How to Repair Pottery

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How to Repair Pottery

art that may play an important role in anyone’s home decor. It may be unpleasant when a favorite vase breaks, but it is possible to fix it, and an unfortunate accident does not have to be the end of a favorite piece of pottery. If done properly, results can make the item in question look nearly as good as new and fortunately many of the supplies that are needed for this process can be purchased for excellent prices on eBay.

Fixing Broken Pottery

While it is usually not possible to re-fire a broken or damaged piece of pottery to make it perfect once again, it can be fixed and glued together to bring it to near perfection. The repair process is fairly straightforward and consists of cleaning off the pieces and gluing them back together with the proper adhesive.

Cleaning the Pieces

When the pottery broke, various types of residue like dust may have gotten onto the pieces. If this occurred, the particles will weaken the strength of the adhesives, so its important to thoroughly clean each and every piece before gluing it back together. The pieces should be cleaned using warm water and a little bit of dish soap. After they have been cleaned, the pieces need to dry completely before they are glued back together again. Also, protective gloves are useful if there are small and harp pieces of pottery involved in the repair process.

Selecting the Adhesive

Once all of the pieces are clean and ready to go, begin gluing them back together. Depending on the specifics of the piece of pottery that is being fixing, an adhesive such as either slow settling epoxy or quick set epoxy tend to work well. Epoxies are durable compared to other adhesives, so the results will be more long lasting. However, one drawback to epoxy is that it tends to yellow over time, so they are not recommended by everyone for the restoration of pieces that are precious or valuable.
As an alternative to an epoxy, a PVA or a basic craft glue can be used. Keep in mind that PVAs are sometimes soluble and may not be as durable as other options. Craft glues tend to work very well with porous items like antiques.

Preparing the Surface

It’s important to be sure that the surface of the pottery that is being repaired are clean. If the piece in question has been fixed prior to this attempt, it’s important to remove the adhesive from that fix. If the old adhesive is flexible when poked, it can be dissolved away with a material such as acetone. If the old adhesive is hard, the old adhesive potentially can be boiled off, but you should do a test on a smaller piece to ensure that boiling will not damage the pottery itself. After any remaining adhesive from old fixes is removed, all of the pieces should be cleaned with dish soap and warm water; next, rinse them, and let them dry completely before proceeding with the repair.

Gluing the Parts Back Together

Begin by using a wooden stick to apply the adhesive to one of the broken edges of the pottery. There should be just enough so that it covers the edge: too little will result in a weak repair, and too much will make it difficult to not leave gaps. Stick the glued edges together and apply slight pressure to rid the pottery of any excess adhesive. Use a smaller tool, such as tweezers, while working with any smaller pieces that may need to be attached.

Filling in for Missing Pieces

The pottery fix will feel incomplete without the missing pieces filled in. If some pieces have been lost or damaged beyond the point of repair, products such as Epoxy Putty can be used to fill in the hole.

Color Touch Ups

If either the glue or filler are visible and detract from the aesthetic appeal of the piece of pottery, this problem can be easily solved by painting over the material that is showing. Acrylic paints often work well to this end.

Shopping for Pottery Repair Supplies on eBay

eBay is an excellent resource to utilize when purchasing the supplies needed to fix pottery. Search for necessary items, such as PVA or acrylic paints using the search bar the top of the page in order to find these essentials at the best prices.


A favorite piece of pottery might break, but with the right tools and knowledge, owners can easily repair their works of art. Pieces can be re-glued, gaps can be filled in, and any adhesive or filler material can be easily painted over. The pottery repair process is an easy one that anyone can do to fix their favorite pieces of pottery, and all of the necessary supplies for this process can easily be purchased on eBay.

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