Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>Yikes! Chips and scratches in the woodwork!
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Sioux City Bungalow
Yikes! Chips and scratches in the woodwork!

I have a 1918 Craftsman bungalow my wife and I are starting to restore. My problem has to do with damage to the trim around the doorways and some of the baseboards. There are numerous chips and scratches on the corners of the trim. I was told by the realtor when we bought the house that one of the previous owners or their child was disabled and their wheelchair or similar assistive device made the chips and scratches. My question is how do I repair the damage? The woodwork is stained a reddish oak and the scratches and chips are all the way through to either the original wood or an original lighter stain. Can I use colored wood putty or filler to repair these mark or is there another solution short of stripping the woodwork and refinishing it? Any suggestions would be helpful.

Re: Yikes! Chips and scratches in the woodwork!

You can restore, repair, fill dents, sand endlessly, paint, be frustrated...OR you can replace badly dented parts.

These parts are easy to replace, all you need: wreck bar, mitre saw, hammer, finish nails, putty, sand paper, primer and paint.

Re: Yikes! Chips and scratches in the woodwork!

You can try to gently sand any gauges and scratches and the try to match the stain, but they will still be visible. It all depend on how good a matching job you can do and your tolerance to still seeing the scratches.
Unless you are going to paint the trim, filling with wood putty will probably look even worse. I've never seen wood putty take stain like the wood adjacent to it. But you can try and if you don't like it you can replace it.
Pretty much what dj1 said.
Unfortunately the profile of the molding may not be available except as custom millwork.

Re: Yikes! Chips and scratches in the woodwork!

Such is the enigma of the old "restore or repair?" question. Repairs are easy in this case because the repair is replacement. Restoration implies that effort, cost, and time are not large concerns but perfection is. I'd carfefully remove the old moldings throughout the damaged areas and replace with what I could get that matches the character of the house. If some old areas will remain intact save the old moldings for possible future repairs in those areas- you can patch in damaged sections when you've got those old moldings. Your house and your call, but true restoration is usually reserved for only homes with great historical value, all the others will do fine with period-correct style moldings. Plus the new wood will be far easier to stain to match.


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