How to Fix Loose Chair Legs? – A Very Useful Guide

how to fix loose chair legs

A chair is one of the most used furniture pieces. Whether you are using the chair at your home or office, it suffers a lot of pulls and pushes. Result – after some years, the chair might start to wobble because of loose legs.

You might not feel uncomfortable on a chair with loose legs, but it’s a risk. So, we suggest that you find a way to fix such a problem. Fixing a wooden chair is not a trouble if you are not a newcomer. Let’s discuss how to fix loose chair legs?

Most of the users try and repair a chair, but they generally fail. They either don’t fix the problem or make it even worse. However, if you follow the correct process, the chair will last for a long time.


How to fix loose chair legs?

Required materials for this process.

  • 120 grit sandpaper
  • Wooden glue
  • Artist brush
  • Rubber mallet
  • Driller or Impact driver


Initial preparation

Spread a working cloth or newspapers on a counter. Flip the chair and you will notice that its joints are loose. You will see screws in each of the wooden legs. It’s a general setting wherein the legs to the seat or rails are attached using metal screws, which is wrong. Do you know why? Because the metal and wood will fight with each other due to the constant movement on the chair. Most of the time metal wins and ends up wearing out the joint and loosening it prematurely.

Take out the legs

Use an impact driver or driller to remove all the screws. Then, take out the legs. Do not try to take the entire frame apart. Instead, pull the legs one by one. Keep your grim firm, and do not apply too much physical strength.

Label the parts

We recommend that you label those components, especially if you taking a chair apart for the first time. So, prepare some small tags naming the front left leg and frond right leg. Plus, use a couple of chits to mark the seat. Use the label naming right and front, so that you don’t mismatch the parts.

Remove the old glue

Check all the tenons, and you might notice paint on them, which means they were not stuck. And it’s easy to understand why. Wooden glue needs a clean surface on both sides, pressure, and a tight joint to hold. Check inside one of the holes, and you might notice that yellow shades, which are bare wood. It means, there wasn’t any glue to hold the leg together.

Clean the old glue to make sure that you can get some bare wood for the new glue to stick to. Use a chisel to clean it. Break those glue pieces so that you can get a clean surface. If you don’t have a chisel, then use a utility knife for this step.

Sand the holes

The next step is to take sandpaper. Use a small piece of 120 grit sandpaper, roll it back because you need to sand inside the holes. This step will remove all the residue glues so that the new glue can work properly. So, run the paper inside the holes one by one. Be careful and do not sand too much. Otherwise, the joint will become loose.

You have to follow the same steps on the top of the legs. Remove any paint and glue residue using sandpaper. Now, both the components are ready to stick together.

Apply new wooden glue

Wood glue needs four things to work properly: clean surfaces, tight joints, the right amount of adhesive applied, and clamping pressure. If any one of these four factors is missing, then there are chances that the joint will fail prematurely. So, keep these points in mind while following this step.

You can use an artist brush to spread the glue. It allows you to get in all the crannies and nooks to cover everything. Start putting wooden glue in the holes. The joints will not remain stable for long if you don’t apply the glue properly. So, use the brush to cover all the surfaces inside the hole. Make sure there are no dry spots. You can leave the bottom of the hole but cover its edges.

Repeat the same steps in all four holes and move on to the legs. You can use regular glue or carpenter’s glue. But, do not use polyurethane glues.

Insert the legs

The next step is to insert the legs. Put the front legs inside and then the back ones. Make sure they are at the right angle. Seat these legs into the chair using a rubber mallet. Hit the end square with the mallet and align the things.

When gluing a chair, ensure that you complete the process quickly because the glue can dry out fast. The setup time depends upon the epoxy, which varies between 5 to 20 minutes.

Apply some clamping pressure

After inserting the legs, put the chair in its original position. Place some padding on the seat and lay something heavy on it. This step will settle down the legs when the glue dries.

Wait for the glue to dry. Use the chair, and you will notice that its legs are not loose anymore. Instead, the chair is rock solid and will last for at least a couple of decades. Glue does break down after a while, but it’s something that you can easily fix.

Add some right-angle corner braces

If tightening all the legs is not successful, then try some right-angled corner braces. You can get these components from Amazon or a local hardware/home improvement shop. It’s better to choose a paintable brace so that you can change its color according to the chair.

Drill holes on the legs and seat as per the brace. You can use a drill for this step. Place a brace where each leg meets. Bend them if required, because you don’t have to leave any space between the chair and brace.


Other FAQs

How to fix loose rungs on a chair?

Use wood glue to fix loose rungs. Follow the given steps

  • Remove the old adhesive.
  • Sand both the ends of all the rugs and their respective holes. You can use 120 grit sandpaper paper.
  • Use an artist brush to apply wooden glue into the holes.
  • Insert the rungs one by one.
  • Once the chair is ready, it’s better to apply some pressure using a heavy object.

What if pieces are coming apart from the chair?

If you notice that the chair is separating at the joint where two wooden pieces are connected, then use flat corner braces to fix keep them together. You can get it from Amazon or a local hardware store.

Place the braces on the back, so that it cannot be a spoilsport. Put them over the thickest joints, so that their screws can get what they need. Use clamps to keep the braces tight. Drill holes using a driller and insert the screws.

How to remove scratches from a chair?

Do not use fillers or markers to get rid of those pesky scratches from your chair. You will waste a lot of time in hit and trial to get the correct match. So, it’s better to try a finishing wax. Pick a clear wax or something that matches the color of your chair. The wax will remove all the minor scratches to make your chair smooth.


Final talk

We hope now you know how to fix loose chair legs. Don’t forget to mark the components, so that you can easily put everything back without any hassles. We suggest that you leave the chair to dry for up to 4 hours. Following the above-mentioned steps will make your chair rock solid for many more years to come. However, if you think that the chair is damaged, contact an expert for help.

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