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

fixing broken resin or stone sculpture

How to Repair Broken Stone Sculpture or Statue

Repairing a Stone Sculpture

The key elements are with these two tutorials are: Choosing the right pins for strength, drilling accurately on both sides of the break lines, using the right bonding adhesive, using the right filler adhesives, hiding the repair lines and preserving the repair areas. In this example, the sculpture head broke off and was glued back on with the wrong adhesive. The old adhesive was difficult to remove and increased the repair cost. The main issue with this repair was the break line was not clean and many fragments were missing . So even if it was aligned perfectly, the break line would be very visible and therefore had to be filled. Once filled, the complex sculpture surface texture was required to be duplicated to hide the filler.

Lesson #1: Stone Statue with Broken Legs

Below is a video showing a method that cementing-only would not be sufficient and insertion of metal rods was required to ensure proper mechanical integrity and longevity.

More Details of This Repair Project

Lesson #2: Stone Statue with Broken Head

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.
broken lime stone sculpture
Broken stone sculpture - about 70 lbs

drilling holes in sculpture
Drill holes using carbide tipped bit
collecting stone dust
Collect the drilled dust for later use

markeing the break edge
Mark outline of break area
marking the drilled holes
Mark the hole location on paper
cutting paper
Cut paper

Once you have drilled the holes on one side of the work, 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.

Place Elmers glue on the head side

Place head on paper
fitting head stone over base
Make sure paper does not move

Align perfectly
removing paper
Paper glued to the un-drilled part
marking holes on other side
Mark location for the holes

Note that the epoxy, once cured, is much harder than the stone in this case and therefore drilling the holes wider will not be a problem and will ease the fit requiring less accurate holes alignment. Remove dust from holes, remove old cement and clean surfaces well.

Verify marking and drill the holes

clean dust
Clean dust with air pressure

use torch to remove old hadhesive
Clear old adhesive (in this case torch)

scrape old glue
brush and clean surfaces
cutt stainless steel rod to size
Cut metal threaded pins to size

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

dry run fit
Place pins and verify fit
mix epoxy
Mix Clear epoxy

apply epoxy
2-parts epoxy in holes and surface

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

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 slow cure filler epoxy. Wait 24 hours before handling.

wait for curing
Wait 8 hrs or more for epoxy to cure
mix filler epoxy with stone dust
Mix the drilled dust with white epoxy
Grind, drill, poke, and scratch surface to duplicate the rest of the sculpture surface texture

Using Dremel diamond bit for texture

Texture phase 1

Texture accomplished - close up

Match color and mix with sands More about painting repair lines

Pictured below are before and after results of a similar process.

Antique Italian Marble sculpture

Antique Italian Marble sculpture with missing sward and finger
Antique Italian Marble sculpture with missing sward and finger

Sward and finger sculpted and matched to original marble
shona stone repair
Broken Shona soap stone sculpture

Zimbabwe sculpture repaired
soap stone repair
Verdite stone elephant broken

stone african elephant
Verdite stone sculpture restored
Antique chinese horse sculpture broken to many pieces
Broken Chinese horse sculpture

Antique chinese horse statue repaired
Chinese horse sculpture repaired
Broken stone statue
Large stone sculpture before repair
Repaired stone statue
Large stone sculpture repaired

Removing Scratches from Soft Shona Stone Sculpture

How to: Repair scratched soft stone (e.g., Shona, Spring) sculpture. Click picture for lesson details

Cementing and fixing broken stone sculpture lesson and how to

COPYRIGHT Lakeside Pottery LLC ; COPYRIGHT details and linking policy; Protected by Copyscape including reporting to search engines