How to Restore a Porcelain Doll

Porcelain dolls represent rare collectibles which are able to increase their value in time. As beautiful as porcelain dolls are they are also quite delicate and can be easily damaged. Older dolls may require a certain degree of restoration in order to return to their original condition. If you’re looking to restore a porcelain doll by yourself there are a few simple steps you need to take into consideration:

  • Firstly remove the doll’s clothing and set it aside. Any accessories that can be taken off should also be set aside in order to allow for an easy restoration of your porcelain doll.
  • The next step is to visually inspect the doll in order to determine its condition. Inspect her clothes for any holes which might have appeared in the material and also examine every portion of the porcelain to see if you can find broken or cracked portions. Make sure to take note of every damaged section so you know what you’ll have to deal with when doing the repairs.
  • Start to repair any holes found in the dolls clothes. If it appears that they miss inner stuffing, small cotton pieces would be perfect to stuff into the holes replacing the missing materials. Next, be sure to stitch the holes closed by using a needle and thread. Repeat this process until all the holes in the material have been repaired. Please Note: It’s very difficult to restore such materials as lace and silk because the complicated patterns in design and threading are nearly impossible to replicate. The best way to cover holes in a piece of lace is to sculpt porcelain petals or flowers that cover the damage and affix them over the broken or torn areas. 
  • Replace any broken fragments of porcelain. It’s easy to find cracked or broken porcelain parts especially within older dolls. In order to repair them you will have to search for vintage parts which can be found at most antique doll dealers. Note that cheaper reproduction components can also be found in any craft or hobby stores. After you obtain the missing parts you will have to attach them to the doll’s body through a string which has to be cut and tied to the specific replacement part.
  • The last step would be to wash the rest of the porcelain parts. For efficient cleaning it’s recommended to use a cotton swab which is to be dipped in a sterile alcohol solution, as it will allow you to scrub away any stains or dirt without damaging the porcelain. 6. The last step involves cleaning the doll’s accessories and clothing. The most efficient way of doing that is to soak them in warm water using a regular dish washing liquid as detergent. Make sure to rinse the doll’s clothes thoroughly and allow them to air-dry before using them again. Clothing that has been really torn and tattered should be replaced completely as repairing may not be possible. Utilizing vintage replacement parts found on matching doll type is the best way to maintain their value after restoration. However specific components required might be difficult to find so always be prepared to search for them thoroughly.
  • Concerning bisque doll repair, the steps and processes are quite similar. Many times these dolls would require wig replacements and pate repairs as they are very delicate and crack easily. If you own a very valuable doll, it is always best to seek the assistance of a qualified doll repair specialist, as repair work is a very skilled process.

    Luel Restoration Studio specializes in repair, restoration and fixing of damage ceramic, bisque and porcelain dolls.

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