About to throw out that lovely porcelain vase because of its chips and cracks? Not so fast. Many porcelain problems can easily be repaired at home with an epoxy glue or porcelain enamel to match the piece.
If the porcelain is wet, dry the surface thoroughly with a hair dryer or tack cloth. (See How to Make a Tack Rag.)
Following the package's directions, mix the 2 parts of epoxy glue (it comes in a kit with 2 tubes) in the tray that's included or in a disposable cup. Then follow these steps, as appropriate:
Apply the epoxy glue to the back of the chipped piece using a toothpick or a cotton swab.
Place the piece in its original position, taking care to line up the broken edges.
Hold the piece in place for 30 to 60 seconds.
Apply porcelain enamel over the cracked area with a small brush, a toothpick or an eye-shadow applicator (minus the sponge) until the crack is filled. You can buy porcelain enamel kits at art supply stores.
Smooth the surface with an ice-pop stick.
Let it dry for 24 hours.
One coat of enamel will leave an uneven finish, so you'll want to apply several coats.
If the item is broken into 2 or more pieces, set it in a large basin or box filled with dry rice or beans after applying epoxy glue. The rice or beans will hold the item in place while it dries.
If the porcelain is priceless, hire a professional ceramic restorer to repair it. Ask for a reference at an antiques shop or search the yellow pages or Internet under "ceramic" or "antique repair and restoration."
If your porcelain treasure is beyond repair, consider giving it new life as a mosaic. Use your treasured porcelain pieces to mosaic a picture frame, a mirror or an outdoor tile. Visit an art supply store to purchase mosaic supplies.