How to repair a chip in the surface of a wood table

melle_sactoAugust 28, 2009


I hope this is the right place for my question b/c this is not one of the forums I frequent (usually I'm on Kitchens or gardening). I wish I had more time to read threads but I have a 4 1/2 year old and a 3 month old who keep me VERY busy.

So here's what's going on: I bought a nice platform bed w/attached floating bedside tables from Craigslist, and it was in nice condition. Then, while unloading (somewhat carelessly), one of the pieces crashed down onto one of the bedside tables and chipped it pretty good in the surface. :-(

I'd really like to repair this chip b/c I love the bed and was planning to have it a long time. Can someone tell me what I need to do to fix it? The piece that chipped out is gone. I felt devastated when it happened, but my DH just says that's what happens when I buy big stuff off Craigslist that has to be disassembled, hauled, reassembled etc.

The bed is teak if that matters. Thanks for suggestions/advice!

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Always, Best if you find the old chip piece and if it fits good, just glue and clamp back into place, if not will need to cut out the corner, glue and clamp in a replacement piece, then sand and finish. This kind of repair is best left to a professional, if like the results to be as good as before.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 12:11AM
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I think the piece that chipped out was pulverized in the process, but I will see what I can find tomorrow in the truck bed. It sounds like the repair will look like a repair if I do it myself. As long as it doesn't look as obviously damaged as it looks right now I'd be happy.

What about those wood filler kits I've seen online, are they any good?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 1:06AM
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Depends upon the size of the chip and surrounding damage, but a "burn in repair" would be the standard professional way of repairing this type of damage. It might also work to use an epoxy putty repair or polyester fill repair. Any of these would need some color adjustments. These types of repairs are not usually for the inexperienced.

I'm not sure what "online wood filler kits" you are referring to.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 12:23PM
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I included a link to one of the kits I'm talking about.

Maybe I'll contact a local furniture repair shop and ask them what it would cost. It didn't even occur to me until just now.


Here is a link that might be useful: online wood filler kit

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 6:35PM
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Sorry, I'm not familiar with that repair kit and I can't tell what is in it.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 8:52PM
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I stopped at my local hardware store this afternoon and there was a display of these kits right inside the door. I opened it up and found the fill material about the viscosity of latex paint. The instructions say to match the color, fill the hole and let it dry.

I will warn you the colors are primary colors (yellow, blue, red), along with black, white, and brown. You would need to have some pretty good color matching skills to get a good color match. Assuming you have a good color match (realizing wood is not a single color), you then need other attributes for a good repair -- level, sheen, texture, and grain pattern. Lots of luck on that.

The fill is also supposed to work for counter tops and floors.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 10:01PM
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Do a search for "furniture medic" in your area. If you are in or near a big city you can generally find a medic who will repair the wood at a reasonable cost.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 9:47AM
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Please. I have seen FM's work in this area and seen what they charge. "Reasonable cost" would not be my description. I know there is lots of room for individual variance between franchisees, but they would be my last choice.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 9:55PM
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I'm not part of the furniture medic franchise but I am a professional furniture restorer with over 40 years experience.

The cost of out of pocket expenses to make a home visit and do a small repair is what makes the cost seem "high". If you had to purchase all the equipment and pay the overhead I think you would feel differently. Another bite out of a furniture medic profit margin is the franchise fees.

All that being said you can usually get a lower cost by using a non franchise shop and bringing the item to their shop is cheaper than them coming to you.

Some repairs can look bad and hard to fix (so we think expensive) to someone not familiar with this type of restoration, however they are easily repaired at a small cost. Other such repairs can look small and easy to repair when the opposite is the reality.

This type of work is not difficult if you have experience and the proper tools. What you want to be careful about is taking on a project, not knowing how to do it properly, then making it worse and costing you more in the long run to get it repaired.

Here is a short video on the touch-up process that takes place after the chip is filled.

After you view the video there will be several other video links to show other repair/touch-up processes. All these will give you some understanding of the process so you can evaluate if you want to take on the job yourself.

To find a shop near your location try

Here is a link that might be useful: Spot Touch-up Video

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 11:31AM
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I understand the overhead of on-site work; I am in this business. All told, today was a 12-hour day, with 5 billable hours. Travel, traffic detours and a wasted trip took its normal toll; paperwork and phone calls took the rest.

What I have seen is work done by FMs that is 3 to 4 times as expensive, and would not meet my standards for repair. I don't mean to bad-mouth all of them, I'm just saying, not making them an automatic choice is my point.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 10:06PM
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Oh, and posting a link to your business web site is sort of frowned upon, however helpful it might be.

Here is a link that might be useful: Business terms of use

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 5:04PM
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