How to Repair Chipped Wood Furniture

One broken corner or a missing piece of wood can ruin the beautiful look of wood furniture. A simple technique can restore furniture to its original condition. With some basic supplies, such as polyester resin and sandpaper, damaged wood furniture can look like new again in about an hour.


Step One: Replacing the Missing Wood

Replacing the missing wood is begun with the use of polyester resin, or wood filler, which can be easily molded to the shape of the missing wood. This material is similar to wood putty and hardens when dry.

Before the wood filler is applied, the furniture should be placed in a convenient position with drop cloths used to catch any spills. If the repair is to be done on an outside corner, a piece of thin board or wood cut to the shape of the corner or missing wood chip can be used as an outline. A line drawn on the wood is helpful in marking the exact place where the resin is to be filled in. Applying a light layer of WD-40 helps to keep the putty from sticking to it. The wood can then be clamped to the furniture.

The polyester resin wood filler comes with a hardener which should be mixed in before use. The hardener transforms the putty into a rock-hardening material. The more hardener that is used, the quicker the putty will set up.

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At this point, the polyester resin can be applied with a putty knife onto the damaged area where the wood was chipped off the furniture. It is important to get the material in place before it hardens. It doesn’t have to look neat at this point, as it will be shaped when it hardens. The material should be about the same thickness as the chipped piece of wood.

The next step involves shaping the resin before it becomes too hard to cut. While the resin is still tacky and pliable, the excess should be removed with a utility knife. The knife should be cut in a straight angle along the piece of wood that supported the resin, following the markings that were made to designate the shape of the corner or chipped area. A cut slightly larger than the damaged area is best, as it can be shaved down to size later. The clamps and piece of wood can be removed once the putty is firm enough.


Step Two: Shaping and Smoothing

The resin can be filed down, using a sharp microplane or files and rasps in back and forth motions until it is shaped, paying close attention to edges. Next, the surface should be smoothed with sandpaper. For curves, sanding paper wrapped around various size dowels can be used for the best outcome.


Restoring the Color and Finish

Since resin material does not accept stain, artist acrylic paint can be used. Various shades of acrylic paint similar to the furniture’s color can be mixed together with water in order to achieve a similar shade and applied with light, even strokes. If the color doesn’t match, more coats can be applied, using various shades. The last step is to apply several light coats of lacquer gloss spray for a beautiful finish.

For more tips like this, you should seek advice from Ethnicraft’s wood furniture experts.