Dresser attacked by toddler

I have been asked to repair this dresser that was attacked by a teething toddler...lol. Any suggestions?
q repairing a scratched dresser, home maintenance repairs, how to, painted furniture, woodworking projects
  26 answers
  • Pgl Pgl on Jan 29, 2015
    Lightly sand the teething area, go to hardware store and get a touch up pen that matches the stain. You will probably need to apply 2 coats then polyurethane area with a matching gloss poly.

  • C C on Jan 29, 2015
    First & most important question is...... Are you just repairing the nawed areas? or are you painting the whole piece?

  • Debbie Debbie on Jan 29, 2015
    For now, I just want to repair the nawed areas. I could use wood filler but the toddler actually ate away portions of the top edges. How would I fix that?

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jan 29, 2015
    How did a toothing kid ever get this high up to gnaw the top??? Personally, I'd take a band sander to the top edge and square it off.

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    • Elaine Elaine on Aug 21, 2016
      That's what I was wondering, Marion. I didn't see your comment until after I sent mine. It looks like a Canadian beaver got REAL hungry!! lol!

  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Jan 29, 2015
    @Debbie I am not sure you can get away with a patch work refinishing, but possibly. If you try a hand sanding first and take one of the drawers into a paint store they may be able to help you match the stain. Other wise you may have to do the whole dresser. Do let us know what works for you. This type of chewing on wood is more common than most would think. My parents had friends - that we consider an aunt and her kids cousins, living with us. The daughter chewed on every accessible wood piece - window frames, bunk beds etc. Can't remember if parents fixed it or not I was quite young.

    • Debbie Debbie on Jan 30, 2015
      @Gail Salminen Thank you so much for the advise Gail!

  • Priscilla G Priscilla G on Jan 30, 2015
    I had a puppy chew up and almost remove a strip off my fireplace, was unable to remove the bad wood, so I got wood filler and little by little build the wood piece back up rough looking and over build then was able to take a small hand sander to smooth out then painted it. Looks like new.

    • Debbie Debbie on Jan 30, 2015
      @Priscilla G Sounds like a great plan to me. Thanks for the help!

  • Paticia G Paticia G on Jan 30, 2015
    I would stay clear of that child !

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    • Elaine Elaine on Aug 21, 2016
      I can't quit laughing!! I still say a beaver got at it! How the heck does a teething toddler get up that high? Wouldn't a child be past teething if they can reach that far up to gnaw on the top of a dresser.

  • OnBlissStreet OnBlissStreet on Jan 30, 2015
    Omg, that looks like a badger chewed that up not a child! Maybe he'll poop out a wood sculpture. Okay, that is definitely going to need some heavy duty sanding. I would use a band sander because the orbital sander will leave the little circles.

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    • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jan 31, 2015
      @OnBlissStreet Am still laughing at your witty remarks!

  • Lisa B. Lisa B. on Jan 30, 2015
    I agree with Priscilla. A gradual build with layers of wood filler, then sanded smooth. That is definitely the only solution for the drawer. I wonder if you could add some moulding around the top to conceal the damage? It would give it a "tray" feel/look.

  • Katrina Warren Katrina Warren on Jan 30, 2015
    You might want to be careful about what you use to repair the damage with IF there is any chance the toddler might decide to use it for a teething ring again!!! Wow!!!

    • Debbie Debbie on Jan 30, 2015
      @Katrina Warren I believe my friends toddler is beyond that stage...thankfully. I worried about that too. Thanks!

  • Wanda.ll Wanda.ll on Jan 30, 2015
    Heck just do some more destressing and restain. Why worry might happen again sometime soon. You also might see if child has some kind of (vitaman defencity sorry misspelled).He /she might need some mineral they are getting.

  • Renee Confere Renee Confere on Jan 30, 2015
    car BONDO that they use in body shops

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    • OnBlissStreet OnBlissStreet on Jan 31, 2015
      @Renee Confere I just read a post where someone used bondo for repair. My dad owns a body shop so I asked him if I could have some and he replied, "I don't use that here." Well, puh to him!

  • Anna Le Blanc Anna Le Blanc on Jan 30, 2015
    Sanding the piece seems to be the best solution. My dog did that to my living and dining room furniture when she was a puppy.

