How to Fix Chewed Wood Furniture
- February 28, 2018
- Guardsman Furniture Repair
Puppies are the best: they’re cute, fluffy, clumsy and completely loveable. And when it comes to their “mistakes,” most of them are quick cleanups. But as with babies, puppies go through the infamous teething phase. Babies, on one hand, usually get through this by chewing on hard toys. Puppies, on the other hand, deal with their sore gums by chewing anything around them — including wood table legs and other furniture. Once it happens, it seems like a permanent reminder that your high hopes for the bitter-apple flavored dog-deterrent spray vanished about as quickly as you sprayed it on the furniture. But alas, chewed wood doesn’t have to leave permanent marks at all! Of course, you may consider waiting to repair the wood until your puppy (or wood-chewing animal) gets past that teething phase.
Repairing Chew Marks Fom Wood Furniture
- Similar to scoring a loaf of bread, the first step in repairing the damage is to use a utility knife (take the blade out of the holder for more control) to cut small marks diagonally across the surface of the chewed area. In addition to scoring the wood, you’ll want to scrape off any loose or frayed pieces of wood that aren’t lying flush with the furniture.
- Next, use a high-quality wood filler or auto body filler to fill in the area. If the marks are deep, it might take a few applications to build the filler back up to the level of the rest of the wood. If multiple layers are needed, don’t mix too much filler initially; filler dries relatively quickly, and you don’t want to waste it by making more than you can use before it dries! Once the area you want to fix is even, let the filler dry to the touch. Make sure to keep a close eye on this — we want the filler to be dry enough to carve off the extra, but not so dry that we’re stuck with rough edges that are harder to smooth. If you do miss this “dry, but not too dry” phase, no worries! You’ll be able to sand it down in the next step.
- Once the filler is dry, use 120- or 150-grit sandpaper to smooth the edges and top of the filler you have just applied. To make this repair look seamless with the rest of the wood, sand some of the surrounding, non-damaged area to help feather the filler into the rest of the wood. When you’re happy with the smoothness, use a 220-grit sandpaper piece to finish the sanding.
- Using a wood fill stick, color over the top of the sanded and filled area. Then take a thick piece of paper and smooth over the top of the putty. When you use this stick, pieces of it will rub off onto the piece of furniture. By smoothing it into the wood with your piece of paper, you will fill all of those nooks and crannies that were missed by the filler from Step 2. After this step, you should be able to run your finger over the top of the sanded area and have it all be completely smooth.
- Ah, we’re so close to completion! Find a wood paint that matches the color of the rest of the wood on the piece of furniture. If you want to be super intricate, using a few different colors to blend in different shades and draw on grain marks will help you better blend and disguise your repaired section. Remember: wood paint darkens as it dries, so it might be best to choose a slightly lighter shade and apply more layers if needed. If your furniture only needs a wood polish, just use a brush to paint it on.
- Finally, if you chose to use a wood paint over a polish, you’ll need to apply a varnish to seal the deal. In order to match the shininess of the rest of the furniture’s finish, choose a slightly shinier varnish. Spray two layers over the repaired area and let it dry. If it’s too shiny, use a 0000 steel wool piece to dull the varnish to match the rest of the furniture.
There you have it — proof that a teething puppy won’t permanently ruin your wood furniture! This would be a great project to do on a rainy day or cold winter weekend. For some, repairing a piece of wood might seem like a fun DIY challenge to take on. For others, it could be extremely daunting, or too time-consuming. In either instance, the professionals at Guardsman are just one call away. Our technicians are available for on-site repairs that will allow you to sit back and relax while an expert repairs your furniture. Give us a call today at 800-788-8020!