How to Repair Damage by Dog to Trim Moulding

Updated November 21, 2016

Dogs love to chew, and unfortunately, sometimes they chew on things they shouldn't---like the wooden trim moulding in your house. Replacing sections of wood trim can be costly or even impossible if the trim is old and can't be properly matched. If your dog has damaged trim mouldings in your home, by either chewing or scratching, you may be able to repair the damage with a few simple supplies from your local hardware store.

First, assess the damage. Are the marks shallow or deep? How much trim is damaged? This will help you determine if repairing the trim is possible, or worth the effort. Heavily damaged trim might need to be replaced completely; however, smaller chew marks can be easily patched.

Next, make sure you have the right colour paint to match the surrounding trim after the repair is completed. If you no longer have the original paint can from when the trim was last painted, peel off a sample chip from the damaged area before starting any repair work. Bring the chip to your local hardware or paint store and they will help you find the correct colour match.

Clean dirt off the area to be repaired and use a utility knife to remove any large wood splinters.

Following the directions on the can, use the wood putty to fill in the chew marks and scratches in the trim moulding. Use the putty knife to push the putty into deeper holes or cracks, and to shape the putty to roughly mimic the curves of the trim moulding. It is not necessary to make the putty flush---wood putty will shrink as is dries.

Allow putty to dry. Use sandpaper to smooth out the putty and further match the surrounding trim moulding's shape. Use the steel wool to buff the putty to a smooth finish. Clean up dust with a damp cloth.

Finish the repair by painting the wood putty to match the rest of the trim moulding.


Water-based wood putty will work as well as solvent-based, plus it is easier to clean up and won't dry out in the can.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife or kitchen scraper
  • Utility knife
  • Sand paper
  • Steel wool
  • Damp cloth
  • Paint
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