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How to Restore Chipped Furniture

by Guest Post on Dec 14, 2010

Wooden furniture may be chipped while moving or as a result of extensive use. Furniture brought home from garage sales or used furniture stores more often than not has suffered a few dings on the surface. There are several ways with which you can restore your furniture, depending on the type and extent of the damage.

Nail polish: If only the clear finish is chipped, leaving the underlying wood intact, you can repair the damage by letting a few drops of clear nail polish settle in the crack. After the polish dries, lightly sand the surface down and restore the glossy finish by rubbing on an auto polishing compound with a rag.

Touch-up markers: You can find these markers in your local home improvement store. Choose the color that most closely matches that of your wood finish. Fill in scratches and worn edges on your furniture where the bare wood has been exposed. Do not use the marker on areas where the wood finish is still intact.

Wax stick: Touch-up wax sticks can also be found in various wood colors at a home improvement store. To use a wax stick, rub it firmly across the chipped surface, filling in the space with soft wax. Continue rubbing till the wax builds up from the surface. Taking a piece of cardboard, place it over the treated area and rub until the wax surface is flush with the surface of the surrounding wood. Next, use a rag to gently remove excess wax and blend the restored edges with the surrounding surface. Protect the restoration with a layer of aerosol urethane clear coat.

Chip repair kits: These kits use a compound that dries to a hard plastic finish that matches the color of your wood furniture. First, the color of the compound is matched to that of the furniture by mixing several colors. The compound is then applied and blended into the damaged area and left to dry. The restoration is completed by lightly sanding the repaired surface and applying a clear finish included in the kit.

Patch veneer: This technique involves replacing a chipped piece of wood veneer with a patch from a matching veneer. The patch may be taken from an inconspicuous part of the same piece of furniture or a purchased sheet of matching veneer. If the chip is small, veneer edging tape may do the job. Cut the patching veneer to the same size and shape as the damaged area. Using contact cement or carpenter’s glue, attach it firmly in place and allow it to dry for one or two days. You can then lightly sand and refinish the patch and surrounding area.

Although the task of restoring your furniture can be done quickly and easily, there are some cases in which the job would be better left to a professional. Firstly, if your wooden furniture is an expensive antique piece, you would not want to risk further damage or a poor finish. You should always check with a reputable appraiser before having an antique refinished because tampering with the original finish may reduce its value. Secondly, if the damage is substantial, it may be worth getting a professional restorer to tackle the job.

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