How to Repair a Wobbly Wooden Chair Back

By Jonah Morrissey

A wobbly chair back can be dangerous if someone leans back against it and the back breaks off. Prevent potential injury to your family and damage to your chairs by repairing the wobbly chair backs in your home. To make the repair, you will need to carefully remove the chair back, re-glue the joints and reassemble the back. Take your time to avoid damaging the chair.

List of Items Needed

  • Rubber mallet
  • Fine-grit sander
  • Cotton swabs
  • Cup with water
  • Wood glue
  • Strap clamps
  1. Separate the chair back from the seat using a rubber mallet. Tap the chair back gently until the joints of the back come apart from the seat. Take your time and don't force any of the parts.

  2. Sand the glue on the chair back parts at the ends of the joints, until bare wood is exposed. Use a fine-grit sander.

  3. Dip cotton swabs in a cup of water and swab around the ends of the chair back parts until they are wet. The wood will swell and allow you to make a tight repair.

  4. Spread wood glue on the the ends of the chair back parts and around the insides of the joints where the ends are inserted on the seat. Use cotton swabs and apply the glue liberally.

  5. Fit the chair back parts into the seat and press the joints together firmly. Secure two evenly spaced strap clamps around the chair back and seat to hold the glued joints tight while the glue dries. Allow the glue to dry for 24 hours. Remove the straps.

Tips and Warnings

  • Check chairs periodically for loose backs and make repairs as needed.
  • Wear eye protection when working with wood furniture.

© Demand Media 2011