How to Repair Chipped or Cracked China

Written by ehow home & garden editor
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China--a smooth, glassy form of baked clay--is among the most beautiful tableware materials ever created. You don't have to break the bank to fix a cracked teacup or a chipped water pitcher.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Disposable Cup
  • Epoxy Glue
  • Masking Tape
  • Acrylic Paint For Touch-up
  • Clear Glaze
  • Glue Stick Or Matchstick
  • Paintbrush
  • Razor Blade Or X-Acto Knife
  • Oven Mitts
  • Plastic Or Wood Cutting Board
  • Toothpick
  • Milliput
  • Paint Powder
  • 220-grit Sandpaper
  • Oven mitts

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    For chips

  1. 1

    Roll equal quantities of milliput, which comes in a kit with two tubes, into a ball until the two colors have fused. You can buy milliput, a type of modeling putty, at art supply stores.

  2. 2

    Apply the milliput to the chip with a toothpick, then return the chip to its original position.

  3. 3

    If needed, place masking tape taut across the repaired area to hold in place.

  4. 4

    Allow the chip to set for 6 hours, then remove any masking tape.

  5. 5

    Sand gently with fine (220-grit) sandpaper until the milliput is flush with the surface. Take care not to damage the china's glaze or decoration.

  6. 6

    Touch up with acrylic paint as needed.

  7. 7

    Brush on a clear glaze, available at art supply stores, if you wish to achieve a glossy finish.

    For cracks

  1. 1

    Put the cracked piece of china in an oven at very low heat--150and#176; to 200and#176;F (65and#176; to 95and#176;C).

  2. 2

    Mix epoxy glue (which comes in a kit with two tubes) in the tray that comes with the epoxy glue or in a disposable cup.

  3. 3

    Dip a glue stick, matchstick or toothpick into paint powder that matches the china color. Mix until the color looks right.

  4. 4

    Take the cracked item out of the oven using oven mitts, then place on a plastic or wood cutting board. The heat of the oven will cause the crack to widen ever so slightly.

  5. 5

    Fill the crack with the tinted glue mixture, using the small stick. Let dry overnight. The crack will condense as the china cools.

  6. 6

    Chip away hardened glue with a razor blade or an X-Acto knife.

    For more serious breakage

  1. 1

    If the china is an antique or of great sentimental value, hire a professional ceramic restorer to do the repair. Ask for a reference at an antiques shop or search the yellow pages or Internet under "china" or "antique" repair and restoration.

  2. 2

    Contact a china replacement company if an irreparably broken piece of china is part of a set.

Tips and warnings

  • Look for paint powder (available at home supply and art supply stores) that is recommended for china.
  • If you send your china to a ceramic restorer to have it fixed, package each piece separately in bubble wrap or tissue. Many restorers have a backlog and the repair work is time-consuming, so it may take weeks or months for your repair to be completed.
  • Restored china will never be as strong as the original piece. Use it as infrequently as possible.

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