Have you ever had your heart captured by that cute little puppy face and turned to your spouse and said “can’t we take him home?” or one of your children begging the same message with empty promises of taking care of him, feeding him, teaching him not to bark, etc?

We’ve all been there at one time or another, and the little fellow begins his new life with a full emotional bank account of love and adoration. Over the next few months, that emotional bank account seems to get drained one little episode at a time, especially if he chews on everything in sight. After the maturing process and the chewing subsides, we can build that emotional bank account back up with a sense of renewed adoration but the damage done can dip into our financial bank account.

So how does the do-it-yourselfer repair these unsightly reminders of puppy love?

Furniture seems to be an all-time favorite chew toy and having it professionally repaired can be costly. If the damage is shallow in depth and minor in scope, the area can be sanded down to smooth the chew marks. Once smooth the area can be stained and finished to match the piece. This minimizes the damage and, in most cases, causes it not to be noticeable. If the piece is an heirloom or a valuable antique, you may want to have it accessed by a professional furniture repairman. Keep in mind over generations, valuable pieces of antique furniture can have added value by the character given it, if the story of how the character flaw was added is preserved and passed down.

Door casings are another favorite. Small teeth marks can be filled with wood filler, sanded smooth and repainted while more severe damage will require that the casing be removed and replaced with a new piece. If this measure must be taken, use a razor knife to carefully slice the caulk line between the casing and drywall to prevent tearing the surface of the drywall.

Exterior stucco trim and corners may become a focus point for chewing with its soft Styrofoam interior. This can be repaired with several different approaches. Small areas of damage can be filled with a sanded caulking material or use a urethane caulk with sand added into the batch. You may need to finesse it with your fingers to blend the texture with the surrounding stucco. After it dries, touch up the area with matching paint. Larger areas of damage can be filled with caulk as well but may require the application of a cement type filler such as vinyl concrete patch or Portland cement. After drying time, apply the matching paint color.

Before long, these repairs will be in your past and long forgotten and all you’ll remember are the good times with a full emotional bank account. Don’t you wish it was that easy with your financial bank account?

Send your questions or concerns to jdn.dm@comcast.net.

JD Norris is the owner/operator of DreamMaker Bath&Kitchen and a certified S.C. Master Builder, certified “Aging in Place” Specialist and certified Green Professional.