How to Waterproof a Wood Table

Do you have a wood table that needs some love due to excessive moisture or wear and tear? Waterproofing your wooden furniture can help keep it looking brand new, while also preventing further damage from humidity and other liquids.

In this blog post, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to waterproof a wood table so you can enjoy its beauty much longer. With the tips found in this guide, your treasured table will be better protected from spills, sun damage, and general wear over time.

How to Waterproof a Wood Table

We’ll cover which products are best suited for different types of woods, how to clean the surface before starting the project, what materials you’ll need for the job as well as how often re-applying is necessary. Let’s dive in!

Tools and Materials You Will Need to Waterproof a Wood Table

  1. Fine-grit sandpaper
  2. Clean cloth or sponge
  3. Gloves and protective gear
  4. Waterproofing product suitable for wood furniture (e.g. varnish, lacquer, sealant)
  5. Paintbrush or foam brush
  6. Dropcloth or newspaper to protect your workspace
  7. A well-ventilated area

Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Waterproof a Wood Table

Step 1: Preparing the Surface of Your Wood Table 

Before you begin waterproofing your wood table, it’s important to properly clean and sand the surface. Start by gently sanding any rough or uneven areas using fine-grit sandpaper. This will help create a smooth surface for your waterproofing product to adhere to. Once done, use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe down the table and remove any dust or debris. This will ensure that your waterproofing product can properly penetrate and seal the wood.

Step 2: Choosing the Right Waterproofing Product for Your Wood Table 

The best waterproofing product for your wood table will depend on the type of wood it’s made from. For example, if you have an outdoor wooden table that is exposed to a lot of sunlight and moisture, a sealant or varnish with UV protection would be ideal.

However, if you have an indoor wooden table that is prone to spills and stains, a polyurethane lacquer would be a better option. Do your research and choose a product that best suits your specific needs.

Step 3: Applying the Waterproofing Product 

Once you have chosen the appropriate waterproofing product, it’s time to apply it to your wood table. Make sure to work in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves for protection. Using a paintbrush or foam brush, apply an even layer of the waterproofing product to the entire surface of your table. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding application and drying times.

Using a Paintbrush or Foam Brush

Step 4: Repeat if Necessary 

Most waterproofing products will require multiple coats for optimal protection. Refer to the product instructions for the recommended number of coats and drying times. It’s important to not rush this step and allow each coat to fully dry before applying another layer. This will ensure a strong and durable finish.

Step 5: Let it Dry 

Once you have applied the recommended number of coats, allow your wood table to dry completely. This may take several hours depending on the product used, so be patient and avoid using the table until it is fully dry. Make sure to also avoid placing any objects on the table that could potentially damage the finish. This will help ensure that your waterproofing job lasts as long as possible.

Allow Your Wood Table to Dry Completely

Following these simple steps will help you successfully waterproof your wood table and protect it from future damage. Remember to regularly clean and maintain the surface of your table, as well as reapply the waterproofing product as needed. By taking good care of your wooden furniture, you can enjoy its beauty for many years to come.  So go ahead and start enjoying your beautifully protected wood table! Happy waterproofing!

Additional Tips and Tricks to Waterproof a Wood Table

  1. When choosing a waterproofing product, make sure it is specifically designed for wood surfaces. Using the wrong product could damage or discolor your table.
  2. Before applying any waterproofing product, thoroughly clean and sand the surface of your table. This will ensure that the product adheres properly and provides maximum protection.
  3. Consider using a sealant instead of just a waterproofing product. Sealants not only protect against water damage but also help prevent scratches and other wear and tear on your table.
  4. Apply multiple coats for added protection. While one coat may be enough for some products, applying two or three coats will provide better and longer-lasting waterproofing.
  5. Don’t forget to regularly reapply the waterproofing product or sealant. Over time, these products can wear off and leave your table vulnerable to water damage.
  6. If you want to add a pop of color to your wood table while also waterproofing it, consider using a tinted sealant or a colored waterproofing product.
  7. For added protection, use coasters and placemats when setting down glasses or hot dishes on your table. This will help prevent any water or heat damage.
  8. If you live in an area with high humidity, consider investing in a dehumidifier for the room where your table is located. This will help prevent any moisture build-up and further protect your table from water damage.
  9. Keep an eye out for any signs of water damage, such as warping or discoloration on your table. If you notice these, take immediate action to reapply waterproofing products or sealants.
  10. If you have a wooden outdoor table, make sure to regularly clean and reapply waterproofing products or sealants as exposure to the elements can cause them to wear off faster.
Apply Multiple Coats for Added Protection

