So, you clicked over to read this post and are saying to yourself, “Whaaat? How can I repair furniture with clay?” Yup. You read that right! Sometimes I will come across and absolute stunning piece, but it’s missing a tidbit here and there.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Sculpey or FIMO polymer clay in color of replacement piece (or as close as possible)
- polymer clay to make mold (you can use scrap)
- wood glue or E6000
- X-Acto knife
For this post, I’m using this vintage Thomasville sideboard/server as an example. I found this beauty at a thrift store and it had peeling veneer and some bumps and bruises. When I showed the clerk she knocked off $20. Yes!
After you have the clay ready to make the mold, you want to find a similar trim piece that is going to match the missing trim you’re replacing. I just went to the other side of the drawer and used the existing piece. *note: you’ll get a mirrored image when you do this, so keep that in mind when choosing your existing piece.*
Take a second and consider what you’re replacing. If you’re wanting to replace a stained colored piece, then use a similar colored clay. Likewise, for replacing a painted piece. Use a color that won’t show through your paint. Now, warm up your replacement clay as you did for the mold by massaging. Use enough to generously fill the mold. When it’s good and pliable, press it into the mold evenly.
Just a heads-up, you don’t want to make the replacement too thick (or deep). You’ll want to get that clay as flush to the top of that mold as possible, because that depth will affect the profile of your replacement. (ie, it will stick out farther than your existing pieces when you put it on)
*note: If you find your replacement piece is a bit wonky, just grab some 400 grit sandpaper and lightly buff until smooth.
When I started this piece, I just loved the grain in the drawer fronts and they were in such great shape that I couldn’t bear to paint.
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Also, more projects like this one on how to repair furniture: