Anyone who’s welcomed a little puppy into their home has probably experienced that exciting moment when they realize that little Fido was born to chew; anything and everything. It may be devastating enough when you discover your beautiful leather shoes have been turned into little poochies “chews”, but love is taken to a whole new level when you discover that your adorable little puppy has spent an hour or two nibbling away at 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.
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 unusual for homeowners to overestimate the cost of repairing this type of damage and leave dealing with it until it’s time to sell. If you’re a homeowner who doesn’t quite know what to do with the gouges out of your woodwork, rest assured, you’re not alone. Rest assured, there is an easy fix for chewed baseboards, stairs or anything else made from wood and it’s easier than trying to fix the chewed leather on your shoes!
Baseboards, doors, railings and anything else wood are not difficult to repair, but it does take some practice and patience. Unlike drywall fillers, wood filler products actually contain wood, have incredible bonding abilities on wood surfaces and are very easy to work with. 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 “doweling or very thin pencil)
- plastic ruler
- paint or stain to match 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 a medium sandpaper for this part. Make sure that you’ve sanded until there are no loose pieces , but there’s no need to smooth down to a smooth surface. Your dog has usually made sure that only the wood is exposed. 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 area you’ve filled will be in line with the rest of your baseboard. If it’s an outside corner, so the same on the other side.
3) Before the wood filler is completely hard, mold curves and edges with your ruler or dowel. Let dry according to product instructions
4) Sand until smooth- if it’s not perfect, apply a bit more filler and repeat the sanding.
5) Stain or paint to match 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 generous amount of wood filler. Use putty knife or small trowel to spread filler out over chewed area.
3) Let dry and sand smooth with rest of baseboard.
4) Paint or stain to match existing stairs. (if you’re staining, you may have to experiment with your stain color to get a near perfect match)
- make sure the repair area is finished 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. This will depend on whether your baseboard is stained or painted.
- 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 hours to properly finish.
- make these small repairs part of your regular home maintenance and don’t wait until it’s time to sell!