Got Scratches, Chew Marks or Gouges? Gnaw Problem.

My latest project involves ReStyling a set of eight (8) dining chairs that apparently lived in sheer terror of the family dog.  Not a one managed to escape its jaws of doom.  These poor, disheveled chairs are high-quality,  solid cherry and I'm excited to return them to their finer glory days.  Well, actually having seen the original fabric, even better than the original.  ;)

{Queen Anne Chairs Before}

{Queen Anne Chairs Before}

If you have that piece of furniture you haven't tackled yet because of its battle scars (deep scratches, gouges or teeth marks), let me introduce you to one of my favorite furniture CPR products. 

Durham's Rock Hard Putty is my secret weapon.

Durham's Rock Hard Putty is my secret weapon.

Durham's is my secret weapon when it comes to repairing furniture.  One of these cans is supposed to last a lifetime but I've gone through one in about a year if that tells you how much I use it.  Trust me, it's that good.

That piece of furniture you've been hoarding because you thought it was a lost cause can be fixed at last. Can I get an AMEN?!

These chairs survived the horrors of abuse and survived.  With a little Durham's putty and paint, they will be thriving in no time!

Check out those gnaw marks!

Check out those gnaw marks!

Scratches or gouges anyone?

Scratches or gouges anyone?

First step is mixing up the desired amount of Durham's putty with a little water.  I use a disposable cup or bowl and gradually add water until it gets to a workable consistency.  I like mine to be similar to a creamy peanut butter.  Just make sure you aren't tempted to taste it.  ;)

Using a putty knife, smear the Durham's over the area you want to repair, pushing the putty down into the scratches or chew marks.  Then, take a damp paper towel and wipe off any excess.  Once you've applied as much as necessary to fill any scratches or holes, let dry at least two hours before moving on.

They don't look pretty yet, but I promise they will.

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Once the puttied areas are nice and dry, it's time to move on to sanding.  I like to use a course sanding block but use whatever sandpaper floats your boat.  120-grit does a nice job removing the extra putty without sanding too much of the surrounding wood.

Sand the entire area you've applied Durham's until the finish is smooth to the touch.  The goal is for the putty to completely fill in the scratches, gouges and holes without creating extra build-up.

 

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See how those scratches and holes are filled in like a dream?  What'd I tell you?!  Even though you can still see the repaired areas, they are as smooth as glass.  And once painted, will be undetectable.

Durham's helps save those pieces that might have been forgotten about otherwise.  It dries rock-hard just like its name so you never have to worry about it crumbling.  I've even molded missing corners and trim pieces with this putty!  

Now, you can move on to the fun part of painting and ReStyling!   I always use a chalk-type paint and have never had any coverage issues with Durham's.  

Don't worry, these chairs aren't completely finished but you get the idea.  This is only after I applied one coat of van Gogh's Revenge.  They need a second coat and then I'll use a black wax/varnish as the final topcoat. 

Do you see any evidence of gouges?  Me neither.  :)

Do you see any evidence of gouges?  Me neither.  :)

Bye, bye chew marks!

Bye, bye chew marks!

These chairs have come a long way baby. Don't you agree?  I hope you found this tutorial on repairing furniture with the amazing Durham's helpful.  I'd love to hear from you and find out what projects you need to use it on.

Until next time, keep on painting and transforming furniture!