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How to repair a crack in the high-gloss finish in wood

Updated April 17, 2017

Whether it's on furniture or wood trim, a crack can ruin the appearance of a high-gloss finish. Repair cracks promptly to keep the problem from getting worse, particularly in exterior woodwork that is exposed to rain and moisture. Repairing a crack in high-gloss woodwork may seem daunting, but you should be able to achieve a satisfactory finish by using an epoxy wood filler and the original paint or varnish.

Remove any debris from the crack by sanding it with a fine 80- to 100-grit sandpaper. Also lightly sand any rough areas around the crack.

Clean dust from the crack by wiping it with a water-dampened clean cloth. Let the wood dry.

Apply a thin layer of epoxy wood filler to the crack with a putty knife. Choose a filler that matches the colour of the wood. Feather the filler about 2.5 cm (1 inch) beyond the crack to create an even surface. Wait for the filler to dry.

Sand the patched area with a 220-grit sandpaper until the surface is smooth and matches the surrounding woodwork.

Wipe away any final debris or dust from the patched area with a water-dampened cloth.

Mask the unaffected woodwork around the patched area with masking tape. Press the tape firmly into position around the crack.

Paint the patched area with the same oil-based gloss paint as used on the rest of the surface. Paint the patch carefully with a 25 mm (1-inch) paintbrush. Continue to add paint layers to achieve the best colour and gloss match possible with the surrounding wood. Wait for each layer to dry before adding the next one.

Tip

Always keep a little of the original paint and varnish on hand in case you need to repair cracks, chips or other damage.

Warning

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions on the label or packaging when you use epoxy wood filler.

Things You'll Need

  • 80- to 100-grit sandpaper
  • Cloths
  • Epoxy wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • 25 mm (1-inch) paintbrush
  • Original gloss paint or varnish
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About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.