How do you fix a porcelain crack in tub handles?

by Benesse

Help! I am desparate to fix a crack in one of the porcelain lever hadles of the bath faucet. The fix has to be impervious to water, strong and not prone to changing color after repeated use. (btw, not able to change handles for new ones since anything remotely available does not have the same size screw-thingie)

Crack in porcelain lever handle

  11 answers
  • Janice Janice on Jun 05, 2019

    Hi Benesse, I'm not sure if this will be of help to you but it is an idea. Perhaps you could check at a local ceramic shop to see if they could help you. They will have "slip" that the fellow mentions in the video I've linked below. The ceramic studio would have a kiln in order to fire the handle to make the repair permanent. Good luck and hope by watching this you will see the possibilities/

  • Benesse Benesse on Jun 05, 2019

    Thanks, Janice. It's definitely worth asking a fine porcelain repair shop what they think.

    In my case, not sure about "firing" the whole thing to cure considering there are metal parts and they could be adversely affected.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Jun 05, 2019

    I don't think a repair would satisfy your request. If not able to reorder handles for the faucet, may have to replace entire faucet.

  • Benesse Benesse on Jun 05, 2019

    Wish it was that easy, Kelli. This is part of an entire tub and shower system involving 5 lever handles, etc, etc. To replace the whole thing for one cracked handle would not make sense and it would be over 2K (I checked) which I cannot afford. This Italian brand we had installed 23 years ago does not exist any more so we are kind of stuck. Gotta figure out how to repair.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Jun 05, 2019

    Have you checked on eBay for a replacement?

    When you set the search filters, be sure to click Worldwide, instead of United States, as it will give you the largest number of listings.

  • Benesse Benesse on Jun 06, 2019

    I have not, Flipturn, but I will now that you suggested it. Worth a try for sure.

  • Ezra T Ezra T on Jun 06, 2019

    If you can not find the replacement, you could find a machine shop and ask them to turn one out of copper... which would look nice, or make it out of steel so it can be powder coated white.

  • William William on Jun 06, 2019

    The way I would repair it. Use liquid super glue and flow it on the cracks to prevent any further cracking. Some will seep into the cracks. Wipe off the excess with nail polish remover while still wet. It will dry withing minutes. Then get some two part epoxy putty (JB Weld is what I use) and fill the hole with it smoothing and forming the shape with a wet finger. Let it harden overnight. Then use an emery board or 220 grit sand paper to shape some more if needed. Then use porcelain touch up paint to color it. Good Luck.

    The porcelain handle does come off the metal. The larger end has a hex head for a wrench or pliers and the smaller end held with another pair of pliers. Taping off the porcelain and small end with painters tape. Removing it very carefully would make for a better repair. Personally I would try to remove it but I have done these kinds of sensitive repairs and don't advise it for the novice. One slip and it all breaks. Also being so old it may not unscrew easily.

  • You could check your local Habitat ReStore or area antique shops for a replacement.

  • Cathy Cathy on Jun 07, 2019

    Try a porcelain chip fix or acrylic tub repair kit

  • Lee Lee on Jun 09, 2019

    I have a kiln. Not to sure it would work with the metal on though. If the porcelain is missing

    I think we could fix it if the metal could be be taken off.