How do you reverse water damage on wood?

Having bought new wood furniture, each owner hopes that it will last for decades, retaining its original attractiveness. But often various problems appear, in particular, furniture may begin to swell due to moisture.

How do you reverse water damage on wood

This problem occurs with headsets of the wood furniture made of chipboard and other materials. The most vulnerable spot is the countertop.

You can accidentally forget a wet towel on the countertop – as a result, the table will swell. You can become a “victim” of the neighbors from above, whose pipe burst and eventually get flooded. In any case, swollen wooden furniture is, of course, unpleasant, but it is possible to restore it.

We will analyze the main causes of the problem and methods for solving it.

How do you reverse water damage on wood?

Do not be upset, there are several options that will help restore wooden furniture, restore its attractiveness. So, how to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture? Let’s figure out how to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture in the most common cases.

Delaminated area around the sink

If your wooden furniture is situated near the sink, then it is at high risk of being swollen. If you have this problem, then this guide is for you!

Tools required for work:

  • hair dryer;
  • wooden bars;
  • PVA glue;
  • staple;
  • shavings (sawdust will do);
  • edge;
  • clamp.
How do you reverse water damage on wood



Clean the spot with white distilled vinegar, then dry the countertop with a hairdryer, remove the remnants of the damaged film coating. You may have to create a few holes for that.


Treat the voids that have appeared with PVA glue – apply it to problem areas and wait at least 15 minutes to dry.


Mix sawdust (shavings) with PVA glue, mix the mass until smooth. Make sure to wear safety glasses!


Leave the composition for 10 minutes.


Apply the mass to the gaps, working with a spatula, and then carefully level the surfaces.


To give the edges the correct geometry, bars are placed at the top and bottom, fixed with a clamp.


Remove excess glue. You may use a scrub brush for that.


Let the wood sit for at least 24 hours, so that it dries.


Cover the restored area with PVC edging or film.


The finished countertop is returned to its place if it stands next to the sink – carefully seal the joints, otherwise the problem will recur. Adding some furniture oil or mineral oil might help.

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Peeled PVC film from the facade of the furniture

The plastic film is resistant to moisture, however, dampness is the reason that it begins to peel off, after which water enters the chipboard plate of the wooden furniture. If it is swollen from water, then you should do the following steps:

  • Repaint.
  • Change the wood part.

The first option is suitable when the film leaves without swelling of the plate. The old oil finishes are heated (a hair dryer is suitable), carefully removed. Then the surfaces of the wood furniture are painted with moisture-resistant paint or oil finishes, for example, water-based or alkyd enamel. To achieve the effect, the paint is applied in several layers.

The edges of the shelves in the kitchen moved away

If the edge of the film is swollen from water, use a simple method to correct the situation and return the wet wood furniture to practicality.

  1. As with the countertop, dry the entire surface, remove the damaged coating and treat with a mixture of sawdust and PVP wood glue.
  2. After waiting for the mixture to dry completely, stick a new edge.
  3. If the water damage is significant, it is easier to buy a new shelf for the kitchen. If it is very small, the swelling is almost imperceptible – more water damage can be prevented by covering the PVC area with a corner. It is fixed with glue (any universal one will do), then it is tightened with a clamp.
  4. If there is no such equipment at home, attach something heavy to the area and leave it for 24 hours.

A temporary measure of protection is to smear the damage with nail polish, it will protect against the subsequent negative effects of moisture. But the method is unreliable, so try to buy a corner in the near future instead of your water damaged furniture.

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My wooden table was left outside in the rain, how can I repair water damage?

If you have a swollen wood table that has been left outside in the rain, chances are it has been damaged. When exposed to water, the wood can swell and warp, eventually causing the outdoor furniture to break.

There are a few things you can do to try to fix the water damage:

  1. Wipe excess water off the water damaged furniture surface with a rag or towel. This will help reduce swelling and prevent more damage to your damaged swollen wood furniture.
  2. If possible, apply a sealant. This will protect the wood from moisture and rot, as well as make it easier to clean. Some sealants are available at hardware stores or online stores.
  3. Repair or replace any damaged parts of the table, if possible. This may include repairing warped boards, replacing broken legs, adding furniture oil or mineral oil or repairing cracks in the wood surface caused by water exposure.

Now you know how to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture left under a rain! This may apply to indoor tables as well, if they have been damaged by water or any other “wood moisturizer”


What makes wood swell?

There are several factors why water damaged wood furniture gets the way it gets. The most common is water damage which creates bubbles called water stains. If the wood furniture gets wet, it will expand and press against the surrounding materials. This can cause cracks in the water damaged swollen wood. However, we have gathered some advice on how to fix water damaged furniture.

Can you shrink swollen wood?

Water damaged wood furniture is a common problem that can be caused by a number of factors. In most cases, wood swelling is simply due to water getting inside the wood and causing it to swell. There are several different ways to fix swollen wood, depending on the cause.

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Moisture buildup

If the swollen wooden furniture is caused by moisture buildup, you can try to dry the area as much as possible before trying to fix it. This can be done with fans or air conditioning, opening windows, or using a dehumidifier. place and prevent re-swelling of the tree.

Insect damage or decomposition

If the swelling is caused by insect damage or decomposition, then treatment should be directed at those causes first. Insects such as termites love moist environments and will eat away at wood pieces until they collapse under their own weight. If you suspect, that there may be termites, you will need professional help to remove them and treat them properly.

