Repairing Cracks in Wood Patio Chairs

Cracks in wood patio chairs mar the look of the furniture and can make the chairs more susceptible to damage from moisture and heat. This is why it is very important to fix cracks as they develop as opposed to letting them go for several years. While it may seem like a lot of work to fix a crack in a piece of wooden furniture, the process is really very simple.

Small Cracks

Repair small cracks and scratches with a wood putty stick. Find this stick at a home improvement store and select from a variety of wood tones. Pick a tone that is as close to your wood patio chairs’ finish as possible. Clean the crack or scratch by sliding a utility knife into the crack and scraping out splinters and rough pieces. Then rub the wood putty stick over the small crack until the putty fills the opening. Press the putty into the crack and level with your knife. Allow the putty to set and dry before you sand it down to be level with the wood.

Medium Cracks

For medium-sized cracks, turn to wood fillers or water putty. Wood fillers can either be clay-based or expandable foam. To use, just clean out the crack with your utility knife and apply the filler to the cracker. Fill above the level line of your wood patio chairs, and allow the filler to dry for at least 2 days before sanding smooth.

If you use a water putty, you will want to tint it with a stain or oil. Fill the crack with the water putty, allow it to dry and then sand smooth.

Another option is to use a shellac stick, especially if the crack is in a very visible place on your chairs, like an arm. To use a shellac stick, heat it with a smokeless flame, such as the flame of a propane torch. As it heats up, it will become pliable. Push the material into the crack and work with a heated utility knife. Trowel smooth with the knife and allow it to dry. Then you can sand the excess material off using a planer, or by working smooth with linseed oil and a number 0000 piece of steel wool.

Large Cracks

If there is a large crack in your wood patio chair, you will need to complete a patch job. To do this, clean the crack with your utility knife. Make the sides smooth and as straight as possible. Cut a piece of wood to fit inside of the crack. Apply carpenter’s glue to all of the edges and gently tap the wood patch into the crack. Wipe away any glue that is squeezed out of the crack.

Allow the glue to set for 24 hours. Then use wood putty to fill in the gaps between the plug and the chair’s original wood. Allow this to dry and cure, and then sand smooth and refinish the area.