How to Repair Snow Globes

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Snow globes mesmerize with their iridescent beauty, and they magically transport you to another place or time in your mind. In fact, the real worth of a snow globe often lies more in its sentimental significance than its monetary value, so people sometimes pay more to fix a treasured snow globe than they did to purchase it. Whether the water is low or has become cloudy, or the musical components don't work properly anymore, chances are the snow globe can be repaired. If the glass is shattered, you will need to have the snow globe professionally repaired. However, you can fix scratches and chips on the glass of a snow globe yourself.

Removing Scratches

Minor scratches can be minimized or completely eliminated. However, if you can insert your fingernail into a scratch, you may be able to improve the appearance of the glass, but it may be too difficult to completely remove. Furthermore, the glass may be too weakened by a deeper scratch to remain watertight, so the glass globe may need to be professionally repaired or replaced.

Things You'll Need

  • White, non-gel toothpaste
  • Jeweler's rouge (cerium oxide)
  • Electric buffer with lamb's wool polishing pad
  • Warm water
  • Spray bottle
  • Dry rag or paper towel

Step 1: Buff It

Apply a small amount of white, non-gel toothpaste to the scratch and buff it by hand with the lamb's wool polishing pad. If the toothpaste doesn't work, use a small amount of the jeweler's rouge and buff the scratch by hand again. The electric buffer may be difficult to use on the curved surface of the snow globe, but if polishing the scratch by hand is not working, give the electric buffer a try. Whatever method you are using, be sure to buff gently because the glass may have been weakened by the scratch.

Tip

  • You can find jeweler's rouge in jewelry or arts and crafts stores.

Warning

  • Be sure to wear safety goggles and a dust mask when working with an electric buffer.

Step 2: Clean It

Mix 1/2 ounce of ammonia with 2 cups of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the area that you just buffed and wipe it clean with a lint-free rag or paper towel.

Warning

  • Always wear rubber gloves and safety goggles when working with ammonia, and never mix it with any other household cleaners or bleach.

Tip

  • If the glass still looks dull after cleaning it with the ammonia solution, apply a thin coat of clear nail polish.

Repair a Chip in the Glass

To fill in a chip in the glass, use a glass repair resin. Purchase glass repair resin from an auto supply store in the windshield repair section. You can purchase a glass repair kit that contains both the resin and a syringe, or you can purchase the resin from the auto supply store and an adhesive syringe from a hobby store.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass repair resin
  • Adhesive syringe
  • Razor blade
  • Warm water
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Clean, lint-free rags

Step 1: Clear Loose Glass Shards

Pick out any loose pieces of glass from the chip with the corner of the razor blade.

Step 2: Prepare the Cleaning Solution

Mix a few drops of dishwasher detergent and a few drops of denatured alcohol into 2 cups of warm water. Stir the solution until suds appear.

Step 3: Clean the Glass

Soak a clean cloth in the cleaning solution and thoroughly wipe down the area where the chip is, removing any dust, lint and loose pieces of glass. Dry with a lint-free rag.

Step 4: Prepare the Resin

Fill the adhesive syringe with the glass repair resin.

Step 5: Fill the Crack

Gently depress the syringe and slowly fill the crack with the resin. Allow the resin to overflow the crack a small amount.

Step 6: Finish the Repair

Allow the resin to dry and cure according to the manufacturer's instructions. This process usually takes a few hours. Once the resin is completely dry, scrape away the excess with the razor blade.

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