How to Fix a Wobbly Chair? (DIY Step-by-Step Instructions)

People who never sat on a wobbly chair wouldn’t understand how painful, and annoying it is. Wobbly chairs are an inconvenience. If you have been sitting on a wobbly chair for the past few days and do not know what to do, you have come to the right place.

Be it a wobbly gaming chair or office chair, it creates discomfort, not allowing people to concentrate on their work. As a result, this severely affects the productivity of a person.

A wobbly chair isn’t something to neglect. This guide enlists different methods to fix a wobbly chair at home, using simple tools and materials. To know more, continue reading this guide below.

What Causes A Chair To Wobble?

What Causes A Chair To Wobble

Before moving onto how to fix a wobbly chair leg, let’s first know the reasons that result in a wobbling chair. With time, wooden chairs develop a wobbly chair syndrome. Let’s go through the causes that contribute to this syndrome.

Wear and tear with time

Chairs carry the weight of multiple people sitting on them. People don’t sit straight in a chair all the time. They tend to move, lean back, lean sideways, and twist and turn, to find their comfortable position. Now, as people move around while sitting on a chair, their weight increases the stress received by the joints. As a result, the joints become loose or weak, making a chair wobbly. 

Shrinking of the wood

Temperature and humidity also has a role to play in turning a chair wobbly. The wood tends to expand and shrink with changes in temperature and humidity. This expansion and contraction of wood make the joints loose or weak. This is another reason for a wobbly chair.

Poor craftsmanship

If a wooden chair is poorly crafted, it’s more likely to become wobbly in a short span. Therefore the quality of the chair is a factor here.

Ineffective repair

When people notice their chairs have turned wobbly, they try to fix a wobbly chair by applying glue. That’s only a temporary solution. In a few days, that ineffectively repaired chair is expected to turn wobbly again.

Uneven chair leg

Sometimes, all four legs of a chair aren’t equal. When one leg is shorter than others, the chair loses its stability. It keeps rocking back and forth.

Missing or broken parts of a chair

Wooden chairs are mostly sturdy. Therefore they are unlikely to be broken. This usually happens in swivel-style chairs, like gaming chairs or office chairs. Sometimes, the seat’s hardware is faulty, while other times the wheels are unstable. Swivel chairs are also likely to have a faulty seat plate and missing screws, which makes them wobbly.

Required Tools and Materials

Before going into the details on how to get a wobbly wooden chair repaired, it’s important to know what tools and materials are needed for this DIY project. It’s better to keep these tools and materials handy, instead of looking for them in between the process. The table given below lists down the tools and materials needed while repairing a wobbly wooden chair.



4-in-1 screwdriver

Wood glue


Masking tape


Pencil or marker pen



Locking pliers

Screws and nails

Rubber mallet


A strap with a ratchet clamp

Wooden finish

A drill

Wood filler

How To Fix A Wobbly Chair?

How To Fix A Wobbly Chair

Now that we know the causes for a wobbling chair, let’s find out how to fix a wobbly chair. A lot of times people get puzzled seeing a wobbly chair and end up replacing it with a new one, even though it’s new. When it’s possible to fix a wobbly chair in simple DIY steps, why would you invest in a new chair again?

This guide enlists various methods in which one can repair a wobbly chair and make it comfortable again. Let’s go through the methods one by one below.

Install a furniture leg riser

Install a furniture leg riser

This is an easy trick to fix a wobbly chair in a short time. Needless to mention, this is a temporary solution and your chair is likely to rock again after a few days.

Do you know what furniture leg risers are? These are small items that come in different shapes and sizes in the market. These are used to increase the height of an uneven chair leg, making the chair stable. Using a furniture leg riser is simple. You simply have to measure the length of the uneven chair leg and how far it is from the ground.

Pick a furniture leg riser of the appropriate size and hammer it to the bottom of that chair leg.

If you cannot find a furniture leg riser in your local market, grab it at affordable rates on any online home improvement store!

Apply glue to loose joints and reassemble the chair

This is the second method to fix wobbly chair legs. It provides long-lasting results, if followed properly. Let’s see how it is done.

Mark every part of the chair

You must label the parts in numbers or letters, as per your convenience. You must be wondering what the purpose of labeling the parts is. This marking system would help you assemble the parts in the end.

