How to fix broken furniture

The never ending debate: should you throw away broken furniture or should you recondition it? The answer depends on how broken your furniture really is. Here are a few situations when it’s better to get rid of the piece instead of spending energy on repairs:

  • There are large cracks that cover a big part of the surface area
  • There are large cracks that cover a big part of the surface area
  • The veneer is chipping or peeling on big areas
  • Important parts of a composite material piece are warped

On the other hand, solid wood furniture pieces should be kept if they have only cosmetic blemishes, especially if the joints are the mortise and tenon kind. This is the general guideline, but let’s now see some specific things you can fix about broken furniture. These quick solutions are cheap and even people who aren’t handy can implement them successfully.

Wobbly chairs

There’s no reason to throw away chairs just because they’re a little wobbly. This can be easily fixed by glueing loose rungs and tightening the hardware. If that doesn’t work, consider adding right angle corner braces. That should do the trick. The braces are available at any hardware store. Just make sure to not leave a gap between the brace and the chair leg. Drill pilot holes before inserting the screws to prevent the wood from splitting. Voila! You have a perfectly still chair to sit on.

You have to act fast if you want to save a piece whose veneer starts to peel or chip. If it’s lifting, clean the debris between the veneer and the wood. Put some wood glue in that space using a syringe and then press the veneer down. Place a wood scrap on top of it and clamp it down. For chipped veneer, add wood filler to the area and then apply paint or stain finish. Otherwise, you’ll have to replace the damaged veneer.

Busted wooden handles

Sometimes, the screw holes in wooden handles get stripped. As a result, you won’t manage to tighten the handle. There’s a quick fix to this problem: fill the holes with wood putty. That will give the screws something to bite into. After the putty is dry, drill a pilot hole and then insert a screw to reattach the handle. Here’s a tip: don’t use nails because they are not as good for this job as screws. Also, don’t make the mistake of not checking if the putty is the drillable type. Not all of them are suitable for that.

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