Pottery made to order | repair and restoration studio in Southern Delaware

Seamless Chip Repair on Ceramic Platter



Broken Ceramic Repair Lessons
(click pictures)

Fixing broken plate lesson - basic lesson
Cementing only lesson
Fixing broken vase - more complex repair
Restore vase lesson
Cementing, filling, coloring and glazing broken antique plate
Restore plate lesson including coloring
kintsugi - mending broken pottery with gold
Kintsugi - mending with gold
How to repair crack in ceramic
How to fix ceramic crack
Restoring multi breaks and missing piece antique bowl
Restore bowl lesson w/ missing pieces
Cybis Arion Boy on Dolphin - Repair Broken and Missing Finger
Miniature repair w/ missing finger
Restoring ceramic sculpture with missing pieces using fired clay
Making missing part w/ fired clay
Repairing broken stone sculptures and statues
Repairing broken stone sculpture
Repairing broken plaster of paris tall lamp
Plaster lamp repair w/ missing parts
How to paint broken china, ceramic or pottery?
Painting pottery after repair
Restoring ceramic sculpture with missing pieces using fired clay
Sculpting missing pieces
Restoring small porcelain figurines - shoe
Miniature Porcelain
Repairing Broken Moroccan tagin
Repair Moroccan Tagin

Step-by-step process of performing a seamless repair on a chipped large Italian platter using the best commercially available materials including cementing, filling, painting and glazing.

This process can apply to chipped plate, chipped vase, bowl, pitcher, figurine or any pottery, china or ceramic vessel.

What Will You Need - cementing ceramic pieces


1. Two-part clear 5 minutes PC Clear epoxy
2. Wooden stick, paper clip or a pin-tool

3. A container with pvc pebbles, rice or sand
4
. Razor blade
5. Denatured or 91% Alcohol
6. Paper pad to mix Epoxy on
7. Good light
8.
Protective eyewear


IMPORTANT: Ceramic restoration materials are not food safe, liquid or heat proof (over 190 degree F) and repaired items should not be used on cooking or food serving ware more...




What glue and tools to use to fix chipped pottery or figurines?

Cementing Ceramic Pieces Steps

Broken ceramic italian platter
Make sure the pieces are clean using alcohol. If the item has been fixed before clean off any old adhesive, or the new adhesive may not bond properly. Instruction to remove old adhesives.

two-part 5-minutes epoxy - pc clear
Place even amounts of 5-minutes clear epoxy on a paper or cardboard pad

Mix the two parts epoxy
Mix epoxy well with a pin tool, paper clip or a wooden stick.

Apply the epoxy to one side
Apply epoxy mix to one side using a pintool or a wooden stick

Applying the epoxy onto one side
Use only enough adhesive to cover the edge. Too little will leave gaps, resulting in a weak repair

Apply pressure
Place broken piece over the epoxy. Important: You have only about 60-90 seconds from start of epoxy mixing to complete the broken piece permanent placement before the epoxy becomes gummy and not workable

Let the epoxy cure before cleaning excess cured glue
Quickly join the pieces together while applying light pressure to squeeze extra epoxy out. You only have about 60–90 seconds from start of epoxy mixing to placement before the epoxy becomes gummy and unworkable. Do not wipe off the squeezed off epoxy to avoid smearing.

Continue cementing the next part
If your item is broken to more than a couple of pieces, plan the attachment sequence to avoid being left with a final piece that cannot be easily attached or fit in. Numbering the pieces after a dry run is a good idea and will assist in the actual implementation.
do not wipe off squeezed glue
Verify that pieces can stay steady during the cure period (let it cure at 75 degrees F or warmer)

Verify fit of next piece
Verify fit with next piece. Immediately after applying the previous piece, if epoxy squeezed out into the next piece space, clean it with the pin tool and alcohol to insure it will not interfere with subsequent pieces proper fit


Apply epoxy


Spread epoxy

Push hard to squeeze out epoxy


Apply next pieces

Wait 15-20 minutes before addressing the other side
Wait 15-20 minutes before addressing the other side

Other side remaining damage
Other side remaining damage

Rear side pieces
Rear side pieces

Apply epoxy
Apply epoxy

Place pieces
Place pieces

Wait 1-2 hours before clearing squeezed epoxy
Wait 1-2 hours before clearing squeezed epoxy

Toss away small pieces
Small pieces are not used and can be thrown away

Bend blade - wear protective eyewear
Bend blade for better access clearing unwanted cured epoxy. Warning - wear protective eyewear

Remove excess glue
Let the epoxy cure for 60 or more minutes before removing excess cured epoxy with a blade


Ready for a PC-11 filler
Ready for filler

What You Will Need - filling and sanding for a seamless surface


1. Two parts Epoxy filler PC-11
2. Dremel with EZ lock sanding disc 120 grit
3. 220 grit sand paper
3. 400 grit sand paper
4. Rag
5. Mini Spatula

6. Paper pad to mix Epoxy on
7. Denatured or 91% Alcohol

IMPORTANT: Ceramic restoration materials are not food safe, liquid or heat proof (over 190 degree F) and repaired items should not be used on cooking or food serving ware more...
What is needed to fill cracks and repair lines


Filling, Sanding and Surface Preparation Steps

Use 91% alcohol for clean up removing dust and oil
Wipe all surfaces with a 91% alcohol to remove dust and hand oils prior to applying filler epoxy

Use Pc-Epoxy pc-11 epoxy filler.  Mix even parts of PC-11 epoxy filler
Mix even parts of PC-11 epoxy filler. For ease of application, work in room temperature of 75 degrees F or warmer. We place the PC-11 in a small heater and keep it at 100 degrees F.

