At some point, a porcelain object in your home might crack, chip or otherwise break. In such a case, you may find it beneficial to know how to repair porcelain items, be they cups, figurines or even bathroom appliances and fixtures, such as porcelain showers in need of refinishing.
Here’s an overview of the steps you need to take when repairing porcelain items:
- Get an adhesive: You’ll need an adhesive designed to be used with porcelain. If the porcelain object will be coming into contact with food, holding hot liquids or need to be microwave or oven safe, the adhesive should be safe for those applications. If you’re simply filling chipped porcelain, you’ll need one designed for filling gaps. If you’re joining broken pieces together, you’ll need a clear-drying adhesive.
- Gather materials: Before you start applying the adhesive, make sure you also have the other materials you need to get the job done. Wear gloves and an apron to protect your skin and clothes from the adhesive, which could cause irritation and be difficult to wash off. Have paper towels to use to wipe the adhesive.
- Get the pieces ready: All of the pieces should be clean and free of dirt. Pre-fit them together, making sure not to cause any additional damage while you’re handling them.
- Apply the adhesive: Use adhesive on the adjoining surfaces according to the directions on the adhesive’s packaging. You will likely only apply the adhesive to one surface. Make sure you apply sparingly—a common mistake people make when repairing porcelain is that they apply too much adhesive, and then the results are actually worse.
- Hold the pieces in place: The bonds need some time to set, so make sure you hold the pieces together until that occurs—otherwise, the curing process will be disrupted. You may be able to do this by hand, but otherwise you can use masking tape if you have a very slow-drying adhesive that will make holding the pieces by hand unrealistic.
- Clean: Wash your hands, and then clean up the porcelain, using a sharp blade to remove any excess glue.
The process of fixing chipped (rather than broken) porcelain is similar, though you will be using a filler or touch-up glaze rather than a glue. As with broken porcelain, the area should be clean before you begin. But rather than attaching pieces together, you apply the filler (mixed according to the manufacturer’s instructions) into the area until it is filled in and rebuilt.
Afterwards, all you need to do is let the product dry. You may need to sand it down using a fine-grit sandpaper or steel wool until it conforms to the contours of the object. Then you can apply a glaze after it’s completely dry.
When the broken porcelain occurs in your bathroom, such as with a toilet, sink or shower, we strongly encourage you to seek professional assistance. Porcelain shower refinishing and other such tasks are best left to people with experience and training, so you don’t cause further damage that becomes only more expensive and difficult to fix.
For more information, contact the experts at A-1 Porcelain & Fiberglass Service Co., LLC today.