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While assembling a recently bought table, the top board fell down onto the floor due to my clumsiness. The result of which was a chipped corner, breaking the white varnishing and exposing what looks like medium or high density fiberboard.

Broken Corner

How can I restore the filling and varnishing so that it looks closest to the original condition?

Here's what an intact corner looks like:

enter image description here

  • It looks like the corner is hollow - if so, was it the fall that broke the wood inside or was it defective when you bought it? – Andrew Morton May 2 at 15:42
  • I'll leave the comment in case it helps anyone else - IKEA uses the exact same manufacturing process. A filler like Bondo might be a better bet than a wood style filler since it is a plastic surface you are trying to match. – JPhi1618 May 2 at 15:42
  • @AndrewMorton It was the fall that broke it, I blew on it to remove the wood dust that was loose inside which is why it looks hollow. – technical_difficulty May 2 at 15:49
  • If you can find a white epoxy you can probably build it back up in a few layers. Clean out the loose material first, then apply a bit at a time. With patience and care you might get a good finish. – isherwood May 2 at 15:52
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That's more than just "varnish". It is some sort of thin material, most likely plastic laminate or similar. You can't just "patch it" beyond the tiniest of holes or cracks - and that damage is far beyond that.

I suggest getting something either really similar color or nicely contrasting to use as a corner bumper/guard. If you put it on all 4 corners then it may actually look like it was designed that way. Unfortunately, most of what I have found so far is designed for childproofing - i.e., cushioned. Unless you actually need childproofing as well, I would recommend something thinner as it will look more "natural".

  • Those corner guards were my first idea too but I'd like to avoid them, I don't like the look of most of them. Is there some sort of white filler material I could apply and then sand off the excess? I probably won't get the gloss back but maybe I can match the colour somewhat so the defect isn't as noticeable from large distances. – technical_difficulty May 2 at 15:31
  • There may be, but I'm skeptical that it would like anything other than "broke & patched". – manassehkatz May 2 at 15:31
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Matching the color and finish can be difficult, and the repair may well be visible under close scrutiny no matter what you do. Rather than trying to match the repair to the original finish, you could re-paint the whole table after filling in the broken corner. This will of course be a bit more work, but it may be the most surefire way to get a uniform-looking surface.

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