After I had all of my materials together for my soon-to-be-new ottoman I was ready to get down to business. But, as with most things in life, my beloved $5 ottoman had a few surprises up its sleeve.I brought the piece to my parent's house (they are generously letting me use there garage for my bigger projects since my "cozy" apartment does not provide much crafting room-thanks Mom and Dad!) and sanded and sprayed the ottoman. Very proud of my spray painting job I showed it to my Dad who quickly noticed something I hadn't noticed during my prep work. Yes I am going to say it, any woodworker's nightmare, termites! EWWWW! I had chalked the little chips in the wood up to old age and mistreatment...boy was I wrong. When my Dad pushed on the frame of the piece a small chunk collapsed. Luckily for me they were dry wood termites and appeared to have abandoned my ottoman long ago. But the damage they left definitely needed to be fixed because the wood was soft in some places from the holes left by their feast. So it was back to Home Depot for wood filler. I purchased canned wood filler, but there is also a tube of wood filler that works just as well, depending on the size of the project.
Here is how it went:
Step 1: Find all of the damaged places to fill. Gently push on the wood around that area to see if more wood breaks off. Clean out excess wood pieces with finger or dry paint brush.
Step 2: Apply wood filler in thin coats, using a putty knife, until it is built up to match the height of the rest of the wood. ( I actually used an old palette knife from my painting days.) Allow to dry according to package directions, on average 24 hours for best results.
Step 3: Lightly sand the wood filler to match the lines of the original piece. This was the hardest part because I wanted it to match perfectly. Use fine grit sand paper (150) for this process so that you do not over sand your reconstructed wood.
Step 4: Once it looks like you want it you can move on to painting.
Phew...that was quite the learning experience! So now that my little set back is behind me I can actually finish this ottoman that has turned into an unexpectedly long project. Tune in next time for painting day!