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You come home from a long day at work and you have discovered a chip in your furniture and no one knows how it got there.

Sound familiar?

  A chip in the wood can be very easily repaired with a few items at the local hardware store a little time and patients.

Here is a list that you need for your project:

  1. Steel wool pad --0000-- (local hardware or paint store)
  2. Clear lacquer:  dead flat    flat    satin   or   gloss. Depends on what sheen you have. Get a good quality lacquer.
    If you are working with opaque furniture  (painted)  you will use a
     water clear   lacquer(local hardware or paint store).
  3. Sandpaper: 320-1000 grit (paint store or automotive paint supply)
  4. Liquid wax for wood furniture.
  5. Automotive polishing compound. (used for cherry finishes)(Automotive stores).
  6. Assorted colors of fill sticks. Looks like a big crayon. (Mainly used for the sides and edges of furniture)
  7. Epoxy stick (my favorite is quick-wood) (mainly used for deep chips and tops of furniture)
  8. Assorted colors of wood markers. Even eye liner pencils will work.
  9. A wood block. (to wrap the sandpaper around to get a flat edge).
  10. Masking tape.
  11. A soft cotton cloth (not a paper towel)

Now go and get the supplies you need for your project and get right back here. i'll wait, i'm not going anywhere.

Are you back from the store yet?
Then let's get started!!!

  If you are working with a cherry finish please pay close attention to the paragraph in red at the bottom of this page!!!

  First thing you need to do is clean out the area with a very small piece of 320 grit sandpaper. Tear off a piece about the size of a dime and fold it in half. What you are going to do is just clean out the inside of the chip to get rid of any loose wood.
  Now don't go hog wild with it you only have to clean the inside of the chip, not go clear through the piece!!! You only have to rub with the sandpaper about 3 or 4 times in the chip. Done that? Good.
  If you find the missing piece then thats great you can just glue it back on with wood glue (don't use house hold glue, doesn't stick very well) let it dry and then sand (always go with the grain) down the area until you cannot feel it with your fingertip. Then you can color in the repaired chip with a wood marker of the same color as the surrounding area.

(Don't worry if you cannot match the color exactly)
(wood has light and dark spots)
(just don't go too light or too dark)

   If you need to connect the grain lines use a darker wood marker or even a dark brown eye liner pencil. Just draw the lines together to match either side of the repaired area. mask off the area with masking tape and then apply clear lacquer over the repaired area.
   After it has dried go over the area with 0000 steel wool (with the grain) to get rid of the over spray and to level down the repaired area to match the surrounding surface. You can apply the liquid wax to the steel wool and it will help level out the repaired area and shine it up at the same time.

   If you cannot find the chip then that's ok we will just fill it in with a fill stick!!!
  First you have to clean out the chip like i explained above with the sandpaper. Then if it is a small chip you can fill it in with the fill stick.

(choose a shade that matches your color of finish you are working with)

  Just rub the fill stick into the defect until it is level with the surrounding area, then take your block of wood and wrap the cloth around it and this will give you a straight edge. Make sure you have no wrinkles in the cloth or you will dig into the fill stick and you will have to re-apply again. Just rub the cloth on the area you are working on until it is level with the surrounding wood. Just go very easy and you can do it right the first time. Then all you have to do is color the repaired area with a wood marker and connect the grain lines. Mask off the area you repaired and apply clear lacquer that matches the sheen you are working on. Let it dry, take off the masking tape, apply the liquid wax to the 000 steel wool and rub very gently (with the grain) to level the repaired area to the surrounding surface.
   I like to rub down the entire top i am working on to give it a uniform shine. If you only do the repaired area you will get a shiny spot!!!
  If your chip is large (bigger than ¼ inch wide), it is better to fix it with an epoxy stick. These sticks come in different colors so you can match you project pretty close. Just cut off what you need and knead it in your hands till it becomes a uniform color. Apply to the damaged area. Wet fingers with tap water and rub into putty surface until you completely cover the chip. You can use a straight edge to take off the excess. It's always better to leave a little hump than to leave an indentation. Let it dry.

  When completely dry you can gently sand down the area with 320 grit sand paper wrapped in a wood block with a sprinkle of tap water until the surface is completely level with the surrounding area.

(Try not to damage the surrounding area when you use the sand paper)
(just take it slow and easy!!!)

  When the repaired chip is level gently sand down the area again with 500 grit sand paper wrapped around the wood block and sprinkled with tap water. This will get rid of any sanding marks and leave the area ready for staining. Go and grab your wood markers and match the repaired chip as best as you can. Don't forget to attach the grain lines!!! Don't worry if it a little off because wood has light and dark spots anyway. When you are satisfied with the color of the repair then you can mask off the area and spray lightly with the clear lacquer that matches the sheen of your furniture. Let it dry and go over the entire top with your steel wool and liquid wax.

  When working with a cherry finish the process is the same except when you apply the clear lacquer and let it dry you apply the Automotive Finishing compound with a clean damp cloth and rub it in a very tight circular motion over the entire piece. Then after you have leveled the repair and cannot see any scratches or over spray then you can apply the liquid wax.

Well if you followed the directions and were careful you should have a piece of furniture with no chips on it.


You have just fixed a chip in your furniture.

Now just step back and admire your handy work!!!

See it wasn't that hard now was it?

I knew that you could do it.