How to Repair a Porcelain Sculpture

Updated April 17, 2017

Porcelain has long been prized as among the most beautiful types of clay, but it is just as famous for its fragility. Fortunately, porcelain has a tendency to break cleanly, making a repair job feasible. Like all pottery, porcelain is also porous, but it is not highly porous, making it an excellent candidate for certain types of glue. With the right preparation, you can repair a clean break in a porcelain sculpture in a few minutes, although it will need to set overnight.

Lay down paper towels around your work area. The glue will begin to set very quickly, so it's a good idea to protect your working surface from contact with any stray drops.

Clean both sides of the break in your porcelain sculpture. Generally, a dry cloth is enough to remove dust. If there is stubborn debris on the broken surfaces, clean them with acetone (the active ingredient in nail polish remover). Allow the porcelain to dry before continuing.

Apply the glue in very small drops to one of the surfaces to be joined. Keep the drops about an inch apart. If there is too much glue, it will leak onto the surface of the sculpture and it may not bond as well.

Hold the broken surfaces together for at least 30 seconds, taking care to ensure that they are meeting cleanly. Allow the sculpture to set overnight in a position that does not put any stress on the break. Although the glue begins to set immediately, it does not achieve full bonding strength for several hours.


If you need to clean up any spilt glue, use acetone to dissolve the glue and then wash with soap and water.


Do not allow children to use fast-acting glues.

Things You'll Need

  • Fast-acting household adhesive, such as Superglue or Krazy Glue
  • Paper towels
  • Nail polish remover or pure acetone (optional)
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About the Author

Fred Samsa has been writing articles related to the arts, entertainment and home improvement since 2003. His work has appeared in numerous museum publications, including program content for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and he was awarded a Presidential Fellowship in 2005. He holds a Master of Arts in art from Temple University and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Brown University.