Fixing a particle board dresser

michelle_s_phxazMay 5, 2013

We have two well used dressers we use as nightstands that the rails that the drawers slide onto the inside wall of the dresser have been used so much that the screws that hold them in have rubbed the particle board away. There is a crater which used to be a screw hole, and the drawers come to a certain point and then angle down. The back and middle screw holes are fine for now, just the front ones broke the wood.

Is there wood putty or a filler I can use to fill these holes then replace the screws and it will hold tightly again? The dressers are in perfect shape otherwise, and I would rather fix them than replace them.

I know this came from putting too much heavy stuff in them, I won't use it for so much once they are fixed!

Let me know if you want pictures, it is in the wee hours and I don't want to wake my sleeping husband to take the pictures.

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millworkman

Particle board is not generally a repairable product and I know of nothing shy of changing the location of the screws to fresh board.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 9:45AM
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graywings123

Particle board is made up of wood chips and sawdust. Wood filler should work. It would be worth giving it a try.

Depending on how big the craters are, you can imbed small pieces of wood to help give the filler some structure - short pieces of toothpick, for example.

You could even glue in the toothpick pieces first with wood glue (ex, Gorilla Glue) and then cover that with the wood filler.

Disclosure notice: I am a DIYer, not an expert.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 10:04AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Fiberglass reinforced Bondo. It's strong enough. The question is will the remaining particle board be strong enough to bond to it. I'd suspect that any repair will simply pop right out and you'll be in worse shape than you are now.

The best repair would be to haunt a couple of thrift stores or Craigslist for some older well made stuff that someone is getting rid of. You can always get crafty with something not quite so pretty and do a chalk paint or decopauge to the exterior. You can't fix poorly made though.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 4:45PM
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michelle_s_phxaz

Thanks, I was afraid of that. I am going to try the Gorilla Glue and the Bondo, nothing lost if it doesn't work.

Hollysprings, unfortunately (and fortunately) I like Ikea-type furniture, and these came from a close-out sale from a Denmarket 10 years ago. I have to give them their props for lasting so long with the use they got, but I like very contemporary pieces and while I have looked at thrift stores to replace them, no one ever has a pair of anything I like. I am not a fan of crafty stuff, but thanks for the decoupage idea!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 6:22PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Haunt the Goodwills and other donation centers. Lots of MCM teak shows up there when people clean out their relative's home and don't know what they have.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 7:59PM
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southerncanuck

Gently tap a golf tee dipped in the glue of your choose into the old screw hole, cut the tee off with a knife after the glue has dried. Then screw into the old hole that has been filled with the WOODEN golf tee.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 12:32AM
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sdello

Southern Canuck: that's sounds like a pretty good solution. I think it might work better if once the glue has set, a pilot hole for the screw is drilled through the tee.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 9:02AM
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graywings123

Fiberglass reinforced Bondo is used on cars, isn't it? Can you drive a wood screw into Bondo? I would look for a filler that says it is for wood.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 10:21AM
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millworkman

Bondo works great for wood graywings, how it will hold in particle board I am not certain

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 10:27AM
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southerncanuck

The golf tee trick has worked for old worn holes in door jambs for door hinges. Predrilling a very small pilot hole might work even better once the tee has set.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 3:27PM
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millworkman

Oh no i agree Canuck with you on wood, but particle board not much holds well in that for very long.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 4:15PM
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brickeyee

"rails that the drawers slide onto the inside wall of the dresser have been used so much that the screws that hold them in have rubbed the particle board away. "

Sounds like the draw runners on the inside of the carcase have worn.

Are the screws part of the drawers?
This should be a wood to to wood sliding joint (or particle board to particle board).

The inner strips on the carcase should be fastened to the sides with some screws.
If you want to keep using the drawers, replacing the warn drawer runners with some maple or other hard wood should extend the life. New runners are screwed to the sides of the carcase from the inside of the unit.

You could also try to eliminate the metal screws on wood bearing surface (the wood will always lose).

Maybe a thin strip of wood on the bottom of the drawer sides to rest on the runners.

This post was edited by brickeyee on Sun, May 12, 13 at 14:50

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 5:42PM
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bus_driver

If IKEA, can it be disassembled? If so, those panels with the worn originally-flat surface exposed can be patched.I would use JB weld and then sand flat after 24 hour (or more) cure time. But your facilities and talents may be different. The JB would be a slicker and more durable surface than the original.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 6:02PM
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geoffrey_b

I agree with bus_driver - JBWeld. Make sure to clean any little chips out of the hole.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:18PM
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