How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Table

Water damage can cause wood to swell, warp, and become discolored. Left untreated, this damage can make your table look unsightly and reduce its lifespan significantly. Knowing to fix water-damaged swollen wood tables is essential for keeping them looking beautiful and lasting longer.

How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Table

The advantage of fixing water damaged, swollen wood table is that you may not need to purchase a whole new table. Depending on the extent of the damage, you can repair a water-damaged and swollen wooden table with some simple tools and products.

This method is much more cost-effective than buying an entirely new table. In this blog post, You will learn in detail how to fix water damaged swollen wood table.

Step-by-Step Processes for How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Table

Step 1: Inspect the Table

Inspect the table to determine if the water damage is localized or widespread. Look for signs of swelling, warping, discoloration, and cracking. If you can identify a specific area exposed to water, use a blow dryer on low heat to dry out the area. Make sure to move the blow dryer around the entire area to ensure that it is completely dry.

Step 2: Sand the Affected Area

If you are dealing with cracks or warping, use a medium-grit sandpaper to lightly sand down the affected area until it is smooth. Be as gentle as possible while sanding, and use a clean cloth to wipe away any dust or debris.

Step 3: Use a Wood Filler

Use a wood filler to fill in any gaps or cracks caused by the water damage. Make sure that the product you use is specifically formulated for indoor wood surfaces. Following the label instructions, apply this product and let it dry completely before continuing.

Use a Medium-grit Sandpaper

Step 4: Stain the Table

Now you can begin to stain the table. Choose a color that matches your existing wood furniture and apply it following label instructions. Let the stain dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Once the stain has dried, you can finish your repair job by applying a few coats of varnish or polyurethane over the affected area. This will provide a protective finish and give the wood an even appearance once it’s dry.

Step 5: Wait for the Varnish to Dry

Allow the varnish or polyurethane to dry completely before using the table again. This can take up to 24 hours, depending on the product you used and environmental conditions. Once the varnish has dried, use steel wool to remove rough spots. This will help give the table an even look.

Step 6: Use Wood Polish

Use wood polish on the affected area to finish your repair job. This will help protect and condition the wood while also giving it a shine. After all the hard work, you can enjoy your newly refinished table. With proper care and maintenance, you should be able to keep this piece looking beautiful for years to come.

Use Wood Polish on the Affected Area

Tips for How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Table

  1. Wear a dust mask and safety glasses while working with wood to protect your respiratory system and eyes from any debris that may fly up during the repair process.
  2. Unplug power outlets or turn off the breaker if the table is close to an electrical socket to avoid electrocution.
  3. Always use a stable workbench or table to avoid getting electrocuted from the power tools and ensure safety while working.
  4. Use hand tools only if you know how to use them safely, as they can cause severe injuries if not used properly.
  5. Disconnect any hinges or locks attached to the table before beginning repairs for your safety and convenience.
  6. Be sure to wear a pair of protective gloves while handling wood material and stains to protect your skin from chemicals.
  7. Place the table in an area with good ventilation and fresh air while you are repairing it, as some wood treatments may release fumes that could be hazardous when inhaled.

These tips will help ensure your safety when fixing a water-damaged swollen wood table. Make sure to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your work area before beginning repair projects.

What Types of Damage Can Occur Due to Water? 

When water is spilled on a wooden table, it can cause irreparable damage. Depending on the type of wood used and the amount of water spilled, some common types of damage include swelling, warping, discoloration, mold or mildew growth, and cracking. In severe cases, the entire table may need to be replaced.

If caught early enough, however, it is possible to fix water-damaged swollen wood tables.

The first step in repairing a water-damaged table is to dry the affected area of the wood as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Using a soft cloth or towel, gently absorb any excess moisture from the surface of the wood and then allow it to air dry. It is important not to use any heat or fan to speed up the drying process, as this can cause further damage.

Wear a Dust Mask and Safety Glasses

How Do You Identify if Your Wood Table Has Been Damaged by Water? 

