I L O V E a good challenge and I have to admit… I seek out these janky furniture fixer-uppers deliberately. Yeah, I’m a sucker for punishment but this has good bones. Well, all but one. But before a furniture painter can paint, they must learn the art of furniture repair. Today I’m sharing how to fix a broken leg on a dresser. It sure makes buying those bargain pieces a little less scary.
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Broken Leg Fix
- janky furniture with a broken leg
- Wood Glue
- 50″ Parallel Clamp
- Dowel Kit
- Plastic Wood
- SurfPrep Sanding System
The Fix For The Broken Leg Dresser
There are many many fixes for broken legs on furniture. As many as there are types of broken legs. Not all furniture is built alike so the repair is different on each one. This one is a bit unusual as it appears to be caused by stress. A “stress fracture”. Pardon my medical lingo. It pops out from time to time. Firstly, start with removing all debris and dirt from the broken pieces that need to be reconnected before attempting to fix the broken leg. This can be done by using a 22o grit sandpaper. After sanding, be sure to blow away and sawdust that is remaining on the wood.
Next, you will need to secure the broken leg pieces with wood glue. Apply the glue liberally to the wood before reconnecting the broken piece. Wipe away any excess glue with a wet paper towel or cloth.
Once the wood pieces have been reconnected, secure with clamps until the glue is dried and the leg is back in one piece. YAY!
I have several styles of clamps for my furniture repairs. These are my favorites. But because the break was a split in the wood, the top broken section had nothing to clamp to, so I used my parallel clamp. I use it a lot!
Wood Dowels For Extra Strength
Wood glue is not enough! You need to add extra strength to where the break is. For this broken leg fix, I used 3 dowels. Using my dowel kit and drill, I drilled 3 holes. Be sure to blow out any leftover sawdust inside the holes you after you drill them because you don’t want sawdust remaining that can takes up space from where the dowels will be. You want a solid connection of the wood dowel to the wood. No empty spaces and a tight fit.
Insert the wooden dowels into the holes and countersink them just enough so that you can add wood filler to cover the holes.
I add a bit of the wood filler to the end of the wood dowel before it is inserted to make sure it has a solid connection at the end of the hole.
Add extra wood filler to cover the holes and allow them to dry. I gave it a quick sanding with my electric sander and Tadah! The leg is strong again and ready for paint.
Good as new! Don’t you just love a happy ending? For sure this one was a challenge but I get great satisfaction from these types of makeovers. This dresser also needed some chipped wood repair. CLICK HERE to see how I fixed that issue too. It was a HOT MESS! Do you have a favorite makeover that sticks in your mind? One that you spent days working on and then you didn’t have the heart to sell it so you kept it? LOL, I’ve been there many times. I’d love to hear your story. Feel free to share with me in the comments section or just send me a quick, HEY. I love hearing from you. Happy repairing!
Update on this dresser… It’s finished and I added a cool restoration hardware finish that looks amazing! CLICK HERE to see the completed look.
Until the next project… xo, Do