Mending Broken China
Learn to care for and mend broken china. You can avoid cracks and prevent temperature shock to china by using these tips.
It does not matter if your china is fine or of dinnerware quality, one chip, crack or break can mar the appearance of your table setting. With older fine china and some everyday china, finding new pieces can be a difficult if not impossible task. In both cases the most important element to keep your china service perfect is proper care. To begin you can avoid cracks and prevent temperature shock to china by putting only oven proof dishes in a hot oven. Never put hot food on cold plates and always allow dishes to cool to room temperature before stacking them. You should protect glazes by rinsing dishes as quickly as possible after use. If you are hand washing your china always use a plastic dish pan. This will prevent the pieces from picking up chips. When using your dishwasher, always be sure to properly separate the dishes so they will not collide during the cycle.
When you need to repair a broken piece of china you should use a slow-drying epoxy glue. This will allow you to maneuver the pieces into place before it dries and is waterproof once it has dried. Before you glue the pieces be sure to clean the broken edges thoroughly. Mix your epoxy glue according to the directions on the label and apply a coat making it as thin as possible. Place the pieces together and brace them. Then wipe away any excess glue with the recommended solvent. The most important step in repairing china is holding the sections in place firmly until the glue has completely cured. This will usually take about twelve hours. There are several ways to do this successfully. One is to partially sink the larger section in sand or modeling clay and balance it so that the piece you attach will stay in place momentarily without support. Once you have finished gluing the smaller section in place, wrap it with masking tape or use a pinch type clothespin to hold the two pieces together. Modeling wax or paraffin can also be used to hold the pieces together. Simply mold the modeling wax or paraffin into the shape of a matching plate and set the pieces in the mold to dry. Experiment with items you already have in your home to devise the best method for supporting your china while it dries. When you are working with a piece that has multiple breaks you will need to determine the order of the pieces by putting it together dry and then attaching them one or two at a time.