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.
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.
- Silicone Putty to make the mold
- Bondo Wood Filler
- Wood Glue
- Soft Wood Filler for touch-ups
- Electric sander and sandpaper
- Painters Tape
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.
When my mix was ready, I wrapped it around one of the good feet that I wanted to replicate.
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.
I poured my Bondo mix into my mold, then attached it firmly to the foot, holding it with painters tape. 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.
To be on the safe side, I clamped them tightly and waited 24 hours for the glue to dry so I could start sanding.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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