RESTORING & REPAIRING VINTAGE POTTERY
Do you love vintage pottery, but perhaps not the prices some pieces command?
Beginner collectors can purchase pieces of vintage art pottery, by such makers as McCoy, Roseville, Weller, Hull for bargain prices, by purchasing pieces with some damage, such as chips, and then repair the pieces themselves. In this guide, I will explain how to repair chips to pottery. Learn to restore pottery to it's original beauty!
Supplies you will need:
Epoxy putty. This can be purchased at hardware stores such as Lowes. It comes in two tubes, that must be mixed.
Fine and medium sandpaper.
Paintbrushes or linen pieces for applying color.
Styrofoam plates (for mixing paint & putty)
Step 1. First, clean the area to be repaired, and let it dry.
Step 2. Mix your putty, according to the directions. The putty comes with two tubes, that must be mixed together. You won't need the whole tube, just a small amount, according to the size of the chip.
Step 3. Gather a piece of the putty, and roll it in your fingers, to get it thicker, before applying to the chipped area. Do not put too much putty. Put enough to fill the surface in well. There should be a small amount of excess. Smooth and press it in to the chipped area with your fingers.
LET IT DRY for at least 24 hours.
Step 4. Now you are ready to SAND with medium sandpaper. Be careful to sand only the putty, not the surrounding areas on the piece. It may help to tear a piece of the paper off and fold it in to a small piece. When you get it sanded down close to the surface of the undamaged pottery, switch to fine sandpaper. Be careful!
The idea is to sand until the surface is smooth and completely even with the rest of the pottery piece. To the touch, you should feel virtually no difference in the surface you puttied and the rest of the piece.
Step 5. Once this is done, you can paint the area that was filled in, to match the rest of the pottery. This part is a bit trickier and will require some experimenting to come up with just the right color. You can mix colors on a plate. Keep in mind that colors will be slightly different when they dry. Coloring is the most difficult task in restoring pottery. Each piece of pottery is different and must be approached differently.
Use acrylic paints. Some you can buy in little bottles at crafts stores, some you will need to buy in tubes of artist colors. Since there are so many colors to chose from, start with basics. Buy colors that are as dark and pure as possible. Don't buy "appleplum Christmas Morning red". Here are ten colors that will give you a wide range of hues:
BLACK, WHITE, YELLOW OCHRE, RAW SIENNA, BURNT SIENNA, RAW UMBER, BURNT UMBER, RED, YELLOW AND BLUE.
A CRASH COURSE IN COLOR MIXING:
Adding white changes the tint of a color (makes it lighter), while adding black alters the shade (making it darker).
Orange+burnt umber= A Darker RUST
Burnt Umber Rust+red=PLUM
Plum and a touch of black=BURGUNDY
*When you've mixed the color and it isn't just right, add a touch of yellow ochre, or raw sienna. Many of the colors used by the makers of the more popular art pottery lines have a tinge of one of those colors, especially those that you might think are pink.
*Colors dry darker. Apply a touch of the color and then dry with a hairdryer to check to see if it is a match. If it isn't, wipe it off with a damp cloth.
*The best applicator is the tip of your finger, covered by a piece of linen.
*Get a little of your mixed paint on to the cloth and pat into the repair. Blend it with the surrounding area.
*When your repair has been painted, give it a coat of clear acrylic finish. The finish can be adjusted from glossy to satin to matte with very fine steel wool.
*Crazing~The pattern of fine crazing can be created by using a sharp soft lead pencil to lightly draw in some craze lines over the finished paint before the final coat is applied.
This is a type of chip that can be repaired with putty:
This is a chip on a Hull vase that has been repaired, but not painted yet: