Common Furniture Problems and Fixes

There are many problems that can come up when you have older furniture. Even newer furniture can be damaged by wear, usage, children, pets, and more. Check out this guide to the most common furniture problems and fixes that you can DIY.


There are a lot of ways a piece of furniture can become scratched. This can happen through regular wear and tear and many other methods. Scratches can make even the most beautiful piece of furniture look cheap. Getting scratches out can be a difficult process, especially on stained wooden furniture. You have to strip off the stain over the scratch, sand down the scratch, and then you have to restain the area with the same stain. With upholstery that is scratched, you may have to completely reupholster the item. You may also be able to get out some scratched upholstery by taking a razor blade and running it along the tear—this works for very small and subtle tears.

Water stains

Wooden furniture is very susceptible to water stains. Water stains can happen from something as simple as condensation from a glass. When water spends more than a few minutes on a wooden surface, it can form water damage. Learning how to remove water stains from wood furniture is key to maintaining your furniture pieces, especially coffee tables, dining tables, and end tables where glasses are more likely to be placed down. It’s also important to prevent water stains by using items such as coasters, tablecloths, and glass table toppers. Water stains can be removed when still fresh by a few methods, with the most effective method being to strip and retain the entire furniture piece

Defective hardware

Have you ever pulled a drawer only for the handle to fall off? Or have you ever twisted a knob and it got stuck? These are very common issues that develop in furniture over time. If you have furniture with defective hardware, the fix is pretty simple. The easiest fix is to get new hardware, uninstall the current hardware, and replace it with newer items. If you’re attached to the hardware or like the way it looks as it is, you can simply remove the hardware and check the screws to see if they’ve been stripped. This is most often the cause. Simply replace this with a new screw and consider making a new hole for the screw. Make sure that the new hole is close enough to the old hole that it won’t show but still far enough away that the holes won’t merge.

There are a lot of ways to fix some of the most common household furniture problems—you just have to set aside a little time and energy.

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