Repair That Missing Trim

6 Materials
$35
2 Hours
Medium

That beautiful treasure you found is almost perfect. The exception is, there are a few pieces of the filigree or trim missing. The odds are you will never find a match and it can be quite expensive to have a furniture repair service recreate something that you will paint over. Here is how we do it at

This decorative area of the drawer is missing
This method of repair is actually not difficult to do if you have the knowledge, the products and tools to do it. They are simple: PAM spray (any light oil will work), a hot glue gun, small can of auto bondo with hardener, stir/mixing sticks (I use popsicle sticks) and 120 grit sandpaper. I have included pictures along with the steps.

First, there has to be an area that matches the missing filigree or trim. In my case the piece to the left of my drawers of this mahogany buffet was the same as the pieces missing on the right.
Begin by spraying the right side of the piece you want to match with PAM spray. You can use any light oil. It is merely to help in releasing the mold you will make. Take the hot glue and cover the area you are matching completely.
When the glue cools, add several layers to build up the mold you are creating.
Once that area has totally cooled, carefully lift the mold you created.
Now for the next step, the Bondo. This happens fairly quick and make sure you are not distracted during this process as the bond sets up quickly. Auto Bondo can be purchased at any auto parts store. It comes in two parts. Using the ratio of the bondo, dip out what you think will fit into your mold. Now this part is where you need to have no distractions.  
Add the hardener and mix well using the stirring stick, then place the bondo into the mold and overfill just a bit.
Quickly place the mold in the area that is missing and press in place pushing out the excess. Let this sit and set up. usually 20 minutes.
It will be warm as it sets up and when it feels room temperature it has cured and is ready to remove the mold. Slowly lift up an edge and peel the mold away.
Scrape away and sand the area free of excess bondo, Clean up the oil and you are ready to paint. 
See how easy that was? You can use this same technique on may things, like Jacobean furniture, Caiibre feet, and endless areas that are missing.
Beautiful!
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 71 questions
  • Georgia Poulos
    Georgia Poulos
    on Mar 2, 2020

    I have a mirror that is missing the opposite side so it needs to be reversed. Any suggestions?

    • Joyce Williams
      Joyce Williams
      on Nov 4, 2020

      I watched a video where someone made the hot glue mould on the remaining side and then push it inside out to make a reverse mold. The mould split some but worked well enough to make a repair. Just more sanding of the bondo was needed to help it match. Good luck 🌺

  • Cindy
    Cindy
    on Oct 20, 2020

    What is the Bondo to hardener ratio

  • Tracie Belvin
    Tracie Belvin
    on Dec 10, 2020

    Can this be done on the legs where the foot has split in half?

    • Mike Macon
      Mike Macon
      on Dec 11, 2020

      Absolutely. Jacobean furniture is notorious for parts of the feet missing.

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