Disassemble the parts of the chair carefully

The parts must be joined together by screws and bolts. Remove them carefully using an electric screwdriver. After that, remove the joints by gently hitting them with a hammer or rubber mallet. If the joints are secured by glue, you might be required to hit it with force. However, make sure this doesn’t damage the chair.

After removing the screws, bolts and joints, it’s time to inspect the chair thoroughly. If you notice any problem, it’s better to repair them along the way.

Clean the old joints

Old joints are likely to become old. Now, remove the existing glue on the joints using sandpaper. The pins and mortise holes must also be cleaned. This is important because the next time when you apply wood glue to assemble the parts, it would be more effective. Wood glue works best when applied to bare wood. Therefore, removing traces of old glue is required for better results. If you decide to skip this part, your chair is likely to get wobbly soon.

Apply glue

After cleaning the joints and other parts, it’s time to apply fresh glue to set the joints in place.

Reinstall the chair legs and weigh down the seat.

Now that everything is done, it’s time to reassemble the chair. Place the chair legs in their appropriate position. Use a rubber mallet and hammer each of the legs into the right joints multiple times, until they are properly fitted. Do not start using the chair immediately. Keep it aside for some time, to ensure the wood glue is completely dry.

Apply wood finish

This step can be skipped. Applying wood finish only enhances the look of the chair. Besides, a wood finish would provide moisture to the wood and hide the scratches or imperfections, if any. After conducting any DIY  project, the wooden chair is likely to get scratches. That doesn’t look pleasant to the eyes. To hide such scratches, applying wood finish is a great solution!

Once you apply the liquid on the wooden chair, allow it to sit for 20 to 20 minutes. Let it penetrate into the wood and give it a fresh glow. After 30 minutes, take a clean cloth and wipe the chair dry.

Before applying a wood finish on the entire chair, experts advise homeowners to test it by applying to a small area and see the results.

Don’t miss:

How To Fix An Office Chair That Leans Back Too Far
How to Fix a Squeaky Desk Chair

How to Fix a Wobbly Swivel Chair?

How to Fix a Wobbly Swivel Chair

Swivel chairs are mostly likely to get wobbly due to damaged wheels or seat plate or missing screws and bolts. If you find your swivel chair wobbling, there’s no need to call in maintenance or buy a new chair.

If you are dealing with a wobbly swivel chair, here’s how it can be fixed. 

Inspect the wheels for damage

Firstly, examine the wheels to find out if they are damaged. Take time to inspect them thoroughly. If you notice any of the wheels to look deformed or damaged or broken, loosen the screws and pull it out. Replace the damaged wheel with a new one.

Inspect the chair legs for any missing screw

After inspection the wheels, it’s time to inspect the legs of the chair and see if any screw is missing. Sometimes, the screws become loose and pop out, making a chair wobbly. If that is the case here, simply tighten the screw using the necessary tool. However, if any screw is missing, get another screw and fit it into position.

When you visit your local store to get a new screw, don’t forget to take one of the screws of the chair as a sample. A screw of a different shape or size wouldn’t be of any use.

Tighten the seat plate

Now it’s time to inspect the seat plate. Turn the chair upside down to get a close look at the seat’s bottom. Find out the metal plate. Usually, it’s attached with screws and bolts and linked to an adjustment lever and a hydraulic lift. Check the surroundings of the seat carefully. If you notice any loose screw or bolt, tighten them. If anything goes missing, get a suitable replacement and fit it into its appropriate place.

If the seat plate itself is defective or damaged, it’s time to get a new one. To get the exact replacement for the old seat plate, you must know the chair’s model number and get it from the manufacturer.

By conducting a thorough inspection of your wobbly swivel chair, you can replace or repair the damaged parts and get them fixed!

Don’t miss:

What is tilt tension on a chair
Why Does My Chair Squeak When I Lean Back

The bottom Line

That’s all about fixing a wobbly wooden chair. By now you have understood that using simple tools and materials like a hammer, screws, wood glue and a methodical approach, one can easily fix a wobbly wooden chair at home, without asking for professional help!

So, instead of dumping another wobbly chair, why not try to fix it by following the methods you just learned about? Go ahead and help your friends who are dealing with a wobbly chair. Show them your carpentry skills and get ready to see everyone amazed! After all, it’s always wonderful to learn new DIY hacks.

Learning how to fix a wobbly chair is one of the various ways to increase your DIY knowledge. Not just that, it saves your money as well. With these DIY hacks, one can preserve old yet iconic furniture and tables and chairs that have been passed down through generations and are priceless.

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