How to Repair a Chair Arm

Chairs receive the most wear and tear on the arms.
Over time, it's likely they'll get scratch marks, cracks and weakened joints. Fortunately, most superficial damage can be easily fixed with a few products, saving hundreds of dollars of repairs at a professional woodworker's shop. Extend the life of your furniture with a few do-it-yourself methods, and be nice to your wallet at the same time.

Step 1

Survey the arm of the chair and observe scratches, cracks or loose joints.

Step 2

Purchase supplies according to your assessment of what needs to be fixed. If there are cracks, purchase wood filler or epoxy along with a wooden spatula or nylon brush to apply it.

Step 3

Clean the surface of the arm using wood cleaner. Allow to dry.

Step 4

Apply a furniture stripper to strip any finish or paint from the arm if you plan to repaint or refinish the piece. Wear safety glasses, gloves and crack open the windows for ventilation.

Step 5

Tighten any screws at the joints with a screwdriver. Or replace broken furniture pegs or nails. Tighten joints using wood glue.

Step 6

Sand off scratch marks using a fine-grit sandpaper.

Step 7

Finish with fresh paint, fresh polish, or refinish the piece with new wood stain matching the old color as closely as possible.

Things You Will Need

  • Gloves
  • Wood glue
  • Wood epoxy and spatula
  • Wood polish
  • Screwdriver (if needed)
  • Furniture stripper (optional)
  • Safety goggles (optional)
  • Sandpaper (optional, fine-grit)
  • Paint (optional)
  • Wood stain or finish (optional)


  • Use steel wool to get out deep scratch marks, followed by a fine-grit sandpaper.
  • If cracks are very large, consider replacing the entire arm or getting a piece custom-made to replace the arm.

About the Author

Anne Wilson is a writer and editor covering business and finance news, politics, issues affecting women and minorities, health, gardening, fashion and the environment. Most recently an associate editor for a nationally acclaimed magazine, Wilson also worked for The Associated Press and as a daily news reporter for several years. She has lived in California her entire life.