How to Stop a Chair From Creaking

By Edwin Thomas

An old wood chair is often a pleasure to own, but old wood chairs are often synonymous with creaking. Whether the chair is a stout oak desk chair or a comfortable old rocker, the chair gradually weakens and separates at the joints over time, contributing the the creaking. Sometimes that creaking is an early warning sign of structural problems, so fixing the creaks extends the life of the chair, as well as making it more pleasant to use. How to proceed depends greatly on how your chair was put together.

List of Items Needed

  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement screws
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Replacement penny nails
  • Hammer
  • Wood glue
  • Wood putty
  • Bowl
  • Putty knife
  • Handheld rotary tool with 240-grit sanding disc accessory
  1. Examine the chair to determine both what is used to hold it together and where the joints are loose or separating.

  2. Look for loose screws. Usually these can be fixed by tightening with a screwdriver, but if the screw hole has been stripped, you will need to drive a new screw of the next largest size. Do not drill a new hole, since the old stripped hole serves as a ready-made pilot hole.

  3. Replace loose nails by extracting the existing penny nail with needle-nose pliers, and driving in a new penny nail of the next larger size with a hammer. Use taps to drive the fresh nail in, since there is already a nail hole and you don't want to damage the woodwork of the chair.

  4. Refasten separated joints held together by glue with a wood glue and wood putty compound. Mix the wood glue with a small dab of wood putty in a bowl and apply it with a putty knife. The addition of a small amount of wood putty to the glue will prevent the glue from running. Smear the separated space with the compound and push it closed, holding it shut either by positioning the chair so the chair's weight does the job or through the use of a clamp.

  5. Sand the separated joints that were fastened and filled with glue and putty with a handheld rotary tool fitted with a 240-grit sanding disc or a hand sanding block with similar sandpaper. Blend the glue-putty to a smooth, even finish with the surrounding wood.

© Demand Media 2011