After years of use and exposure to dust, grease and improper packing, even the best-kept antique china loses its lustre and perhaps some of its parts. You can repair stained, cracked or broken antique or vintage china without a professional's help by using a few simple methods. If you still have the missing pieces, you can clean and reattach them with household solvents you already have close at hand. For severely chipped or cracked china or Meissen and other delicate china, always enlist a restoration expert.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Plastic or latex gloves
- Protective eye wear
- Mild detergent
- Microfiber cloth
- Piece of silk
- Denatured alcohol
- Epoxy glue
- Small artist's paintbrush
- Baking soda
- Cotton balls
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Cling film or plastic container with lid
Place a towel at the bottom of a kitchen or large utility sink to cushion the china. Wearing gloves, wash the china with water and a gentle, chemical-free soap. Don't use bleach or lemon-scented detergent. They're too acidic and may harm delicate old porcelain. Rinse the china and pat dry with a clean microfiber cloth or let it air dry.
Check to see that any broken pieces fit perfectly into the space. If small slivers are missing, consider taking it to a restorer. Find a safe flat location to repair the antique, preferably in a private, well-lit room. Wearing gloves and protective eye wear, rub a piece of silk coated with denatured alcohol over jagged edges to smooth them. Mix the glue; it generally comes as a resin and hardener; follow the package instructions.Take a tiny amount of epoxy glue and press the pieces together. If any extra adhesive spills out, remove it with a small paintbrush covered with denatured alcohol.
Banish simple liquid stains by rubbing the soiled area with household salt or baking soda. Treat stubborn stains on older, porous ceramic or porcelain with cotton pads dipped in hydrogen peroxide. Never use bleach to clean china; it may cause irreversible damage to the antique.
Use medium-grade peroxide, the kind used in hair dye, to combat tough or greasy stains. Wearing gloves and protective eye wear, combine three parts peroxide to one part water. Dip cotton wool balls into this solution and put them on the stained area of your antique china. Place in a clear plastic container or cover with cling film. Completely removing the stain takes up to a week. If the item's greasy, you may need to replace the peroxide laden cotton balls every day with fresh ones.
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