Common Furniture Problems, Best Fixes and Maintenance Methods

Furniture damage is common enough that many shops offer woodworking repairs. But like dryer vent cleaning, you can have professionals do it, or you can do it on your own. This is much easier and you don’t have to worry about fire hazards. Here is a quick primer on the sort of things you can fix on your own and what you need.

Loose Joints

One common problem with furniture is loose joints. If your favorite wooden chair makes noises when you sit down, it is the usual culprit. Joints become loose because of the long hours of use and strain. The weight of a body on a chair puts pressure on it. When people stand up, the pressure goes away, and the wood bounces back. But it is not as strong as before.

If you want to repair the loose joints, you have to determine how bad the damage is. If it is pretty light, with only one joint having problems, then it should be easy. Find some hide glue and a syringe. You can then inject the glue into the trouble spot. Clamp it tight and then wait for the glue to dry. Hide glue is very tough and is better than other glue choices because it dissolves easily. This is important for future repairs. You do not want to scrape off the old glue before you do any repairs so hide glue is the best choice.

When there are many joints loose, your best option is to disassemble the entire piece and reassemble it. This doesn’t sound very easy, but you can do it if you are careful. The first step to disassembly is to check for the presence of nails. Most furniture pieces use glue and good assembly to hold them together. Nails can mean that the maker wanted additional durability. You need to remove the nails so that you can pull apart the piece cleanly. You can use a nail set to dig out the nails or drive them through.

When you take apart the furniture, you should label each separate piece. Disassemble the piece slowly so that you know where each piece goes. You then clean each piece up and try assembling it again. This is practice for the final assembly when you apply the glue. The final part is clamping everything overnight. In 24 hours, the piece should be as good as new.

Surface Damage


Another potential repair that you might need to do is fix surface damage. This might be a chipped veneer, bad scratches, or even really bad surface damage. Your fixes depend on what you have to repair.

A veneer is a simple covering placed over the actual wood. Most of the time, this is a thin piece of treated wood that makes the rough wood exterior look better. The problem is that veneers can get loose and you need to apply it again. Simple hide glue should do the trick, but the problem is when the veneer chips. For that, you’ll need to get wood filler and apply it to the area of the damage. It would be best if you painted over the repaired area.

Scratches are easy to fix. Apply some wax to the area and buff it out. As long as the color is the same, the wax should cover up any scratches.

Extreme surface damage, even from fire and water damage is still doable if you have the right tools. The right response is to sand and varnish the area. You will need a heavy-duty sander, and there needs to be enough material on the piece for you to repair. When you’re done, you need to apply a finish so that it looks brand new.

Making It Look Brand New

Sometimes, you are not planning to fix things but to make it look better. The furniture piece looks great, but it just looks old. You might have an old piece that you would like to buy and refurbish. Simple woodworking should allow you to breathe new life into these pieces.

The simplest way to make a furniture piece look brand new is to give it a fresh coat of paint. You will need to take the piece out into a clear area and place it onto a cloth cover. You then have to sand off all the old paint and varnish. Afterward, you apply the new coat of pain. If there are any metal parts, you should remove them and replace them after the paint dries.

Basic woodworking skills can be very useful when it comes to keeping your furniture in good shape. This can save you money and allow you to keep sentimental pieces for far longer.

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