How To Repair/Replace Missing Furniture Moldings.

How To Repair/Replace Missing Furniture Moldings.

One of the many frustrations when buying antique furniture is what to do if there’s missing trim work? Argh. I’m sure most of us have been there. The easiest option is simply do nothing, and sell as-is. I’ve actually done that many times in the past. (But, I’m naturally lazy I purposely work with patina and making a piece appear ‘old‘). That’s just my MO. A lot of the time I can get away with (and actually sometimes accentuate) missing trim work. Take this dresser – it had lots of missing trim.

After I rearranged the existing trim to accommodate an image I was working on, I decided to leave it. The ‘missing’ trim actually made sense to me, and helped me achieve an authentically worn piece. But that doesn’t always happen, and sometimes it just doesn’t work, as much as you would hope it would. Besides, most refinishers want their upcycled pieces to look ‘refinished‘ or ‘like new‘, and I would also say that most buyers prefer to purchase a piece that looks like a new piece. So what do we do?

Sometimes you have to thinking outside of the box!

The first option would be to try and magically ‘find’ similar trim on-line. I’ve seen a few websites that offer replicates of antique trim work, but honestly, I never bothered to keep the link because HOLY MOLY! Jeez Louise the cost!!! I decided it wasn’t even a feasible option for me. Buying replicate antique wood appliques would truly eat up most of my profit. And that’s not how I roll. So, to me, that’s not really an option I want to exercise. In their defense however, I’m guessing these sites gear themselves towards people with ‘true’ antiques; people who want a ‘quick’ fix and don’t mind spending huge amounts of money for some mill work. I’m just not one of them.

The second option would be to perhaps take some of the existing trim off and replace it with brand new trim. But seriously, does that even remotely sound appealing? No, it’s a ridiculous idea. Why did I even mention it? I would never remove antique ANYTHING to replace it with new stuff. Keep the character, I say. Sometimes, I astound myself by my thought process. So, scratch that option. It’s ridiculous. We want to replicate the existing molding, to fill in the missing areas; and do it easily and cost-effectively? Simple, right?


It’s actually so simple, you almost question yourself if you’re doing it right. Shouldn’t there be more steps? Because replicating antique molding should be hard, shouldn’t it? I guess, technically, it sounds like it would be difficult but I came across this fabulous product that is a complete GAME-CHANGER.

It’s called Amazing Mold Putty and it’s true to it’s name. Truly amazing!

What is it exactly? Well, it’s a two-part platinum based silicon kit, that allows you to mold, virtually anything, in less than 20 minutes. You simply blend the two products together, in equal amounts, for one minute; then cast your mold. Simple. Here’s a video to show you exactly how easy it is to work.

That simple. Who knew?

I’m not 100% sure how I stumbled on this product, but once I viewed the video I became so intrigued with this project that I reached out to Amazing Casting Products and asked them if I could try it. They were so so incredibly welcoming to me, and said ‘Of course, let’s send you some and tell us what you think’. On a side note, through our many email exchanges, I have been SO impressed by their customer service.

Now because I don’t carry a large inventory, I actually didn’t have any pieces with missing trim work (typical, right?). But what I did have hanging out in my garage were two vintage radio cabinets: one had an abundance of carvings – like a crazy amount, while the other had zero. Hmmmm. We could make this work. So, let me present to you the little plain radio cabinet.

I knew I wanted to put an image on the doors, but I wasn’t in love with how plain the side panels were – they needed some embellishments (don’t we all). Fortunately, because of my latest obsession with radio cabinets, I’d just bought this beauty – with embellishments to share, plus some <3

Gorgeous, right?

The furniture gods were looking out for me because, as it turned out, the wood molding on the side panels was the exact size that I would need to transplant them to the plainer cabinet. Thank you, Furniture God/Goddess. Removing the side panel applique was simple (usually they’re secured by small finish nails). One tug at the top and bottom, and bingo. I decided to spray the molding with Pam, because I wasn’t sure if it would get stuck in the silicone, especially given the intricacy of the carvings. I’m not sure it’s a necessary step, but it doesn’t hurt. Always be prepared. Dib, dib, dob.

Looks like an egg!! This is just to give you an idea of how much putty I needed for the mold.

I can not stress enough how easy this process is. And how quickly it all came together. I’m kicking myself a little for only finding out about the product so late in the game!

Literally within 20 mins I had some pretty amazing side panels!

These molds can be used for resin, soap, clay, even food (yes, it’s a food-safe product – think chocolate!!). The possibilities are quite endless. I decided to use resin (hence the reason why my cast is white. Resin starts off as a clear liquid, and turns white as it dries. And again, the simplicity of it. No special equipment or other supplies: Just a 1:1 ratio, stir, and pour. Boom! Done!

Here’s a video explaining some of the many products from this company. It just opens your eyes up to so many different ways you can use them!

I attached the resin appliques with the original finish nails, plus a little cement glue.

I know what you’re thinking – Well, that looks ridiculous! And you’d be right. Totally ridiculous. But as with everything, you have to go through the ‘ugly/ridiculous’ stage to reach the ‘jaw-dropping’ beautiful stage. I could have opted to paint the white resin, but I decided that let’s just go for it – and do gold-leaf. Because, if there’s one thing that makes me go weak at the knees, it’s gold leaf. And so permit me if you will, let’s skip a few steps and show you the end result.

I am SO happy with the end result. The appliques look as though they were original to the piece. And the details – wow – the silicone molding did such a great job at replicating it. As with most of my pieces, I used Wise Owl paint – this time going out of my comfort zone with a Red/pink palette. Gorgeous!!

In my humble opinion, the small detail work will make the piece.

I quickly reattached the original molding to the other radio cabinet. Refinished that one, and Boom! Two beautifully re-purposed vintage radio cabinets. Now I have the side molds that I can just keep making and making to my hearts content. Such an easy, cost-effective way of adding/replicating molds to your piece.

You have to try this stuff. Seriously. I don’t have an affiliate link, I’m not getting paid to promote this product. I just need to tell you about it. You need to know about it.

It’s. just.that.good.

It’s so good, that I’m actually bringing supplies of it to my painting class in France in September. I want to share this with my students. We’re all going to bring antique molds with us, and replicate them and share them with the group!

And without repeating myself (and already I know I am) this is a game-changer. Never will you look at an antique piece of furniture with missing molding and pause, and wonder how you’re going to fix the problem.

It isn’t a problem. You already know the solution! If you’d like to order the product, click here to go directly to the website or contact Carol Wedlake: Carol is in charge of technical support and sales, and is just quite awesome. It’s been such a pleasure to connect with this company and try their products. I’m such a happy convert!

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As always, thanks for stopping by!

Diane aka The Paint Factory

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