How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Furniture

Wood furniture is a popular choice for many homeowners due to its durability, versatility, and timeless charm. However, when exposed to water or moisture, wood furniture can become damaged and swollen. This not only affects the appearance of your furniture but also compromises its structural integrity. Fortunately, with the right knowledge and techniques, you can fix water-damaged swollen wood furniture and restore it to its original condition.

How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Furniture

The main advantage of fixing water damaged swollen wood furniture is being able to save your furniture from permanent damage. Water can cause serious harm to wood furniture, leading to warping and swelling that can ruin its appearance and functionality. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture in this blog article.

Step-by-step Instructions for How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Furniture

Step 1: Inspect the Damage

Begin by inspecting the extent of the damage on your wood furniture. Look for any visible swelling or warping, as well as signs of discoloration or mold growth. If there is still water present on your furniture, use a dry cloth to carefully pat it dry. Avoid using excessive force that could further damage the wood.

Step 2: Disassemble if Necessary

If your furniture has any removable parts, such as drawers or shelves, carefully remove them to allow for better access to the damaged areas. To help dry out the wood, use a dehumidifier in the room where the furniture is located. This will help to reduce the moisture in the air and speed up the drying process.

Step 3: Sand Down the Swollen Areas

Using a fine-grit sandpaper, gently sand down the swollen areas of your wood furniture. This will help to smooth out any rough edges and restore the shape of the piece. After sanding, use a wood cleaner to remove any remaining dirt or debris from the surface of the furniture. This will also help to prevent any potential mold growth.

Step 4: Let it Dry Completely

Allow your furniture to air dry completely before moving on to the next step. This may take several days, depending on the extent of the damage and the humidity levels in your home. If there are any noticeable holes or cracks in the wood, use a wood filler to fill them in. Make sure to follow the instructions on the product and allow it to dry completely before sanding down.

Step 5: Sand Again if Needed

Use a Fine-grit Sandpaper to Smooth

After the wood filler has dried, use a fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots or excess filler. This will help to create a more even surface. If your furniture has lost its color due to water damage, you can use a wood stain to restore it. Make sure to choose a stain that matches the original color of the wood.

Step 6: Seal with Varnish or Wax

To protect your furniture from future water damage, seal it with a coat of varnish or wax. This will also give it a nice shine and help to bring out the natural beauty of the wood. If the damage to your wood furniture is extensive or if you are unsure about how to fix it yourself, consider seeking professional help. A professional furniture restorer will have the necessary tools and expertise to repair your piece effectively.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to protecting wood furniture from water damage. Make sure to clean up any spills immediately and avoid placing wooden pieces in areas with high humidity levels. With proper care, your wood furniture can last for many years without being affected by moisture or other types of damage.

Safety Precautions  for How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Furniture

Wood Furniture in Areas Prone to Water Spills
  1. Wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and a mask to avoid any potential hazards during the restoration process.
  2. Use caution when working with power tools or chemicals to prevent accidents.
  3. Avoid placing wet or damp furniture in direct sunlight or near heat sources as this can cause further damage to the wood.
  4. Make sure the area where you are working is well ventilated to prevent the buildup of fumes from any cleaning products or chemicals.
  5. If there is extensive damage, it may be necessary to consult a professional before attempting to fix it yourself.
  6. Keep children and pets away from the restoration process for their safety.
  7. Properly dispose of any materials or chemicals used during the restoration process according to local regulations.

By following these safety precautions, you can ensure a successful and safe restoration of your water damaged wood furniture.

What Are Common Causes of Water Damage on Wood Furniture?

Water damage on wood furniture is a common problem that can occur due to a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Spills and leaks: Accidents happen, and if you have wood furniture in areas prone to water spills or leaks, it is highly likely that your furniture may get damaged.
  • Humidity and moisture: High levels of humidity in the environment can cause wood furniture to absorb excess moisture, leading to swelling and warping.
  • Flooding: Floods can cause severe damage to wood furniture, as they expose it to high levels of water for an extended period.
  • Faulty plumbing: A burst pipe or a faulty plumbing system can result in water damage on wood furniture, especially if it is located near the affected area.
  • Lack of proper maintenance: Not taking proper care of wood furniture can make it vulnerable to water damage. Regular polishing and sealing can help protect furniture from moisture.

By understanding the common causes of water damage on wood furniture, you can take preventative measures to avoid such situations. However, if your furniture has already been damaged by water, here is a guide on how to fix it.

Is There a Way to Prevent Future Water Damage on Your Wood Furniture?

As we discussed in the previous section, water damage on wood furniture can be a real headache. Not only does it ruin the appearance and structural integrity of your beloved pieces, but it can also lead to costly repairs or replacements. There are steps you can take to prevent future water damage on your wood furniture. Here’s how:

1. Use Coasters and Placemats

Use Coasters and Placemats Under Glasses or Plates

One of the most common causes of water damage on wood furniture is from spills and condensation. To avoid this, make sure to use coasters and placemats under glasses or plates that contain liquids. This will help protect your furniture from any moisture.

