Finally Fix That Obnoxious Wobbly Wooden Chair

It’s easy to forget about a wobbly chair until a visitor gets stuck with it and highlights your incompetence with an offhand remark. If you’ve got a chair like that but have never mustered the time or will to fix it, maybe learning about how it’s done will give you the encouragement you need.

In a 2009 post, Dave the How To Guy gives you two ways to fix a wobbly wooden chair. The first method is the more effective but also arduous. You take apart the loose pieces of the chair, softening old glue with vinegar, before piecing it back together with fresh glue. Then you clamp the pieces together, holding the pressure for 30 minutes before letting it dry overnight.

A quicker fix involves sprinkling a fine powder — such as baking soda, talcum powder or coffee grounds — in a loose joint, then adding glue to solidify the previously wobbly area.

Even if you can’t eliminate the wobble, it’s usually worth trying to fix the chair before you throw it out and get a new one.

How To Fix A Wobbly Chair [Dave the How To Guy]


Edit Your Comment

  1. HSVhockey says:

    Gorilla glue. Done. Next article in the rss philter results please.

  2. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    Carpenter’s glue isn’t strong enough and I’ve found Gorilla Glue to be so-so (and messy). Loc-Tite, WonderLok or a similar type of super-super glue works extremely well in my experience.

  3. Cat says:


  4. Diabolos needs more socks says:

    All well and good, EXCEPT if it’s the perp’s chair in an interrogation room.

  5. Quirk Sugarplum says:

    If you could just see through your discount contacts, you’d be able to use a toothbrush to shim the chair leg and then – after carefully washing your hands – sit down to pick your winning lottery numbers and watch some basketball on TV while your diet pills took effect

    • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

      1d20 + 7 Daily Summary Bonus
      You use intimidation.
      You roll a 1.
      You poop your own pants.

  6. webweazel says:

    Furniture repair pro here-

    One thing to consider– if EVERY joint on an item is even slightly wobbly, don’t try to fix just one, you have to fix them all. Otherwise, it will just fail again very quickly.

    If the joint is loose/large enough you could actually get any kind of powder inside of it- take it apart and reglue it. Nothing else will work. Use a two-part epoxy if the gap is somewhat wide, otherwise basic Titebond wood glue. Scrape off any existing glue residue and make sure the joint is clean and dry. Glue, clamp and let dry overnight.

    You really can’t use talcum powder or baking soda, etc. It can ruin the properties of the glue itself, causing early failure of the joint again. You CAN use wood flour which is the dust resulting from sanding the (bare) wood. Lightly sand a hidden spot of bare wood on the item, collect the dust and mix a small amount into the wood glue (or epoxy) and apply. It can help to fill small gaps without altering the glue in any way. The other bonus is it can be stained later to match as it has the same wood in it, but only mixed in the wood glue. It won’t stain later in epoxy.

    If the joint looks pretty solid with no gaps but is just loose, turn the furniture so the “cup” of the joint faces upwards like a coffee mug, and apply SUPER-THIN crazy glue. (can be bought at a craft store) The super-thin variety will distribute around the joint by capillary action. Drip tiny amounts very slowly into the joint all around it until it cannot absorb any more. Let it dry overnight before putting the furniture back into use. This process is quick & easy and will buy you a few more years of use. It is not a permanent fix.

    You can combine the two above procedures on one piece of furniture. Reglue or epoxy the worst parts, and super-thin crazy glue the more solid areas.

    • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

      Wait, are you suggesting Phil provided bad advice? SAY IT AINT SO!?!?

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      Thanks for the tips- especially about making sure to address ALL of the joints. It makes since, but that probably would not have occurred to me naturally.

    • Emperor Norton I says:

      No, the best way is to use a fox wedge.

  7. chemmy says:

    Pour some Tussin on it!

  8. MichaelRyanSD says:

    If you were a wobbly chair, would you care that Phil from consumerist was giving out bad advice on how to fix you?

  9. dicobalt says:

    Glue? What are you guys smoking? Screw some braces into the frame geez.