How to repair a dining room chair

Updated February 21, 2017

Inspect your dining room chairs routinely to make sure they are in good condition. The joints of dining room chairs loosen over time and should be repaired once the compromised joints are discovered. Chairs can be repaired by separating loose joints, cleaning the joint areas of the wood, gluing, and reassembling them. Routine repairs will help you avoid having to replace your dining set. Wooden dining room chairs can last for generations if regularly maintained.

Identify the loose joints in need of repair on the wooden dining room chair. Tap the parts that are connected together by the loose joints with a rubber mallet. Gently work the joints until the parts are loose enough to pull apart by hand.

Brush the joint portion of the parts clean with a wire brush to remove debris and loose glue. Lightly go over the parts until they are free of debris.

Sand the joint portion of the parts lightly with medium-grit sandpaper to remove the old glue from the surface of the wood.

Dip the joint ends into warm water. The water will expand the wood slightly and open the pores to allow for a tight bond on the repair. Swab the holes for the joint ends with warm water using a cotton swab.

Apply just enough wood glue to evenly coat the joint ends of the parts. Slip the parts back together. Wipe off any glue that oozes out with a damp rag.

Clamp the chair together and allow the wood glue to dry. Remove the clamps.

Treat the repaired joints with wood finish as needed, using a small touch-up brush.


Inspect your chairs at least yearly and make repairs to loose joints as needed to avoid further damage.


Wear safety glasses when making wood repairs.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber mallet
  • Wire brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Warm water
  • Cotton swab
  • Wood glue
  • Damp rag
  • Clamps
  • Wood finish touch-up
  • Touch-up brush
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About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.