You are currently viewing How to Repair a Wobbly Chair

Do you have a wobbly chair or table? Don’t throw it out! Today we are going to show you How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Table. In fact, this quick and easy furniture repair can be done without any special tools. Not only is this step by step tutorial easy to follow, but when you try it, you will be amazed that it took no time at all.

Furniture Repair

Alright, you know that Steph and I love thrifting, shopping garage sales and vintage markets. It is one of our favorite past times!

💕 We love finding a discarded piece of furniture, giving it some love and turning it into a treasure. It’s the perfect DIY!

I found a pair of chairs at a yard sale for $5.  The patina on these chairs was absolutely amazing! Keeping the natural wood finish, I just cleaned them up and changed the upholstery on the seats. However, over time some of the joints on one of the chairs became loose. 

As wood ages, it dries out and contracts. Because of this, often joints of old wooden furniture become loose. This is what happened with my chair.  The side stretchers became loose where they join the legs. However, these joints can easily be repaired.

Don’t miss the video tutorial! See the chairs transform from start to finish. 👇

These chairs have been in use in my craft room for awhile, even though one really needed repair. Luckily I didn’t end up flat on the floor! 🤪

As you can see, the joint is loose where the side stretcher fits into the leg. Notice, it had also begun to separate up by the seat.

I knew it was time for a repair. I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to it, because the actual re-gluing only took about 10 minutes.

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. See our disclosure for details.

For this furniture repair project you will need a couple of items:

Repair Wobbly Chair Step 1: Glue

Examine the chair for any other loose joints. You will want to repair them all at the same time.

Pull apart the loose joints of the chair. Apply wood glue into the hole, then push the piece back into the hole.

With a damp cloth wipe off any excess glue.

Note: Don’t let excess glue dry, it is very difficult to remove once dry. Believe me, been there, done that. 😉

There was an area near the seat that was starting to separate. In fact, the joint itself was still tight enough that it would not come fully apart. Nevertheless, I wanted to secure this area while I was repairing the chair. With this in mind, I used a small paint brush, then worked the wood glue into the joint.

Once again, remove any excess glue with a damp cloth.

Repair Wobbly Chair Step 2: Secure Joints

Now secure the joints either with straps, rope or a clamp while the glue dries. The side stretcher joints were easily secured with a strap.

However, it was difficult to get the strap tight enough to pull the joint near the seat together. I tried tapping it with a rubber mallet and I still couldn’t get it tight enough. So, in order to pull that joint together I used a 24″ clamp.

Leave the straps or clamps on the piece until the glue is cured. Let it sit overnight before removing the straps.

This really is a quick fix! It only took about 10 minutes to apply the glue and secure it with the straps.

While I was giving this chair some love, I decided to freshen up the wood finish with some “Old English Scratch Cover.”

How to Make the Finish Beautiful Again:

Wood finishes can easily dry out with the dry winter air. This hack will restore a wood finish by adding oils back into the wood. Old English scratch cover helps restore damaged wood surfaces. It not only adds moisture to the wood with oil, but it also covers small scratches and imperfections on dark wood furniture. There is also an Old English scratch cover for lighter woods as well.

How to Apply:

Shake well before using. Apply a small amount of Old English Scratch Cover on a soft cloth, then wipe scratches and nicks. Then apply over the entire surface.

Let sit for 20-30 minutes to allow it to penetrate into the wood. Wipe dry with a clean cloth. Avoid contact with carpeting, upholstery, curtains and other fabrics. 

If you are curious how it will work on your wood surface, test on an inconspicuous area first.

I have been using Old English Scratch Cover for nearly 40 years. It is a great way to give your wooden finishes some love.

Reupholster a Chair Step 1: Remove Old Fabric

Upholstery supplies needed:

Now the upholstery on these chairs was fine. However, one of the seats was sagging a bit. So in my mind, it was the perfect time to update the fabric, as well as fix the sagging seat.

Begin by removing all of the staples securing the fabric on the chair seat. This little tack remover tool works great for this. A small screw driver may also work.

Reupholster a Chair Step 2: Tighten Webbing

Once all the fabric was removed I could see that the upholstery webbing had stretched over the years.

Once again, using the tack remover tool, I removed the small nails holding the burlap in place, as well as the upholstery webbing on 2 of the sides.

Pulling the upholstery webbing taut, secure it in place with the staple gun. I then folded over the excess length and stapled it down.

Secure the burlap covering over the upholstery webbing. Then replace the padding.

Do you love the animal print decor trend right now?  I am wild about it! 😂 There are some amazing animal prints available out there and they feel so luxurious.  I found this amazing Cheetah print and thought it would be fabulous on my chairs.

Reupholster a Chair Step 3: New Fabric

Cut the new fabric about 4″ to 5″ larger than the seat of the chair. This doesn’t need to be exact. We will trim it later.

Begin by wrapping the fabric around the front of the seat and staple in place. Start in the middle and work your way out towards the corners, until about 2″ from the corners.

Turn the chair around and repeat for the back edge of the seat. Again start in the center and pull the fabric taut and staple in place. Work your way out from the center to within 2″ of the corners on each side.

Repeat for each side the same way. The fabric is now secured all the way around except for about 2″ on each side at the corners.

Reupholster a Chair Step 4: The Corners

Notice the corner of my chair has a notch cut out of the wood. This is where it will snugly fit into the frame of my chair. Most chairs will not look like this. This is the first time I have seen the seat frame look this way.

To make a neat corner, pull the corner fabric back at an angle (see photo 2), secure in place with a staple. Trim excess fabric as necessary.

Then fold back one of the sides at the corner (see photo 3), and secure with a staple.

Continue securing that side with staples. Then fold back the fabric on the other side of that corner. Again secure with staples and continue along that side.

Repeat for all 4 corners.

Trim off excess fabric and replace the cushion.

Well, that’s it! Not only did we have a tutorial on How to Repair a Wobbly Chair, but restoring a finish with Old English and a quick little tutorial on re-upholstery.

Make sure to take a look at the video tutorial for more close up shots on How to Repair a Wobbly Chair as well as the re-upholstery.

Furniture Repair

What do you think of my chairs? Are you crazy about the animal print? I’m not going to lie, I’m WILD about them. Don’t be surprised if you see more animal print coming soon. 😉

Furniture Repair

Do you have a wobbly chair you are going to fix now?! How about trying a simple re-upholstery on some chairs?

Thanks for spending some time with us today! We hope you found this tutorial helpful, and received a little inspiration to kick off your own projects!

We would appreciate it if you would PIN IT and Share! Sharing helps our website grow!

We hope you have a great day!

And as always here at Sunny Side Design


Looking for more ideas for refreshing vintage finds, then check out this dresser refresh.

See how we used vintage croquet mallets and scrap wood and created this blanket ladder.

For more budget friendly DIY ideas follow us on Pinterest.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Jackson Elizabeth

    This technique won’t work if there’s adhesive from a previous repair on the joint; it creates an undesirable surface on which to spread new glue. And this works only for chairs with parts that are thick enough or wide enough to withstand the amount of wood that is removed when a pocket hole is bored. Finally, don’t use this method on an antique; you could diminish its value. With a chair that has a number of severely loose joints, label all the parts with masking tape, then disassemble them using a clamp with a reversible jaw, known as a spreader. After you have the parts separated, carefully scrape away the dried adhesive, then repair, rebuild, and reinforce the joints. Finally, reassemble the chair using professional-quality wood glue. If you’re not an experienced woodworker, take a course at a community college or craft center before undertaking this project.

Leave a Reply