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I have a couch that has wooden decor pieces that are stapled/glued to the couch itself. My hip caught a piece of it as I walked by and split part of it in half. How can I reattach the piece and possibly make it stronger?

It appears they used an adhesive to attach it to the fabric and I only found some sort of staple from the fabric to the wood itself on the back side that are not visible until it broke off.

There is a hard frame behind the wooden piece.

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This may be a better question for the woodworking stack than for home improvement. They'll almost certainly give you better answers. But speaking as a half-trained woodworker:

Most wood glues, applied properly and clamped until dry (which admittedly is a bit tricky in this case), are at least as strong as the wood; often stronger. So simply gluing it back together is not out of the question. Though given the direction the grain goes, it may break somewhere else if snagged again.

I'd be tempted to drive a few pins through the piece and into the frame after the glue had fully cured, if I could find a good place to set them, to help strengthen it against being pulled forward in the future. But that's partially a pinning gun looking for an excuse to be used. Brads or trimnails would work too, but being thicker they'd want to be drilled for first and then countersunk with a nail set, and ideally then have the space over them filled in with putty/stain (or at least furniture repair wax in a shade to match the wood they're driven into) plus a bit of finish (shellac's traditional for touch-up) to match the sheen of the current varnish.

To make the crack less visible, you could stain the "show" edges before reassembling, or use a stainable glue and stain afterward. I'd lean toward the former, though I've found stain markers, applied carefully, can hide a multitude of sins.

(Stain marker, matching fill-in crayon, and a small bottle of shellac are often sold as a furniture scratch repair kit. You'd want to match the dark color, not the gold.)

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  • Guessing this is pretty much the answer you'd get at Woodworking SE.
    – gnicko
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 1:13
  • It's one answer you might get. Other folks might have better ideas; as a woodworker I make a good programmer.
    – keshlam
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 1:27
  • The clamping might be the difficult part. Might need to clamp/force it into the fabric as well as the two pieces together to get it back in line.
    – crip659
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 1:32
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    @crip659: Yeah, I was thinking about that. At least a loose clamp to stabilize it in the other axis. If this was resting more directly against the frame I'd say let the pins hold it in place to cure, but with the fabric layer I'd be concerned about whether driving pins would push the piece out of the desired alignment. This is one of those fixes which is straightforward but fiddly, partly because the manufacturer chose decorative (simulating a full carved frame) over functional.
    – keshlam
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 1:45
  • You'd probably want a long clamp between the front of the piece and rear of the armrest, keeping the broken part square with the part that's still attached, plus a smaller clamp across the front of the trim piece to keep the pieces tight together. The latter may be tricky to position.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 15:17

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