It’s easier than you think to fix a broken corner on your old furniture. Whether your dog chewed it, the movers broke it, or someone was playing too hard, here’s how to fix a chipped wood corner.
Get more tips for repairing old furniture here!
Old furniture is notorious for being damaged or broken. But before you toss your grandma’s dresser in the dump, try your hand at fixing it!
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How to Fix a Chipped Wood Corner
Here is a quick little breakdown of the steps. Keep reading below for more details on each step and get the FAQs!
Plus I made a little video of the process, catch the full video at the bottom of this post!
- Find a match to the damaged area & make a mold of the shape with hot glue. Let it dry and then remove it.
- Mix up a small amount of Bondo and spread it over the damaged area.
- Put the hot glue mold over the Bondo – make sure to line the hot glue mold up with the piece of furniture.
- Let the Bondo start to dry. Then remove the hot glue mold.
- Cut away the excess Bondo and let it dry completely.
- Sand the Bondo to smooth it out.
- Prime and Paint!
Step 1: Make a Hot Glue Mold
The easiest way to repair a broken or chipped corner of furniture is to first make a mold of the shape and details.
Every piece of furniture usually has at least 2 of everything, so it should be pretty simple to find a corner that has the same details as the damaged corner.
Once you locate a corner that is in good condition, you can make a really simple mold of it with a hot glue gun and hot glue.
How to Make a Hot Glue Mold
First, rub some vaseline or spray some cooking spray over the corner that is in good condition.
The vaseline is super important because it will make it easy to remove the hot glue once it is cooled.
You’ll want to make a mold that is about 1-2″ bigger than the damaged area, so make sure you make a big enough mold.
Make a mold by simply squeezing hot glue all over the corner. Lay it on thick, and make sure there aren’t any holes in the hot glue.
Be very careful to not burn yourself or touch the hot glue. Man, that stuff hurts!
Let the hot glue cool completely and then gently remove it.
To prepare for the next step, rub more vaseline on the inside of the mold. This will help it not stick to the Bondo!
What to use Instead of a Hot Glue Mold:
The hot glue can damage the finish on the good corner. If you don’t want to paint your furniture, you may want to use this mold putty kit instead.
It’s a two-part product that turns into a flexible rubbery texture once dried.
Simply mix the two parts together and then cover the good corner with a thick layer.
You’ll still want to rub some vaseline on the corner before making your mold. But since this stuff isn’t hot like hot glue, it won’t damage the finish.
Check out this quick video that shows how to use the Amazing Mold Putty Kit.
Step 2: How to Mix Bondo
What is Bondo & The Different Types
Ahhh Bondo. A damaged piece of furniture best friend!
Bondo is a two-part epoxy filler that is easy to mix up, easy to spread, but it dries harder than wood in about 30 minutes or so!
Basically it’s a miracle product.
The biggest difference I have noticed between them is the color.
The wood filler version looks like wood filler, the autobody kind is pink, and the all-purpose kind is light grey.
If you want to stain the damaged area, you’ll want to go with the wood filler version. It doesn’t take stain exactly like wood does, but it’s a lot better for staining than the autobody and all purpose kinds.
Mix the Bondo
Bondo starts to dry fast, so it’s best to only mix up a small amount and work fast!
I like to mix my Bondo on a piece of cardboard, and with a paint stir stick.
Put a blob of the Bondo base onto the cardboard. Then squeeze some hardener on the Bondo.
Mix the Bondo well so it’s all one shade of pink (you want it to be a little darker than the color of the Bondo spreader!)
Put Bondo on the Chipped Wood Corner
Now take your nice and clean Bondo spreader and spread the Bondo all over the damaged corner. Lay it on thick and try to press it into the damage.
Step 3: Put the Mold over the Wet Bondo
Working quickly, put the mold (make sure you rubbed vaseline inside of it before mixing the Bondo!) over the Bondo and press firmly.
Make sure to line the mold up with the existing wood.
You want the Bondo repair to line up as much as possible so you don’t have to sand and shape the dried Bondo as much.
Step 4: Hold the Mold
Hold the mold in place until the Bondo starts to set up (usually only a couple of minutes!)
You don’t want the hot glue mold to shift at all until the Bondo starts to set up.
Once it isn’t sticky anymore, you can remove the mold.
Step 5: Remove the Excess Bondo
Before the Bondo dries too hard, scrape the excess Bondo off with a utility knife.
There is sure to be a blob or two of Bondo that didn’t stay under the mold.
You don’t want to have to sand all of that Bondo down, so remove it with a utility knife while you can still cut through the Bondo.
Once it dries, you won’t be able to cut through the Bondo, so it’s super important to remove the major excess right after it sets up.
Be sure to not remove too much though! Some excess is good so you can shape the Bondo once it’s dry.
Then let it dry completely (usually about 30 minutes or so).
Step 6: Smooth and Shape the Bondo
Now to make the Bondo look pretty!
I like to sand down any large flat areas with my power sander. It’s fast and efficient!
For the power sander, I like to use 150 grit first. And then smooth it out with 220 grit.
But for any details, I like to sand by hand. It’s slow going, but it really pays off to get all of the details just right!
When sanding by hand I’ve found 80 grit to be the easiest to shave off the most at first, and then I work my way up to 220 grit to smooth it out.
The goal is to get the Bondo completely flush and smooth with the existing wood that wasn’t damaged.
Note: Air Bubbles in the Bondo
Sometimes you’ll come across a little air pocket in the Bondo. If it’s a small area then I just fill it in with regular wood filler, let it dry and then sand it down smooth again.
It’s not worth it to do a whole another round of Bondo just for a small air pocket in the Bondo.
Step 7: Prime and Paint!
(Click here to learn How to Stain Bondo Wood Filler!)
Before you move onto the fun step of painting, you’ll want to prime that area.
In this case, there are a few different reasons to use a primer before painting.
- The bare wood will most likely “bleed through,” causing red, yellow or orange stains to appear in your paint. Trust me, they won’t go away if you put another coat of paint on them.
- The primer will help the sheen of the paint be the same. Without primer, the repaired area will have a different sheen than the non damaged area.
- IF you’re using a light color, the primer will help you cover the dark wood faster than the paint can.
Learn more about the best primers to prevent bleedthrough here!
After a couple of coats of primer, you’re ready to paint!
If you’re a visual learner, watch the process here!
Click here to get ideas for your painted furniture!
- Bondo & Bondo Spreader
- Hot Glue Gun & Hot Glue Sticks
- Vaseline (Cooking Spray also works!)
- Old piece of cardboard and paint stick
- Utility Knife
- Sandpaper (80 grit – 220 grit)
- Primer & Paint
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