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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Furniture Makeover: How to Repair Broken Corners on Furniture

Don't let a little damage deter you from buying a piece of furniture.  With the right product, you can easily repair chipped and broken corners, edges and gashes to make them look like new again!

(I'm interrupting this months Dollar Store DIY series to share another furniture makeover.  I'll resume the regularly scheduled program next month)

Do you buy furniture and other home decor items from Facebook Marketplace?  It took me awhile to get on board with buying over Facebook (mainly because going alone to the homes of strangers totally freaks me out), but I've been trying to get over my paranoia and step outside my comfort zone.  Plus, it's one of the best ways to snag deals, so you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

I've been able to get some amazing pieces at great prices and other times I'm too late, sellers don't always respond or they sell it out from under you.  It can definitely be frustrating, but incredibly rewarding at the same time.  Just the other week, I was able to snag a beautiful MCM dresser that I was immediately drawn too.  I hesitated due to the damage to the corner, but the seller was super nice, the price was right and it was just one town over, so I decided to take my chances.  

Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore Painted Furniture
I haven't repaired too many pieces of furniture, but I trusted my abilities and with the most amazing wood filler I was able to repair the corner with no trouble.

Affiliate links have been used.

Sherwin-Williams Emerald paint in Iron Ore
- Minwax High-Performance Wood Filler (I've tried many wood fillers in the past and this one is by far the best.  It dries rock hard in less than 30 minutes and is ready to be sanded and painted )
- Cheap paint brush for priming
- 80 and 120 grit sander paper for Corner Cat
- Straight edge and scrap cardboard (putty knife, old credit card, etc)
- Simple Green
- Utility knife
- Vasoline
- Paper Towels

Besides the damage to the corner, the dresser was in great shape.  There were a few chips and knicks in the veneer on the drawers, but they were super easy fixes. 
Damaged MCM dresser before

Damaged corner to MCM dresser

(Keep in mind I am by no means a professional.  I just found this to be the easiest way to repair a damaged corner and thought it would be helpful to share)

1.  Using a utility knife, scrape off any loose wood or veneer around the damaged area.  This gives the wood filler a nice foundation to adhere to. 

2. Gather a few scraps of cardboard and a straight edge (I used an old medical card).  Apply a small amount of vaseline to the top of your card or straight edge (this helps the wood filler from sticking to the card) and slide it under the damaged corner.  This allows for a nice smooth foundation for your wood filler.  

3.  Mix a small amount of wood filler together and apply it to the damaged corner.  I used a popsicle stick for mixing and applying.  Add scraps of cardboard to the corner to form the wood filler into a right angle.

Wood Filler for repairing damaged corner on furniture

How to repair broken corners on furniture
4.  Remove the cardboard before the wood filler fully dries.  It dries quick so you won't have to leave it there long.

5.  Let the wood filler fully cure (30 mins or so) then sand it smooth.  If the corner isn't fully square or smooth you can apply another small about of wood filler and repeat steps 3-5.

Repaired corner of damaged furniture
After I was satisfied with how the corner was repaired I gave the dresser a good sanding, cleaned it well with Simple Green then added a coat of my favorite primer to the body and drawers.
repaired and sanded MCM dresser

Primed MCM dresser
I lightly sanded to smooth out the primer then added two coats of my favorite color, Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore.  I used leftover paint that I've used throughout my own home and since it has a satin finish there was no need to add wax or poly.
Sherwin-Willilams iron Ore painted MCM dresser
I styled the dresser in my entryway with my new favorite piece of art and a few items I had around my home.  The Fiddle Leaf is from Michaels (in-store only), the books were thrifted, the vintage suitcase was from a recent flea market and the rug is from Five Below.
Repaired and Painted MCM highboy dresser
The corner may not be perfect, but I think it turned out pretty good and if anything it looks MUCH better than it did before.
Repaired corner of MCM dresser
Of course, I love the color, but the clean lines and geometric detail on the drawers give it just enough interest and make it perfect for a boys room or office.  I tried to convince Owen to let me move it into his room, but he wasn't having it.
Geometric drawer detail of MCM dresser

dovetail drawers on MCM dresser

This gorgeous MCM piece is headed to Sweet Clover for the Mothers Day Sip and Shop sale May 11th-13th.  If you are local, stop by for a little shopping, wine tasting and flower bouquet making!

4051 Stanford Ct
Frederick, MD 

How to repair damaged corners on furniture

Two Tone MCM highboy dresser makeover


Would you like to comment?

  1. i LOVE this one! stop bringing awesome mcm dressers because i won't make any money when i buy them from you! ;) but seriously, keep them coming!!!!

  2. VERY nice gray modern makeover. Looks GREAT!

  3. Thank you! This is a great advice. Your MCM piece is stunning

  4. I love all your furniture makeovers! So beautiful. I have a dresser like this one with detail on the drawer and I’ve been wanting to paint it. How do you sand around the detail?

    1. Thank you! You'll have to use a sanding block (I like the ones with angled corners) or sandpaper sheets that you can fold and manipulate to get into corners and edges of detailed trim.