How to Repair Furniture Damage

Written by tyliee
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How to Repair Furniture Damage
Repairing your damaged furniture is cheaper than replacing it. (beautiful furniture image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com)

Damaged furniture can diminish the look of a room, but furniture can be expensive to replace. Depending on the nature of the damage, you can salvage your damaged furniture by following a few simple steps. You can easily repair scratches, chips, cracks, or broken or loose arms or legs on your wood, laminate and pressboard furniture.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Wood filler
  • Plastic knife
  • Wood glue (quick-drying)
  • Stain or paint (to match existing piece)
  • Screws and screwdriver (if needed)
  • Fine-grain sandpaper
  • Varnish or polyurethane
  • Good quality paintbrush or sponge roller
  • Damp rag

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Assess your damaged piece. Check for exposed splinters or staples, jagged edges or other safety hazards. Determine the extent of the damage. The required repairs may be fairly simple, such as filling a chip, gouge or crack, or slightly more involved, such as fixing or replacing a door, drawer or leg.

    How to Repair Furniture Damage
    Furniture sets the tone for a room. (Elegant furniture image by Lars Christensen from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Arrange pieces for repair on a stable surface. For example, if you're replacing a table leg, you should lay the table on its top on the floor. If you're repairing a chipped cabinet, place it on a level surface before starting.

    How to Repair Furniture Damage
    (cabinet image by Charles Taylor from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Reattach separated pieces (e.g., table legs, chair arms or broken moulding) using quick-dry wood glue. Apply wood glue liberally, but do not saturate. Wipe away excess quickly with a damp rag. If you're replacing a table or chair leg, use the weight of the piece to apply pressure to the glued area. For example, after gluing the leg in place, turn the piece back on all fours and stabilise it. For other pieces, apply light pressure until the glue has set to a point of stable consistency (the piece should hold together). Most quick-drying wood glue takes 24 hours to fully cure.

    How to Repair Furniture Damage
    Quick-dry wood glue comes in a variety of drying speeds. (glue bottle image by Bruce MacQueen from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Sand rough edges after glue has dried. If you're repairing a chipped piece, sand the surface of the damaged area lightly. Do not oversand; just remove the shine about 1/4 inch outside the chipped area.

    How to Repair Furniture Damage
    Use fine-grain sandpaper. (éponges image by Unclesam from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Use a plastic knife to fill chips or cracks with wood filler, and then smooth the putty to the level of the surrounding surface. Use the top edge of the plastic knife as a putty knife to ensure a smooth surface. Sand lightly when dry, if necessary.

  6. 6

    Stain or paint the wood filler, once dry, to match the surrounding piece. After the stain has dried, coat your entire piece with varnish or polyurethane. This will ensure durability and help to hide the repair.

    How to Repair Furniture Damage
    Polyurethane adds shine and durability to furniture. (office chair and table image by Daria Miroshnikova from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • Wood filler, wood glue and varnish/polyurethane can be used on laminate and pressboard pieces, as well as on solid wood.

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