If your wood table has been exposed to water, there are a few signs you can look for to identify the damage. These include swelling, discoloration, warping, and cracking of the surface. If you see any of these changes in your table’s appearance, water likely has caused some damage.

However, even if you don’t see any obvious signs, it may still be worth investigating further. The wood may not have been properly sealed. It could therefore allow water to seep through, causing swelling or enlargement of the surface area without any visible changes in color or texture.

Once you have identified that your table has been damaged by water, the next step is to assess the extent of the damage and decide on the best course of action. If the damage is minimal, then you may be able to repair it yourself with some basic tools and supplies found around your home.

If the damage is more extensive, however, it may be necessary to call in a professional who can evaluate the situation and advise how best to repair your table.

What Are Some Signs That Indicate Further Repair May Be Needed? 

If you find that the water damage to your wood table is more severe than you originally thought, a few telltale signs indicate further repair may be needed. These include:

  • Warping or cupping of the wood surface
  • Severe discoloration and staining on the wood surface
  • Splitting or cracking along joints in the wood
  • Loose joints that are unable to be tightened
  • Buckling on the wood surface

If you notice any of these signs, taking the necessary steps to repair your table is important. It may be possible to fix the damage yourself if the water damage is not too severe; however, it may be necessary to seek professional help for more extensive damage.

Are Any Products or Treatments Available That Can Help Prevent Future Swelling? 

Yes, various products and treatments are available that can help protect your wooden table from future water damage. Most wood finishes, such as polyurethane or varnish, provide protection against moisture and will help keep your table looking great for many years.

Also, sealants are specifically designed to protect wood surfaces from water damage. Applying a sealant to your table’s surface can help prevent future swelling and warping due to water damage.

Using Waterproof Fabric Placemats on the Table

If you’re looking for an extra layer of protection, consider using waterproof fabric placemats on the table. Not only will this protect the wood from any spills or condensation, but it will also help protect the finish of your table from wear and tear. For extra peace of mind, you can use furniture wax or a clear coat sealant to protect your table from water damage.

These products form a protective barrier around the wood and help keep moisture away from the surface of your table. To apply, follow the product label’s directions for the best results.

How Often Should You Inspect Your Wood Table for Water Damage and Swelling Signs? 

To preserve your wood table in the best condition, inspecting it for water damage and swelling should be done regularly.

Check on the table’s surface every few weeks or so to ensure there are no discolored patches, warping, or streaks that could indicate water damage. If you notice any signs of potential damage, immediately mitigate further harm and repair the damage.

Additionally, if your table is kept in a room with high humidity levels, such as a bathroom or kitchen, inspect it more often for signs of water damage. Prolonged exposure to moisture could cause serious swelling and warping of the wood.

If you notice any signs of water damage or swelling on your wood table, immediately repair the damage as soon as possible. Follow these steps to fix water-damaged and swollen wood tables:

 Apply a Protective Layer of Polyurethane
  • Start by cleaning the table with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris that could be covering up signs of damage. This will also help you understand how severe the swelling is.
  • Once the table’s surface is dry, use a putty knife to scrape away any swollen or warped wood.
  • If needed, use fine-grit sandpaper for sanding down any rough patches in the wood that may have been caused by water damage.
  • Next, apply some wood adhesive to the damaged areas and press down firmly to ensure it is securely bonded.
  • Allow the adhesive to dry completely before applying two coats of wood stain in a hue that matches your table’s original color.
  • Once the stain has dried, apply a protective layer of polyurethane or varnish to seal and protect the surface from future water damage.

By following these steps, you can fix water-damaged and swollen wood tables.


In conclusion, fixing a water-damaged, swollen wood table is difficult. It requires patience, skill, and the right tools. You may need to replace the top or parts of the table if they cannot be salvaged. After completing these steps, your table should look good as new!

Not only have you saved money by repairing it yourself, but you have also fulfilled a labor of love in restoring your beloved table. Thanks to the above steps, you can proudly display it as part of your home decor. I hope this article has been beneficial in learning how to fix water damaged swollen wood table. 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