Repairing a table top

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Forum topic by CanadaJeff posted 04-06-2011 09:09 PM 1249 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CanadaJeff's profile


207 posts in 3605 days

04-06-2011 09:09 PM

Hi everyone,
I recently purchased a used dining room table. The price was great and it fits with our home, however it does have chips through the veneer showing the plywood/particle board underneath.

I was wondering how to go about repairing these. I’ve never really dived into refinishing, so any advice or suggestions are more than welcome


9 replies so far

View Jahness's profile


70 posts in 2759 days

#1 posted 04-06-2011 09:38 PM

we used to repair small cracks and chips with tinted wax. If they are too big for wax, you could use a plug of the same type of wood. Post pics if possible.


-- John

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3329 days

#2 posted 04-06-2011 09:55 PM

You might be able to fill small holes by melting shellac sticks into the damaged areas, but the wax is a good idea too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3978 days

#3 posted 04-06-2011 11:08 PM

cut out little sections of damage veneer with a scalpel and glue new veneer in the void. Use a small brush to dye stain and finish to match

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3737 days

#4 posted 04-07-2011 03:59 AM

I would call a person that does furniture repair all the time.
If you aren’t big into refinishing and color matching – the repairs can easily look much worse than the damage.

You’ll find that a pro with a kit of powders/fillers and such can fill this in and color match it in about an hour or so.
The finish on the top of the table is the MOST visible type of repair – and usually it is not just color matching – but you can easily end up with a bunch of shiny spots that you will see from 20 feet away.

I took a class week long on finishing + a weekend of spot repair with Mitch Kohanek – and it takes a lot of practice – I still would not try anything on top of the table – but would work on vertical surfaces and filling dings at the bottoms of table legs and such to gain a experience doing a bunch of reps matching fill colors and sheens

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 3362 days

#5 posted 04-07-2011 09:34 PM

I inherited a table from my parents. It had been abused for close to 70 years. It had cigarette burn, scratches etc. I just lightly sanded it and finished over the character marks. It came out great.

Just a thought

View Bertha's profile


13525 posts in 2688 days

#6 posted 04-07-2011 09:36 PM

Have you considered applying new veneer? It might be an exciting project for you. Like above, just a thought.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3064 days

#7 posted 04-08-2011 12:35 AM

Well, now you know why the “price was great.” – lol

I’m with Dr Dirt on this. If you really want to keep the table, get it worked over by a pro. More than likely, that veneer is paper thin and you can easily make things worse if you haven’t done that sort of thing before.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Bertha's profile


13525 posts in 2688 days

#8 posted 04-08-2011 12:38 AM

I’ve sanded through veneer gentlly with 400 on a block. Sawkerf has a very good point. Veneers are expensive and the big shops are likely to apply them quite thinly.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2671 days

#9 posted 04-08-2011 12:47 AM

I installed new veneer on a table top. It wasn’t as bad as you might think but then my work might not be as good as I think. I would either put new veneer over the old or I would call the professional. I worked on a car fender once. A fellow came along and looked at it. He told me there are a lot of things a person can do to screw up a job like this and i think you have managed to use most of them here.

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