  • Lee Lee on Jan 30, 2015
    I would decoupage the desser. Cheap, easy and really fun to do. Just finished decougage on my tv cabinet using fabric. I had never done this before, but it was easy. Hides a multitude of scratches and gouges, especially using fabric. Pinterest is full of photos of furniture re-dos using this method. You can use not just fabric, but wrapping paper, wallpaper, etc. The best part for me was I finished the project in 2 days.

  • Kerry Kerry on Jan 30, 2015
    I'd refinish the whole dresser to a distressed style. I'd fill some of the bad stuff and paint it. Then I would distress the edges, incorporating some of the marks into the finish.

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    • Mary Tonningsen Mary Tonningsen on Feb 15, 2015
      @Debbie Put the kid to work distressing the rest of the dresser for you! Make him pay for the damage he did, LOL!! :)

  • Ctr1211578 Ctr1211578 on Jan 30, 2015
    I would use chalk paint and scuff it up to look distressed the put on minwax clear. I

  • Ctr1211578 Ctr1211578 on Jan 30, 2015
    Chalk paint has so much forgiveness. You can google the receipt. I use it on my kitchen cabinets. You can make it shabby chic. I love chalk paint as there is no sanding required.

  • Barb Burnham Barb Burnham on Jan 30, 2015
    I would put a molding around the edge and paint it and the top. If the drawers are the same size put the top one on the bottom. If not leave where it is. Take the drawer front off and turn it upside down so the bad edge is on the bottom. Refinish the cabinet using Restore and 0000 steel wool. It loosens the existing finished and color, blends it with the product color and wipes off. No sanding or terrible chemical involved. Or paint the bottom a different color that goes with the room and the top black as an accent. No way I would go thru woodfiller or bondo for this job. I am sure whatever choice you make you will do fine and love it.

    • Debbie Debbie on Feb 02, 2015
      @Barb Burnham Thank you very much Barb. I agree with less work is better. I'm afraid my friends are looking for a miracle worker on this project. I will have to try and talk them out of it and go with a brand new look. :-)

  • Candeelyn Candeelyn on Jan 30, 2015
    Is it real wood? It's hard to tell from the pic but I have a recipe a friend gave me once to clean up an old piano. Mix equal parts mineral spirits and deionized alcohol . use very fine (0000) steel wool , dip in mixture and wipe the wood. wipe in direction of the grain. Go over with old t shirt after, Works well to blend and make scratches and digs "disappear." Very easy to do. Otherwise I would use some type of distressing or decoupage.

    • Debbie Debbie on Feb 02, 2015
      @Candeelyn Wow. That sounds like a great recipe. I will definitely have to give that a try! Thanks.

  • PattyV PattyV on Jan 30, 2015
    Forget heavy sanding. Use a router to create a new edge on everything and then paint.

  • Aileen Aileen on Jan 31, 2015
    I'm afraid I don't have a solution, but you reminded me of the kitchen table and chairs my mum and dad had for years which had a gouge out of the arm of one of the chairs and part of the table for years courtesy of my (now 34 year old) sister when her teeth started coming in! They left it as-is and my dad reminded her about it for years after!

  • BONNIE J BONNIE J on Feb 01, 2015

  • Pat G Pat G on Feb 20, 2015
    It would help a lot to just stain the affected area to match the rest. There is only a little damage to the wood.

  • Elaine Elaine on Aug 21, 2016
    Wow, that toddler sure had strong teeth and she/he must have been rather tall to reach up that high to gnaw on the dresser like that! It looks like a hungry beaver went to town on it! lol. It's hard to tell from the photos how deep those bite marks go in - if they're not too deep, a stain would help camouflage them. I've had great luck with various colored brown markers. It looks to me, though, as there are chunks out of the wood in which case, you need to use wood filler, sand it down then restain. Can you, perhaps, paint it instead ... then distress it with antique wax or gel then the gouges and teething marks would look in keeping with the distressed look.

  • Elaine Elaine on Aug 21, 2016
    PS: just a postscript, don't repair it until that toddler is done teething!

  • Priscilla G Priscilla G on Aug 22, 2016
    Debbie, I had a place where my daughter's puppy chewed up, I sanded and stripped area then had to go back and rebuild the strip using wood putty. I took several months of building and sanding until it was totally filled in and un noticeable. Once it was filled and sanded then had some stain the same color and re did that area, let it set to dry several weeks as a final touch used a light coat of polyuthrene to finish....hope this was of help.