In any case, it is important not to push anything into the swollen area; instead, apply light pressure if necessary to allow the sealant or adhesive to work properly. The swelling should gradually decrease on its own over time after the underlying cause is removed; however, if the condition does not improve within a few days or weeks, professional help may be needed.

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How do you get water out of swollen wood?

In some cases, small areas of swollen wood furniture can be sanded and finished. This is often the best option for furniture or other items that are too large to completely replace.

Replace the swollen part

If only part of the item is damaged, it is also possible to cut out the damaged area and cover it with new wood. Water-damaged drywall must be replaced as it cannot be repaired.

Place a leaking vessel

If the wood is locally swollen from moisture: a leaking vessel is placed, you can quickly get rid of the defect and neutralize its consequences by mixing salt and olive oil. The gruel is applied to the damage and rubbed in a circular motion. Leave for 20-30 minutes. Salt will draw out the water, and olive oil will restore elasticity to the fibers.

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Can you restore wood with water damage?

Swollen wood furniture can be repaired, but this will likely require a lot of work. If the damage is minor, a few coats of sealant may be enough to protect the wood from further damage water. More severe water damage may require replacement of the entire board or section of wood. Above, we have listed a number of ways to achieve repaired furniture.

How to fix wood warping from water damage?

Water damage can cause the wood of the wood furniture to warp and pull away from the frame. There are several ways to how to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture:

  • Remove excess water and debris with a vacuum cleaner.
  • Apply a coat of sealant or paint to the affected area.
  • Lay wooden planks over the warped area and nail them into place with screws or nails.
  • Replace any damaged sections of wood with new ones that fit.

Water got on the floor, what should I do?

If you have water leaks on your hardwood floor, there are a few things you can do to try and fix the problem.

  1. First, make sure you check for any obvious damage to the floor from the leak. If there is no visible damage you may need to clean up the water with a vacuum cleaner or mop.
  2. After the water is cleared, it may be necessary to apply sealer or wood preservative to prevent future leaks.

If all these measures fail to stop the leak, the floor may need to be replaced.


Safety first!

Finally, don’t forget about your own safety! When cleaning your furniture you should wear protective gear, such as rubber gloves, only use clean cloth (preferably clean microfiber cloth) and be extra careful while applying furniture oil and stain sealant products, as well as electric fans.

Also, make sure to wear a dust mask and safety glasses and work in a well ventilated area, so that you won’t inhale any wood grain, sanded wood, oil residue or wood dust and other excess material so that your health won’t be harmed in the process.

These simple methods will help you prevent water-swollen furniture. Of course, it is possible to fix water damaged swollen furniture, but the restored headset will lose its original attractiveness.

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How to keep an optimal level of humidity, ventilation and temperature?

In the kitchen and in the bathroom, a high-quality hood is needed to maintain an optimal level of humidity. Wood absorbs moisture, as we all know by now, and although you cannot keep the wood completely dry at all circumstances, you can help the drying process to protect wood furniture from swelling.

To avoid water damaged furniture push it from the wall by a few inches, so that it gets ventilated. Keep your furniture from direct sunlight, keep it in a well ventilated room (or any well ventilated area) without too high temperatures and only low and controlled temperature.

Additionally, mop any water stains from your furniture (even a scrub brush will do).

The heat from stoves and ovens is one of the causes of water damage to PVC films on countertops and ends. To prolong its lifespan, install thermal insulation strips in places where the furniture is closest to the heat source. Enamel wood surfaces do not need such a measure.

How do I keep my furniture dry?

Generally, keeping your furniture dry and not getting any wood moisturizer on it will help with avoiding air bubbles and deep set stains caused by too much moisture on the drying wood. Keeping the wood dry is an excellent preventive measure to protect wooden furniture

What wood preservatives can I use?

For the chipboard base, a water-repellent profile exterior coating is purchased. If the plinth is made of PVC, it does not need additional protection.

Use wood furniture cleaner, linseed oil, tung oil and white distilled vinegar and oil finish to clean your furniture.

Where should I put my wet dishes?

On the countertops, the surfaces of the bedside tables, you can put soft cloth or special mats (maybe even clean microfiber cloth or wax paper) for drying dishes. In addition to protection, they will decorate the kitchen.

Are there any attachments I can use to keep my furniture dry?

A vanity unit with a sink will last longer if it is protected by an aluminum tray with high sides and a canopy. They will protect the wood furniture from the negative effects of dampness and simplify cleaning. Some wall plugs may also help in negating water damage.

Should I wipe water from wood?

Knowing how to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture is great, but you should keep it dry as well!

Make sure that there are no drops of water on the surfaces, wipe the wood periodically with a soft microfiber cloth while wearing rubber gloves. A damp cloth won’t do in this case, as it will only worsen the situation and won’t let the wood dry completely.


Everyone has the right to high-quality wood furniture that will last for decades and will only need to be replaced if the owner himself decides to update the interior. Unfortunately, in rooms with increased dampness – bathrooms and kitchens – headsets can begin to swell.

Therefore, it is important to properly care for the furniture, in a timely manner to wipe dry any moisture that has fallen on the furniture. But not everything depends on you.

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If initially the wood furniture was of poor quality, then even the most careful care will not save it. And restoration is a waste of time, nerves, especially since it is hardly possible to return a headset from chipboard to its original beauty.

Still, now you know how to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture and are prepared if it ever occurs in your home.

You also need to check if the stains on your furniture may have come from the heat. They can also be easily removed with home remedies. Like a stain from dried glue.

Feel free to share this post with anyone who have met this problem!

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