Repairing tricks and tips

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Forum topic by Slacker posted 09-08-2008 12:51 AM 1075 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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178 posts in 3666 days

09-08-2008 12:51 AM

Does anyone have any cool tricks or tips to repair mistakes in wood? Mixing sawdust with glue and that kind of thing. Got a couple of holes that need to be covered up.

-- Adapt, improvise, overcome

6 replies so far

View SteveB's profile


57 posts in 4023 days

#1 posted 09-08-2008 04:52 PM

I used to repair furniture for a low-end furniture store, so all my tricks are low-end. :)

Main rule: If you can’t hide it, make it stand out.
  • Rub it first with lacquer thinner. This will show you approximately what the wood will look like with a finish on it. If it looks, OK that way, let it dry, then spray on some clear lacquer.
  • Buy some touch-up markers and crayons. They’re cheap and often are all you need. Cover with clear spray lacquer.
  • I’ve had good luck with a product named Restor-A-Finish. It seems to slightly dissolve existing finishes, then put them back down. It comes in different colors. You can probably find a competing brand.
  • Invest in a lacquer stick set. They’re expensive, so get just the colors you need. You melt the sticks into the injury with a soldering iron, leaving it a little proud, then sand it down flat. Finish off with clear spray lacquer.
  • If it’s a big injury, use your touch-up items to make it look like a knothole.
  • If it’s a REALLY big injury, cut it out and put in a plug or a dutchman.

I told you these were low-end techniques.

p.s. Did I mention that you cover the repair with clear spray lacquer?

-- Steve B - New Life Home Improvement

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


510 posts in 3563 days

#2 posted 09-08-2008 06:25 PM

You could buy a set of plug cutters depending on the size holes you need to repair. Drill the holes out and plug, sand flush…

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View gusthehonky's profile


130 posts in 3707 days

#3 posted 09-08-2008 09:32 PM

Are they toothpick or golf tee,”sized , shim, moulding, trim, baseboard ,sized or ” a drawer here could solve this”, to,” we never really planed to have a window/door there, but…”

Its tough ‘cause what ever works is best. The two above posts have been relied upon, tried, tested and true for a number if situations I think the key is to blend the finish or add ornamentation/ moulding or trim appropriate to the piece. If the repair is made and attempted to exactly match the existing unmodified finish, you are setting yourself up to fail. Always looks like a car that has been spray painted to conceal a scratch, usually the fix looks worse.

-- Ciao, gth.

View CaptnA's profile


116 posts in 3778 days

#4 posted 09-08-2008 10:09 PM

among my favorite and most often used sayings -
“circumstance dictates procedure” no idea where I picked it up but I’ve used it for nigh on thirty years.
What sort of oops are you talking about?
If its a scratch you might try sanding it out. Maybe blend a little finish. If its a gouge you may need to fill it. A crack you may need to cut a bowtie dutchman to strengthen it. If its a Holy Heck, you may have to start over.
For holes, depending if they’re ‘crap I need to reposition the hinge’ sort of holes, or ambrosia worm holes- it varies based on where they are and what the piece is. Sometimes holes can be made into “character”, highlighted or plugged with a contrasting wood for instance. Would adding a few more holes disguise the oops, or draw attention away from the style of the piece.
So many variables. Good luck to you!

-- CaptnA - "When someone hurts you, write it in the sand so the winds of forgiveness will scatter the memory... "

View Slacker's profile


178 posts in 3666 days

#5 posted 09-09-2008 01:43 AM

Indeed… I left my camera in PR during a vacation trip, so let me see if I can take a clear picture with the cell phone.

-- Adapt, improvise, overcome

View tbone's profile


275 posts in 3650 days

#6 posted 09-09-2008 11:57 PM

It would help to know—if the wood is unfinished,—what size the hole is,—what wood it is,—is it a hole or a dent, or scratch, or burnish,—and maybe what the project is, and what location on the project are the holes.
Like CaptnA says, “circumstance dictates procedure.” (I like that)

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

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