Dogs are loyal, loving companions, but are also notorious for being mischievous. While puppies often chew on furniture while teething, even adult dogs are known to chew off a chair leg or gnaw on dining tables, dressers, consoles and couches. This usually happens when the dog suffers from separation anxiety and is feeling frustrated, as the act of chewing pacifies and soothes a dog that is feeling anxious and trying to find an outlet for all the pent up energy.
It doesn’t really matter whether you are dealing with a puppy or an adult dog; the final result is always damaged, ruined furniture. So, how to repair furniture that has been chewed on by a dog? It can seem like a daunting task to repair wooden furniture that has chew or gnaw marks. However, it’s not difficult to repair the damages at home, without the need to hire professionals.
Always keep handy high quality wood filler. It can be molded to take the required shape and adheres easily to wooden furniture, hence seamlessly fixing any chewed off portions.
To begin repairs, make sure that you clean the chewed portions carefully. Since the surface could be chewed upon unevenly, you need to create a surface that is easier to work with. Use a scratch awl and remove any splintered pieces of wood to create a small recess that is at least ¼ of an inch.
To smoothen out jagged edges, scuff the area with 120 grit sandpaper. This will remove any pointed edges and also allow the putty to adhere to the furniture properly.
If the damage is substantial, use epoxy wood putty that is slightly lighter in color than the furniture. Using a putty knife, press the epoxy in to the recess created to cover the chew marks. If the damage is smaller, use the wood filler you have with an activator – one that comes in a squeeze tube. Mix the two together, and quickly fill up the damage. Make sure you work quickly as the filler will harden within a couple of minutes, and then become impossible to re-shape and re-fill. Make sure that you cover all edges and blend the filler with the furniture without leaving out any gaps.
Let the filler dry for about 20 minutes. Once it has adhered to the furniture and become a solid mass, use a sandpaper to again smoothen out the edges. The aim here is to create a seamless repair, where one cannot tell the actual wood apart from the filler for an immaculate finish. Once you have sanded the area and are satisfied with the repair, use a clean cloth to wipe off any dust particles before you apply the finishing coat.
Based on your furniture, you can either paint over the repair to blend it with the rest of the furniture or use a wood polish. If using paint, make sure you choose a color one shade lighter than the original paint. This is because, paint can darken after drying. Once the paint dries and you think it needs to be a shade darker to blend in perfectly, you can apply another coat. If all your furniture requires is a wood polish, use a poly brush and carefully cover the repairs for a flawless finish.
Thankfully, with the right approach and technique, it isn’t very difficult to repair furniture that has been chewed upon by a dog. It’s quite possible to restore the former glory of your furniture with these simple tips. However, your bigger concern should be your dog’s chewing habits. Until and unless you can correct that, you will invariably find your furniture destroyed all too often. According to experts, a healthy dog is a happy dog. Therefore, make sure that you feed your dog the highest quality dog food and also ensure that he/she gets lots of exercise to burn off all that excessive destructive energy.