Easy fix for chewed baseboards
Little nibbles to big bites- the fix is easy!
First comes the puppy; then comes the search for a fix for chewed baseboards. Anyone who’s welcomed a little puppy into their home has probably experienced that alarming moment when they realize that little Fido was born to chew: anything and everything. You may be traumatized further when you discover your beautiful leather shoes have become the latest in little poochy “chews.”
Still, love is taken to a whole new level when you find out that your adorable little puppy has spent an hour or two entertaining themselves by nibbling away on your 100-year-old baseboards. Before you know it, he’s moved onto the bottom corner of a door-perhaps another bit of baseboard and finished his hectic week off with a taste of the stairs.
You shouldn’t need to replace the chewed items
Most dogs grow out of the chewing stage, but it’s not unusual that the damage to baseboards, stairs & doors linger around for years. It’s also not uncommon for homeowners to overestimate the cost of repairing the damaged woodwork, deciding to deal with it when it’s time to sell. I’m always amazed at the number of buyers and sellers who think that the only solution is to replace the baseboard, door or stair tread.
The fix for chewed baseboards is is quick, easy and inexpensive
Baseboards, doors, railings and anything else wood are not hard to repair, but it does take some practice and patience. Unlike drywall fillers, wood filler products contain sawdust, have incredible bonding abilities on wood surfaces and are very easy to use. Once you get the knack of working with the wood filler, you’ll see how easy and affordable it is to make these repairs.
Puppy Wood Chew Repair Kit:
- wood filler (sold at any hardware store)
- putty knife
- 6″ section of 1/8th “wood doweling or a skinny pencil
- plastic ruler
- paint or stain to match the existing baseboard.
Chewed corners on decorative baseboards:
1) sand the damaged section of the baseboard until everything is flush with the non-damaged section; use medium grit sandpaper for this part. Make sure that you’ve sanded until there are are no loose pieces or splinters of wood.
There’s no need to sand it down to a smooth surface. Brush out any loose dust with an old toothbrush.
2) With your putty knife or finger, apply wood filler onto the area that’s missing. Don’t worry about being too exact. Use a thick straight edge like a plastic ruler to make sure the space you’ve filled will be in line with the rest of your baseboard or if it’s an outside corner, do the same on the other side.
3) While the wood filler is still soft to the touch, mould curves and edges with your ruler or dowel, then let dry according to product instructions.
4) Sand until smooth but if it’s not perfect, apply a bit more filler and repeat the sanding.
5) Stain or paint to match the existing baseboard.
Chewed Stair treads
1) Sand out loose material and any pieces that are sticking up above the natural line of the stair tread.
2) Apply a generous amount of wood filler. Use a putty knife or small trowel to spread the wood filler out over the chewed area.
3) Let dry and sand smooth with the rest of the baseboard.
4) Paint or stain to match existing stairs. (if you’re staining, you may have to experiment with your stain colour to get a near-perfect match)
For massive chunks out of stair railings or solid wood doors
Puppies come in different sizes, and thus, the size of their chewing projects vary. Also, some dogs take their puppy chewing habits well into adulthood, and the damage is much more extensive.
You can still make a quality repair with a well known product call “Bondo”. Bondo is an epoxy filler that requires mixing. It dries extremely fas . This type of repair can only be painted.
- Bondo (bought at most hardware stores)
- 100 grit sandpaper
- 200 grit sandpaper
- small palm sander for larger projects
- zip lock back
Another great product to use is “Woody” – more expensive than Bondo, but can be stained.
Instructions for large chewed areas
- prepare the area the same as you would for any other type of repair
- mix the Bondo according to instructions in the zip lock bag, but make only as much as you can use in 5 or 10 minutes
- Kneed the mixture in the bag until it’s fully mixed and the colour is consistent thru-out
- cut a 1/4 – 1/2 inch corner off of one of the lower corners of the bag
- squeeze the mixture into the area to be repaired making sure there are no void spaces
- using a straight edge, remove excess epoxy ensuring that there are no gaps or hollows
- let dry until no longer warm to the touch
- sand with 100 grit
- finish sanding with 200 grit
- top with 2 coats of paint
- The repaired area should be flush with existing baseboard, trim or door by laying a ruler or flat edge on it. For a beautiful invisible repair, make sure it’s perfectly flush.
- Select the correct wood filler product, depending if you need to paint or stain.
- Take your time. If you have a lot of damaged areas, there’s no need to repair them all in one day. Each repair will take you anywhere from half an hour to a couple of hours to finish correctly.
- Make these small repairs as part of your regular home maintenance and don’t wait until it’s time to sell!
Don’t wait until you’re getting ready to sell to fix chewed baseboards in your home. Enjoy your home by keeping a “chew repair kit” handy and repairing the damage as it happens. The true enjoyment will happen when you don’t have to use it anymore!