, glue it down with water soluble glue (tape did not work in this example - it did not adhere to the soft stone surfaces) and outline the hole and the edges of the stone. Then, poke holes through the paper marking drilled holes. Follow the steps below and mark the exact hole location on the other portion of the sculpture (head) for accurate alignment location transfer.

Note that the epoxy, once cured, is much harder than the stone in this case. Therefore, drilling the holes wider will not create weakness. Wider holes will ease the fit requiring less accurate holes alignment.

Step 3: Accuratly Drilling Holes on Other Side

Mark with pencil the holes location on the other broken piece and verify marking. Drill the matching holes on the other broken piece

Step 4: Cleaning and Cutting Metal Rod

Remove dust from holes and clean surfaces well. Cut metal rod to the correct size (need at least 3")

Step 5: Assembling Sculpture and Rods and Mending

Cut rod to size (in this case about 4-1/2"). Place in holes and verify alignment.

Mix enough epoxy to fill holes in bottom and top and cover the surface. If using 5-minutes epoxy (where to get epoxy), make sure you are all prepared and possibly have an assistant. The 5-minites epoxy starts to set after 2-3 minutes

Step 6: Filling Gaps and Cracks

Once clear epoxy is cured, mix the filler epoxy with the stone dust you have saved (about 30% dust and 70% epoxy) and fill all the gaps. In this case, we used the PC-11 (where to get PC-11 filler) slow cure filler epoxy. Wait 24 hours before handling.

Step 7:

Once filler is cured, grind, drill, poke, and scratch surface to duplicate the rest of the sculpture surface texture

Step 8: Painting to Match Colors

Match color and mix the right sand grain sizes with the matched acrylic and bonding materials. in this case air brushing is the best method. See painting tips and tutorial.

Once dry, apply the right sheen glaze / protective coating

Step 9: Repair Is Complete

Step 10: More Complex Project Example - See Link Below