2. Wipe Up Spills Immediately

Accidents happen, but it’s important to act fast if a liquid spills on your wood furniture. Use a clean cloth to gently dab and absorb the spill, making sure not to rub it as this can further damage the wood.

3. Keep Furniture Away from Heat Sources

Wood is sensitive to temperature changes, and exposure to heat sources such as radiators or fireplaces can cause it to expand and contract. This can lead to cracks and warping, making the wood more vulnerable to water damage.

4. Maintain Proper Humidity Levels

Too much or too little humidity can be damaging to wood furniture. Ideally, your home should have a humidity level between 40-50%. You can use a humidifier or dehumidifier to maintain these levels.

5. Use Furniture Wax or Polish

Applying a wax or polish to your wood furniture can create a protective layer that helps repel water. Just make sure to use products specifically designed for wood furniture and follow the instructions carefully.

However, if your furniture does end up getting water damaged, we’ve got you covered. Check out our guide on Fixing Water Damaged Swollen Wood Furniture for step-by-step instructions on how to restore your furniture back to its former glory.

How Can You Properly Clean and Maintain Your Wood Furniture After Fixing Water Damage?

Wood furniture adds warmth and character to any home, but it can easily become damaged by water. Whether it’s from a leaky roof, flooding, or even spilled drinks, water can cause wood furniture to swell and warp, making it appear unsightly and causing structural damage.

If you’ve already followed our guide on fixing water damaged swollen wood furniture, you may be wondering how you can properly maintain and clean your furniture to prevent future damage. In this guide, we’ll outline some tips and tricks for caring for your wood furniture after fixing water damage.

1. Dry Thoroughly

Make Sure Your Wood Furniture is Completely Dry

After fixing water damage, it’s important to make sure your wood furniture is completely dry. This will prevent the growth of mold and mildew, which can cause further damage to your furniture and pose a health hazard in your home. Use a clean cloth or towel to carefully dry all surfaces of the furniture, including hard-to-reach areas.

2. Assess the Damage

Before attempting to clean your wood furniture, assess the extent of the damage. If there are any deep cracks or structural damage, it’s best to consult a professional for repairs. For superficial damage such as light staining or discoloration, you can proceed with cleaning and maintenance.

3. Use Gentle Cleaners

When cleaning wood furniture, avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can further damage the wood. Instead, opt for gentle cleaners such as a mild soap diluted in water or a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. Apply the cleaner with a soft cloth and gently wipe down all surfaces.

4. Buff and Polish

To restore the shine to your wood furniture, use a high-quality furniture polish or wax. Apply a small amount to a soft cloth and buff it onto the wood in circular motions. This will not only add shine but also create a protective layer against future water damage.

5. Consider Using a Sealant

If your wood furniture is prone to water damage, you may want to consider using a sealant for added protection. There are various types of sealants available, so be sure to do your research and choose one that is compatible with the type of wood and finish of your furniture.

6. Avoid Direct Sunlight

Direct Sunlight Can Cause Wood Furniture to Fade

Direct sunlight can cause wood furniture to fade and warp over time. To prevent this, try to keep your furniture out of direct sunlight or use curtains or blinds to protect it. If your furniture is in a sunny spot, consider rotating it periodically to prevent one side from being exposed to sunlight for an extended period.

7. Clean Up Spills Immediately

Accidents happen, and spills are inevitable. If you do spill liquid on your wood furniture, be sure to clean it up immediately with a dry cloth or paper towel. This will prevent the liquid from penetrating the wood and causing damage.

8. Monitor Humidity Levels

Humidity levels can greatly affect wood furniture, as high humidity can cause it to swell and low humidity can cause it to shrink and crack. Invest in a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels in your home, and use a dehumidifier or humidifier if necessary to keep levels within the recommended range for your specific type of wood furniture.

9. Regularly Dust and Wipe Down

Dust and Wipe Down Your Furniture at Least Once a Week

Regular maintenance is key to keeping your wood furniture in good condition. Make it a habit to dust and wipe down your furniture at least once a week, using a soft cloth or microfiber duster to remove any dust or debris that can scratch the surface.

By following these tips and incorporating them into your regular cleaning routine, you can ensure that your wood furniture stays beautiful and free from water damage for years to come. Remember to always treat your wood furniture with care and avoid exposing it to excessive amounts of water or harsh chemicals.


In conclusion, learning to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture can save you a lot of money and extend the life of your favorite pieces. However, it is important to note that this type of repair may not always be possible or effective, especially if the damage is extensive. In such cases, it may be better to consult a professional or consider replacing the damaged furniture altogether.

Moreover, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to water damage on wood furniture. Taking proper care of your furniture, keeping it away from water sources, and addressing spills or leaks immediately can help avoid costly repairs in the future. I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture. Make Sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

Leave a Comment