How to Repair Wood Table with Water Damage

Although you strive to treat your wood table well, scratches from car keys and water damage are often inevitable. Water damage to furniture may be as a result of flooding, broken water pipes, excess moisture in the air or even leaking roofs.  Whatever the cause of damage to your wood table, proper restoration should be undertaken immediately to prevent the destruction from getting worse. The extent of the water damage is determined by how long a piece of furniture has stayed soaked up in water.
Repairing wood table with water damage may be tricky. Water damage on wood is typically evident through structural changes, stains, loosened joints, blushing, white spots, black spots, dump odor, discoloration among other things. The good news is that the damage is usually quite manageable and you can restore your water-wrecked furniture and carpeting. Here are six steps to repair wood table with water damage:


1. Clean and dry your wood table

If your wood table has been soaked in water, the first thing you need to do is to take it outside and let it dry. If the weather is not favorable and you are not able to take the table to dry out, then place it in a dry room with good air circulation and warm temperature. Make sure to turn on the heating and fans.

Set the temperature right because if you set it too low, your water damaged table will dry slowly and that will increase its chances of forming mold. Moisture in your furniture encourages the growth of mold and fungus. Hence, you need to make sure your wood table is completely dry in the shortest time possible.

On the other hand, if you set the temperatures too high, cracks will form on your wood table. The fan will help to speed up the drying process. Drying your table makes it easier for you to assess the extent of the damage. Depending on the extent of the damage, the table may take a day, several weeks or even months before it is completely dry.

2. Determine if the table is salvageable

Before making any repairs to your wood table, take some time to assess the extent of the damage and evaluate whether it is worth saving. Flood water tends to damage wood furniture in different ways.

Salvaging furniture that has suffered extensive water damage may be expensive. There are several factors you need to consider before you start making any repairs, including:

  • The cost of repairing the item
  • The actual price of the table
  • The extent of the damage
  • The furniture’s sentimental value especially if it is a family heirloom.

If you decide to keep your wooden table, proceed to repair it.

3. Treat White Spots

After your wood table is appropriately dry, check for any white spots that may have formed on its surface. There are various homemade solutions for cleaning such places.

You can use turpentine, mix water and household ammonia in equal parts or even make a solution of baking soda and toothpaste on a ratio of 1 to 1. Dip a clean, wet cloth or sponge in the mixture and rub it against the spot and around it to remove the mildew. After you remove all the spots, use a dry cotton fabric to polish the area.

4. Clean the Mildew

If your water damaged wood table had moisture content that was above 20%, chances are that mildew will grow on it. When water seeps into the wood, it leads to the formation of mold.

To find out if water has seeped through the finish of your furniture, assess the furniture thoroughly for black spots. If you do find the black spots, you will be required to remove the finish of your wood table to clean the mildew with a bleach solution.  You can coat it with a new layer of finish once you clean the mildew.

5. Check your furniture veneer for any damage

When your table is exposed to water or even moisture, the high chances are that the veneer part of the wood may peel, buckle or warp. Fortunately, you can repair the damaged veneer back to an acceptable condition.

The first thing you need to do is to soak the veneer with a moisturizer until it gets back into the right form again. Once it lays down flat, wipe it dry and clean. Use veneer glue to stick the veneer and body of the furniture together. Veneer glue is highly recommended since it dries up fast and is designed to look like wood.

Put the glue into a syringe and place the needle between the dry veneer and the wood table. Slowly empty the glue and then press the veneer firmly to hold onto the wooden table.

Place a wooden block on top of the veneer and wait for the glue to dry. Follow the glue’s manufacturer’s recommendation to see their waiting period before removing the block. Wipe off any excess glue using a sponge or cloth soaked in hot water. Remember to dry off any excess water so that you do not damage your table further.

6. Varnish your wood table

Finishing your water damaged wood table with varnish will not only preserve it, but will also help to protect it from stains and scratches. Preferably, choose a varnish that is not only waterproof, but also insect-repellent.

After your table is completely dry and the veneer is properly set, apply your coat of varnish using a clean paintbrush. Let the first coat dry first before spreading over the second one. Then, restore the luster of your wood table using furniture polish.

The process of restoring a water damaged wooden table is a labor of love. Repairing your wood furniture is well worth the effort and time put into the task since the resultant piece will add grace to your home. However, the process itself is not always up to everyone’s alley.

If you are unable to undertake these repair projects on your own, you can seek the services of professional fire, mold, or water restoration services. Homeowners are advised to educate themselves on how to protect their homes from flooding.

Avatar for Georgio Atana

As a General Contractor specialized in Restoration Environmental and Reconstruction, my professional goal is to keep up with the ever-changing rules, regulations, and laws in the restoration industry. I continue to strive to make the property recovery process a positive and good experience for each client.