Repairing Damaged Furniture – Tip Tuesday

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American Paint Company retailers are an  incredibly talented group of artists.  This tip/tutorial from Chris Hardine of Midwest Cottage and Finds will walk you through duplicating a missing trim piece.  Visit our “Find a Retailer” tab to locate a retailer near you.
I picked up this beauty at a local Goodwill store. If you look at the top large drawer on the left you will notice a strip of the decorative trim is missing. On most makeovers, I would just leave the missing piece and paint over the area, but this trim is part of the outline on the drawers and would really distract from the look if not repaired. So here we go, a step by step process on how to make a mold and a new piece to replace the missing trim.  In the past I have used silicone for this process, but this time I decided to try a different product.

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Step 1: Purchase Das Clay to make the mold.  This can be found at most arts and crafts stores.

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Step 2: Roll out the clay on a cutting board or other smooth surface.
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Step 3: Next, cut the clay into a long strip that would fit over the piece of trim that you are using as the mold.  Obviously, when deciding whether to buy a damaged piece of furniture, you would need to choose one that had at least some of the original moulding intact.  Otherwise, you wouldn’t need to match it as much as just replace it.

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Step 4: I sprayed WD-40 on the clay prior to pushing it on the trim so it would be easy to remove. I pressed the clay on the trim strip that I was using for the mold and pushed into the detailed crevasses to be sure to form the detail. Then I gently peeled the clay off the trim piece as to not stretch it out of shape and then placed it in the oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.  Below is a picture of the clay as soon as I removed it from the trim. Once hard and dry all the way through, this is your mold.

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It will continue to harden so if you leave it overnight, that would be the best option. Below are two of my molds after being removed from the oven.

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Step 5: Now to make the actual trim piece. On this step I first tried KwikWood, an epoxy/wood filler type product. I had trouble removing this from the mold in one piece so I decided to try the Das Clay again. (I think I may have pressed too hard on the KwikWood, so that may have been operator error, not the product.)  I sprayed the mold with WD-40 and pressed the clay into the mold, leaving some clay over the edge giving me a piece to hold onto when I removed it. I only left it in the mold for a few minutes and then pulled it out and let it set overnight. I did a few different pieces so I would have enough for the entire strip and some extras, just in case. I sanded the edges of the new pieces and glued them to the dresser. Since I will be dry brushing the area, I needed the new trim to match the original trim, so I stained and painted it a bit to help it match.  You can see here, the new trim is on the left and the original trim is on right.
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Step 6: Paint and you are on your way!  Here is the trim with my first coat of paint. If you did not know the difference it would be difficult to tell!  Give it a try!  If you have any questions, please leave them here and I will be happy to answer them.   Or you can message me on Facebook, my link is below. Good luck!!

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Update: I’m still working on it, but this is how it looks currently.
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Post courtesy of Chris Hardine of Midwest Cottage and Finds in Illinois
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Comments

  1. I applied the Das Clay directly to the furniture piece and free formed the missing detail molding. I wet the formed clay before applying to the furniture. Did I make a mistake? Will it hold? If not Can I use a small Brad nail when dry to fasten it or will the narrow piece split? How long before I can paint it?

  2. Thanks for explaining how you can repair damaged furniture. I didn’t realize that you can use clay to repair the trim on an old piece of furniture. I am not the best artist, but I have some old furniture that I inherited from my grandmother that I would love to have repaired and updated. Hopefully, I can find someone in my area who has experience working with furniture.

  3. Thanks for sharing this! I have a couple of old pieces with missing parts. The finished piece is stunning!

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