Furniture Prep – How to Fix a Broken Foot

Hello, friends

This is a quick post just to show you how I fixed the broken foot of this cedar chest I painted a couple of weeks ago.

I received several comments here and on my social media pages, asking me how I had fixed the broken foot, after all, it was not just a bad scratch. A big chunk of it was missing, which is a relatively common problem to find in old furniture.

Square broken foot

I have to admit that, before this chest, I had passed up some gorgeous pieces of furniture that were selling for a bargain, just because I didn’t know how I would solve this problem in a decent way. Then I read a couple of articles of people rebuilding old furniture ornate appliques (Thanks YouTube!) and it just occurred to me I could do the same thing with any missing part of a piece of furniture, as long as there was another identical part in the same piece that I could use to build a mold.

I searched a few options of materials online and ended up choosing silicon putty to make my mold.

Below is my video tutorial showing step by step to make this repair. I also made a video of the process, which I think you will find helpful.

Here are all the supplies I needed to rebuild this foot. I’m leaving some affiliate links* here in case you want to purchase them online.

I started by making my mold with EasyMold Silicone Putty. I chose this particular brand because it was pretty easy to use, but there are several other options available.

I mixed equal parts of the purple and white components until both colors blended completely. Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 10.01.29 AM

When my mix was ready,  I wrapped it around one of the good feet that I wanted to replicate.Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 10.11.54 AM

This putty takes about 25 minutes to cure. After that time, I just carefully removed it with my hands and my mold was ready.

Next, I prepared a good amount of Bondo wood filler and inserted it into my mold. You have to work pretty quickly because the Bondo mix starts drying in less than a minute.Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 10.14.29 AM

I poured my Bondo mix into my mold, then attached it firmly to the foot, holding it with painters tape.Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 10.43.48 AM I waited until the next day to remove it, to give the Bondo enough time to dry completely.

I detached the mold, then glued the newly built part to the broken foot.Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 10.16.40 AM

To be on the safe side, I clamped them tightly and waited 24 hours for the glue to dry so I could start sanding.

Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 10.21.20 AM

Then it was time to sand it to the shape I wanted. The Bondo wood filler dries as hard as wood so you can work with an electric sander for the most part.Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 10.23.34 AM

I used soft wood filler to do some touch-ups, then finalized using a 220 grit sandpaper to make the surface smooth and ready to paint.Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 10.25.23 AM

It is a time-consuming job, but depending on the piece you are working on, it is worth every minute.

This was the final result after the chest was ready.

Gray Cedar Chest-1-1

I hope this tutorial was helpful and, as always, let me know in the comments if you have any questions or even other tips for me.

Thanks for reading!

Pat.

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It all started in the spring of 2013. I realized how tired I was to see my house entirely decorated with IKEA stuff. Nothing against IKEA, but after 12 years, I just needed some change. I wanted stylish, original furniture, but noticed that everything I liked from retail stores was way out of my budget. Thanks to Google, Youtube, and a couple of amazing blogs, I was able to discover and explore the world of furniture refinishing, and it was the beginning of my addiction. I now spend my days rescuing old, dull, unwanted pieces of furniture to give them a fresh look so they can be displayed, used and loved again for many more years to come. Thanks for stopping by.

6 thoughts on “Furniture Prep – How to Fix a Broken Foot

  1. this is a wonderful tutorial and thanks for the accompanying video. Luckily, so far, when I’ve purchased a piece of furniture and a large portion of a foot was missing, the previous owners had been nice enough to put the broken off portion in a drawer. I doubt my luck holds up though and this will definitely come in handy. your tutorials are always so helpful, clear cut, to the point and easy to follow. I appreciate that you don’t include funky loud music in the background or 1/2 hour of extraneous chatter. Everything you include is always helpful information. Thanks again! Oh, and your completed piece is gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks so much Christie! I passed up too many beautiful pieces because of missing pieces, until I saw someone else doing this (it was a picture tutorial, not a video). Don’t you love that people share their tricks? I’m all for it and I hope you keep taking advantage and doing beautiful things too!

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  2. I love the finished piece. Will you please tell me about the painting techniques that you used on it to get such a unique finish.

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