Mike Macon
Mike Macon
  • Hometalker
  • Hanceville, AL

Repair That Missing Trim

6 Materials
2 Hours

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.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 66 questions
  • Gidget
    on May 25, 2019

    I have an antique picture frame this will be perfect for! Did you consider using wood putty instead of bondo?

    • Tj A
      on Jun 15, 2019

      Simplest answer is to try it. You have little to lose. Air dry clay is very "delicate", meaning it will not take kindly to bumps and such, so factor that in. If it is a picture frame that gets touched by little more than a feather duster, I'd say yes. If it is a furniture moulding, it probably will not be worth the time. Might want to practice how it releases from the mold before getting too invested.

  • Sue
    on May 27, 2019

    Can the new piece be stained instead of painting?

    • Mike Macon
      on May 27, 2019

      Bondo does not accept stain. It would be a challenge to blend it in.

  • Debbie Ventimiglia
    on Jun 1, 2019

    This is ingenious! I applaud you on this inspired fix. Great job!

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