How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Furniture

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Damages caused by water are an absolute pain, especially when your furniture is made of wood. Even a small amount of water, like an unexpected leak, can cause wood to be warped. Some common causes of water damage are from bathroom leaks, flooding, or an explosion of a pipe.

For most types of wooden furniture, you can prep the wood by drying it and then sanding it. You can use an orbital sander if it’s a large area. If the wood is cracked, however, you’ll have to use a different method to fix a crack in the wood.

Then, you can use a wood filler to cover up any imperfections on the surface. Let it dry, sand it, and then use your choice of finishing product on the surface. Read on to find out the different ways on how to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture at home for a relatively low cost.

How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Furniture

How to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture

Water damage to wooden furniture can be easy. If the damage is light, it may be relatively easy to repair. To repair and fix water damage, what you need is readily accessible at the store and at home.

Method 1: Let the Furniture Dry

Let the swollen wooden furniture dry before fixing it. However, try not to hurry this process with heat because the wood could crack.

1. If any residue remains, wipe it off.

2. Keep the furniture indoors, as moisture could deteriorate it.

3. Furniture should be kept in a dry spot.

4. Put a floor fan or workshop fan towards it to help the furniture dry faster.

5. A 24-hour time frame could be required for it to dry thoroughly.

6. It is imperative to dry it naturally to achieve the best results.

Method 2: Using an Iron

A simple solution to lightly swollen wood furniture is to iron it. This will fix the problem. People with some experience ironing should be able to do this pretty easily. You want to be as careful as you can if this is your first time using an iron. Doing so can burn you or your furniture.

1. Make sure all the water is clean.

2. Get a dry cloth.

3. Put a cover over the bulging furniture.

4. Turn the iron onto a low heat setting.

5. Immediately after heating the iron, press it against the rag for a couple of seconds.

6. Be careful not to keep it in the same spot too long if you don’t want to damage your wood.

7. Examine the wood bubble after removing the rag.

8. If the bubble doesn’t go away, you might want to try the next method.

Method 3: Get a Needle for a Printer to Fix Bubbled Up Wood

A needle or printer can be used to poke the bubble from the side, but not the top. Whenever a bubble is pierced in the center, it attempts to creep over to the sides.

You will need wax paper, wood glue, and a printer needle. All kinds of wood glue can be used. Now, it’s your choice whether you’ll use a needle or a printer.

1. If the bubble is too thick, poke a few holes in it.

2. Suck the glue up into the needle syringe.

3. As far as possible, push the needle into the bubble.

4. If the water damage is on the furniture’s back, squeeze the glue into the swollen wood.

5. Put your finger on it and watch the glue spring up.

6. The wood should feel soft when pushed down, and the glue should come out of the cracks in the furniture if the glue was applied correctly.

7. You’re getting underneath the furniture, so it might cause it to crack a little more.

8. Excess glue should be wiped off the cracks with a clean towel.

9. Lay a piece of plastic over the crack after cutting it off.

10. You can place some books on it and let it dry.

11. By pushing down on the veneer, the books will glue it down.

12. Now the veneer will become softer from the glue, and then it will flatten.

Method 4: Sanding Wood and Applying Furniture Oil

Sanding lightly warped wood will remove any imperfections on its surface if it is in bad shape caused by water damage. To prepare the surface for sanding, you need to wipe away any residue.

1. Protect yourself by wearing safety glasses and a mask before you sand.

2. Take the sandpaper and fold it.

3. Using even pressure, rub the sandpaper to and fro.

4. Brush off any dust that has accumulated.

5. When you’re finished sanding the wood, it should feel quite smooth.

6. Put furniture oil on it.

7. Spend about 15 minutes rubbing back and forth.

8. You will be able to get the oil into the wood with the warmth you generate.

9. Use a rag to clean the surface.

10. After you’re done, make sure there is no oil residue.

Method 5: Apply moisture protective varnish

Using urethane as an exterior coating for wood furniture can protect them from future water damage. You can also apply it to indoor and outdoor furniture and tables around the home that you do not want to get water damaged. Remember to work in a well-ventilated area when applying varnish.

Method 6: If needed, use more fixings

1. Dry the furniture well and then add more fixings if necessary to begin the repair.

2. Look at the sections that need support and can be fixed with only a few extra screws.

3. There are many different types of fixings like nails, screws, bolts, extended metal lathes, galvanized strips, wall plugs, pipe brackets, cable clips, frame fixings, and many more.

4. When you add more fixings to your repaired furniture, you can ensure that timber that has moved due to moisture movement is placed back in the right place.

Why Does Wood Furniture Bubble Up?

Wood furniture can bubble up if you place warm objects on top. Wood also absorbs water and bubbles up as a result.

The appearance of the furniture could be ruined if the wood is swollen since it will look tattered and weathered. Luckily, these bubbles can be easy to remove with some time and effort.

Additionally, you can save some money in the long run by knowing why your wood is swollen and how to maintain it. Here is some advice on how to fix swollen furniture.

How to protect wooden furniture from water damage

1. Use an oil finish

Linseed oil and tung oil are the two best oil finishes for wood. Besides beautifying your tables, they can also protect them from water damage. The application of linseed oil and tung oil together can reduce stickiness and accelerate drying.

2. Use sealants

Use sealants such as water resistant varnish to ensure extra waterproofing protection. If you have sanded your wood, you can spray sealants on it or brush them on.

Apply sealants in an environment with an even temperature. Using varnish on wood will prevent water damage and scratches. When applying varnish, you must ventilate the room to avoid inhaling the fumes.

3. Use stain sealants

Color sealants resist water and add color to wood surfaces. As a result, waterproofing your furniture becomes more efficient and faster. Among the stain-sealant products available, there are three main types. Stain sealants are available in water-based, oil-based, and alkyd-based varieties. These are better suited for indoor tables due to their ability to absorb into the furniture. Finally, stain sealants must be reapplied after one to two years.


As you can see, trying to fix a water-damaged piece of furniture is relatively easy. It takes a bit of time and effort, but you can repair that wood furniture with the steps above.

Also, the items that you will use are relatively affordable and easy to find online. I’m pretty sure many people would instead take a day off when they know how to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture instead of getting a brand new one.

Once you’ve gotten rid of those bubbles, keep in mind that wood needs regular upkeep to stay looking brand new.

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