How to Repair Ceramic Pottery

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It's happened to everyone; you bump into an unstable side table or a soap-slippery dish falls out of your hands and one of your favorite ceramic pieces crashes to the floor and snaps in half. This may seem like a disaster, but don't worry. With the right adhesive and a little patience, you can mend your broken ceramics. Just make sure the adhesive you use isn't water soluble. After the repair is complete, you'll probably have to hand wash the piece instead of using the dishwasher.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild dish liquid
  • Warm water
  • Soft cloths
  • Plastic tub
  • Dry beans or rice
  • Two-part clear epoxy
  • Paper plate
  • Toothpicks
  • Wash the pieces with mild dish soap and warm water. This removes oil and dirt that may prevent your break from bonding again. Dry the pieces thoroughly with a soft cloth, paying close attention to the broken edges. Let the pieces dry overnight to make sure the porous edges are dry.

  • Fill a plastic tub with dry beans or rice. This will support your piece after you've glued it back together.

  • Squeeze out a dime-sized dollop of two-part clear epoxy. It will squeeze out in two parts; stir them together with a toothpick, mixing them thoroughly. Spread a thin layer of epoxy over one of the broken edges. Make sure the layer is even and free of blobs.

  • Press the broken pieces together lightly. Avoid shifting or grinding the edges together. This may rub away small particles and ruin the seal between the pieces. Hold the pieces together for a full minute.

  • Gently slide one edge of your glued piece down into the dried rice or beans. Do not cover the break with the dried material. Let the glue cure for 24 hours or for the time recommended on the package.

Tips & Warnings

  • If broken into more than two pieces, glue your piece back together two pieces at a time. Start with the largest pieces and work down to the smallest.
  • Most ceramics won't be food-safe after being glued back together. Make sure to read the ingredients and warnings on your adhesive before gluing plates or coffee cups for daily use.

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References

  • Photo Credit ceramic teapot image by Alexander Kosenkov from Fotolia.com
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