x

How to Fix Broken Stone Sculptures

Learn how to repair a broken stone sculpture so that it looks new again.

Stone sculptures are sturdy decorative fixtures for your home or yard. The hardness of their composition makes them appear unbreakable. However, given the right amount of force and circumstances, any stone sculpture can break. Damage may be as simple as a broken sculpture leg, or it may be more serious, such a headstone damaged by a tree limb. It may be advisable to repair your broken sculpture rather than throw it out and start over with a new piece.

Examine the extent of the damage to your stone sculpture and gather any broken pieces or chips that have fallen off the sculpture.

Move the sculpture carefully to a dry, flat, well-ventilated space, such as your garage, where you may repair it. Spread newspapers and old towels on the floor or work surface to protect the sculpture. Set up a bright light to shine on your work area, or open the garage door and work on the sculpture during the day when there's plenty of natural light.

Drill 2- to 3-inch holes into the center of one side of the break with a 3/16-inch drill bit, followed by a 1/2-inch drill bit to avoid cracking the stone if your sculpture has broken at its base.

Tape a piece of tracing paper over the holes you just drilled. Poke holes in the paper at the exact spots where the holes are drilled. Trace the outline of the stone onto the paper. Line the paper up with the other half of the broken stone and mark the spots on the stone where the opposite holes need to be drilled so that they line up exactly.

Insert 6-inch metal rods into the holes to help hold the repaired statue in place — epoxy alone may not be strong enough to support it.

Drill the holes into the opposite side of the broken sculpture as you did before with a 3/16-inch drill bit, followed by a 1/2-inch drill bit.

Place the sculpture on its side and fill the holes on the top half of the broken sculpture with two-part epoxy. Insert 6-inch steel or copper rods that are 1/4 to a 1/2 inch in diameter into the holes; make sure they match the diameter of the holes you drilled. Use steel rods for stone sculptures weighing 50 pounds or more and standing 4 feet or higher; use copper rods for stone sculptures weighing less than 50 pounds and standing less than 4 feet tall. Wipe away excess epoxy with an old rag. Let the epoxy cure for 24 hours.

Fill the holes on the bottom half of the broken sculpture with two-part epoxy. Carefully and gently lower the top half of the sculpture with the glued rods into the holes on the bottom half of the sculpture. Wipe away excess epoxy. Wrap old towels and air-filled insulated plastic wrap around the sculpture. Use duct or electrical tape to hold the plastic wrap in place around the statue to protect it in case it falls while drying. Surround the sculpture with heavy boxes on all sides to keep the statue from falling over. Allow the epoxy to cure for 24 hours. Once dry, move the repaired sculpture to its former setting.