Most furniture is easy to fix unless they are totally broken and irreplaceable. Items like wobbly chairs or table legs, or handles of couches and armoires can be fixed with the right tools. Furniture can be fixed if the piece is intact and constructed with solid wood, and has only cosmetic blemishes. So it is always important to keep all small and loose parts, fasteners, etc in a bag stashed away for those occasions when you need them for repairs. This way, the right tools will also be available whenever needed.
There are some simple furniture fixes that you can do by yourself if the need arises. For instance, for filling extra holes that were made during drilling, mix sawdust along with wood glue and make a thick paste. Fill the hole with this mixture and scrape it flush. When it gets dry, use sand and completely level it.
When driving tiny brads into a shelf, the nail often misses and the wood gets hit. During such times, poke the nail through a piece of duct tape and hit the nail far enough to hold the nail steady, after which the tape can be removed and the nail can be driven in easily. Read on to familiarise yourself with many more tips and tricks that may come in handy now and then.
Loose seating rungs are a common occurrence and they can be solved easily. Usually these joints are quickly repaired. Start off by cleaning the old dried up glue or any other debris from the dowel hole. The dowel can also be sanded off. Try fitting the dowel into the hole, and drill a hole through the leg and the rung from a different angle. Now remove the joint, and add glue to the dowel and then the hole. Place the joint back. Due to the extra hole drilled, excess glue will flow out, and the nail can be driven in to hold the joint in place. Wipe off excess glue and let the chair dry.
Wobbly chairs become a problem for everyone at some point of time. To repair wobbly chairs, glue alone is not the solution. Wood adhesives have to be applied as a thin film on both sides of the joint. Then pressure is used to force the parts together for them to stick perfectly. Also, it is almost always necessary to rebuild the joint, or disassemble it in order to completely remove adhesives from previous repairs, so that it can be fitted properly. Another point to note here is that, this method will not work for antique chairs as it can reduce the value of the chair. It might interest you to know that these bright and quirky peg chairs have been designed by Alegre Design from Sueca.
It is not too difficult to repair loose table legs. But it is important to fix them as soon as possible. The furniture legs depend on each other to distribute the load and provide stability. If the problem is not addressed quickly, the stress adds up to the other legs and makes the other joints loose too.
While fixing loose legs, try tightening all the loose screws in the table. This may be the only fix necessary sometimes. After a few weeks, check the troubled table leg, if it is sturdy all is well. If not, loosen the table leg gently and inject wood glue into the loosened joint. Move the table gently so that the glue coats the entire affected surface. Tighten the screws and clamp the joint. Let it dry for a while before removing the clamps or using the table.
In order to fix broken drawer corners, support the wood filler with a small board. Clamp a flat smooth scrap of wood beneath the repair area to support the polyester resin during the application. Spray the board with a lubricant to limit sticking, and to make it release easily after the resin dries. Take a small amount of resin wood filler on a flat surface and mix a catalyst before applying to the furniture. The catalyst will harden the resin. Applying sufficient mixture before the resin hardens is important. Excess resin filler can be cut off later with a utility knife. Smooth the area with sand paper and paint it with acrylic colours as the resin will not accept wood stains.
If the door handle does not return to its horizontal position, the spring could have broken either on one or both of the handles on the door. Replacing or repairing the handle is relatively simple using external or internal circlip pliers. This method will work for traditional door handles. For PVC handles, the broken spring cassette can be removed and a new one can be fitted.
Wooden furniture comes into contact with several objects that can damage their finish with scratches. But there are several ways to remove these scratches. Depending on the depth of the scratch and type of finish in the furniture, different methods can be used to correct these scratches.
For surface scratches that are small and do not penetrate the wood, paste wax can be used. If there is no discoloration and the scratch is only on the surface, substances like paste wax, lemon juice, olive or vegetable oil and lint free cloth can be used to remove the scratches. The surface can be waxed and then buffed. The wax will fill the scratch grooves and it will disappear. Another method would be to mix one part lemon juice to one part oil. Moisten a lint free cloth with the mixture and rub the cloth firmly over the scratches until it is no long noticeable.
To remove scratches from polyurethane finishes, moisten sandpaper with water and sand the surface. It should not be over sanded. Once the scratch is removed, apply paste wax and buff with steel wool to get back the sheen.
So you see how easy it is to take care of small furniture repairs yourself? For more homely ideas, check out another ideabook - The slacker’s guide to a quick home clean up.