Apply thin layer of filler while pushing in to fill cracks and missing fragments
Apply thin layer of filler while pushing in to fill cracks and missing fragments

Allow filler epoxy to cure for 12-24 hours
Allow filler epoxy to cure for 12-24 hours (or longer) at a temperature of 75 degrees F or warmer. We place our filled projects in a 140 degrees F oven over night.

Can heat under a lamp
Placing under a lamp is another good option to optimize hardness for better sanding performance. Place at least 12" away from repair item to avoid overheating.

Use Dremel EZ lock sanding disc 120 grit
Use Dremel EZ lock sanding disc 120 grit for sanding.

sand excess epoxy PC-11
Use low speed to avoid burn marks and apply light pressure. Leave the last 10% or so for sanding by hand.
Warning - wear protective eyewear


refine sanding
If Dremel is not available, sanding the whole job by hand (using grit 220 sandpaper) will take longer but will yield the same results

repeat the above on other side
Repeat process on platter's other side

Remove dust
Blow or wipe dust away

ontinue sanding by hand using grit 220
Continue sanding by hand using grit 220
Apply long strokes for accurate surface continuity
Apply long strokes for accurate surface continuity
If upon inspection, missed cracks are found, repeat the steps above for the selected areas

Use 91% alcohol for clean up
Use 91% alcohol for clean up

Wipe for any dust or oil
Wipe for any dust or oil

Use a small sepulcher tool to apply filler
After the first round of sanding, second finer filling is required using a small sepulcher tool

Same filler (PC-11) is used for second application
Same filler (PC-11) is used for second application

Mix well the epoxy filler two even parts
Mix well the epoxy filler two even parts

Inspect surface with UV light or a spot light for any surface defects
Inspect surface with UV light or a spot light for any surface defects (cracks, pits, pumps, etc.)

Fill the defects with PC-11 lightly
For seamless surface fill the defects with PC-11 lightly

Wait for filler to cure over night in warm area before sanding
Wait for filler second layer to cure in a warm room (see more above) before sanding

Sand second layer by hand with long strokes using grit 220, then grit 400 and finish with grit 3600.
Sand second layer by hand with long strokes using grit 220, then grit 400 and finish with grit 3600. It may be necessary to apply a third or forth layer if UV / light close inspection reveals more surface defects

Wipe surface with alcohol for paint better bond
Wipe with alcohol for better paint bond

Painting and Glazing Steps

Mix acrylic paints to match background off-white color
Mix acrylic paints to match background off-white color

Airbrush over the repair line
Airbrush over the repair line and taper off for smooth color integration to original background glaze.

Painting over the repair line will erase painting details
Painting over the repair line will erase painting details which will be replenished later

apply thin layer of cold glaze
Wait a day or two for the acrylic paint to dry well and apply thin layer of cold glaze to protect the applied the painted areas.

Mix acrylic paints to match to missing colors details
Mix acrylic paints to match to missing colors details

Use fine brushes to apply color
Use fine brushes to apply colors

For translucent effect, paint several coats of thinned paints
For translucent effect, paint several coats of thinned paints

apply black color last
In this example, apply black color last

airbrush clear glaze
Wait for painting to properly dry (a couple of days) and airbrush clear glaze

Second layer of clear glaze may be required
Second layer of clear glaze may be required. Sand surface with a 3200 grit micro-mesh (after waiting a day or two for 1st layer curing), wipe dust off and reapply cold glaze

Platter ready for shipment
Platter ready for shipment

More Details

Choosing your adhesive
Specific kinds of adhesives are generally used to mend ceramics. We recommend clear, 5 minute setting two-part epoxy. There are cases where a slower setting 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, you must adjust the pieces precisely before the glue sets. Five-minute epoxies and instant glues might cure too fast and are not recommended if you need longer time to match and adjust a 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.

Preparing the surface
The most important step in repairing a broken ceramic is to make sure the pieces are clean. If the item has been fixed before, undo the old repair (see how to remove old adhesive lesson), 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 alcohol

Applying the adhesive
Using a wooden stick, paper clip or a pin tool, 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. Warming up the ceramic pieces to 110-140 degrees F will thin the epoxy, creating a better fit, but will result in a faster cure time. Quickly join the pieces together while applying light pressure squeezing extra glue out. Fill a container with plastic pebbles, rice or sand which will hold the repaired piece in place while it cures. Avoid shifting the pieces; small particles may come loose, ruining the repair. Any glue that oozes from the joint can be removed with a rag and alcohol if excess epoxy is in the space where the next broken pieces need to fit or later using a razor blade. You may use tweezers to apply small pieces.

Fixing an item with multiple breaks
If you have a piece of pottery, ceramic or porcelain that is broken into more than a couple of pieces, plan the sequence in which you will attach each piece to avoid being left with a final piece that cannot be easily attached. Numbering the pieces after a dry-run is important and will assist in the actual implementation. Let each joint cure before repairing the next one.

Filling in for missing pieces
We use different products and the choices are too numerous to list here. PC-11 filler is a very good option and is more commercially available. The key elements with fillers are:

A) Exceptional adhesion
B) Will not shrink while curing
C) Workable - can be drilled and sanded
D) Paintable
E) Water / oil proof
F) Will tolerate wide temperature range without shrinking or expanding. We let the filler epoxy cure at 140 degrees F enabling the filler to cure very hard which is optimal for sanding.

Painting / color touch up
If the repair lines are not acceptable to you, and a seamless repair is desired, the required skill is much greater. Color matching and re-creating an artist's work and style takes time. We use high end acrylic paints or coloring pigment powders and colored hardeners, mixed with proper additives to create strength. And finally, it is essential to match the glaze sheen and the right light reflection to emulate the broken item's glaze affect as close as possible - See painting theory and detailed tutorial.


Your input is greatly appreciated and will help in creating improved pottery tips.

Thank you, Patty and Morty

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