Following these tips and tricks will not only help you effectively waterproof your wood table, but also keep it looking beautiful and protected for years to come. Remember to always read and follow the instructions on any product you use, and don’t be afraid to reach out to professionals for advice or assistance if needed.

With proper care and maintenance, your wood table can withstand water and other potential damage, allowing you to enjoy it for many meals and gatherings to come.  So keep these tips in mind and enjoy your water-resistant wood table with peace of mind. Happy waterproofing! 

Things You Should Consider to Waterproof a Wood Table

  1. The first considerations when waterproofing a wood table are the materials and tools needed for the job. You will need sandpaper, a paint or foam brush, polyurethane sealant, stain (if desired), and a drop cloth to protect your workspace.
  2. Before starting, make sure you have a well-ventilated space to work in. It is recommended to do this project outdoors or in a well-ventilated garage.
  3. Start by sanding the entire surface of the table with medium-grade sandpaper to remove any rough spots, splinters, or old finishes. This will also help the sealant adhere better to the wood.
  4. Wipe down the table with a damp cloth to remove any dust from sanding and allow it to dry completely.
  5. If you want to add color to your wood table, apply a stain according to the manufacturer’s instructions and allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next step.
  6. Using a paint or foam brush, apply a thin layer of polyurethane sealant evenly over the entire surface of the table. Make sure to follow the direction of the wood grain.
  7. Allow the first coat to dry completely, then lightly sand any bubbles or imperfections with high-grade sandpaper. Wipe down the table again with a damp cloth and apply a second coat of sealant.
  8. Repeat this process until you have achieved your desired level of waterproofing and protection for your table.
  9. After the final coat is dry, carefully inspect the table for any missed spots or imperfections. Touch up as needed.
Follow the Direction of the Wood Grain

By following these considerations, you can effectively waterproof your wood table and protect it from any spills or moisture. Remember to reapply sealant every few years to maintain the protection and keep your table looking beautiful for years to come.

Additionally, consider using coasters or placemats on your table to further protect it from heat and moisture. With proper care and maintenance, your wood table will be a long-lasting and durable piece of furniture in your home.  So, take the time to properly waterproof it to ensure its longevity and beauty.

Precautions Need to Be Followed for Waterproofing a Wood Table

  1. First and foremost, make sure to work in a well-ventilated area. The fumes from certain waterproofing products can be harmful if inhaled for prolonged periods.
  2. Always wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and a face mask when applying waterproofing products.
  3. Before starting the process of waterproofing, thoroughly clean the wood table with a mild detergent and let it dry completely.
  4. Sand the surface of the wood table using fine-grit sandpaper to remove any imperfections or rough spots. This will create a smooth surface for the waterproofing product to adhere to.
  5. If there are any visible cracks, holes, or scratches on the surface of the wood table, fill them with a wood filler and sand them down to create an even surface.
  6. It is important to choose the right type of waterproofing product for your wood table. There are various options available such as sealers, stains, and finishes. Consider factors like the type of wood, level of protection needed, and desired finish before making a decision.
  7. Test the chosen waterproofing product on a small, inconspicuous area of the wood table before applying it to the entire surface. This will help determine if the product is suitable and provides the desired outcome.
  8. When applying the waterproofing product, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Some products may require multiple coats, while others may need a specific amount to be applied for optimal protection.
Sand the Surface

Following these precautions will not only ensure a successful waterproofing process but also help in maintaining the quality and durability of your wood table. It is important to note that regular maintenance and reapplication of waterproofing products may be necessary to keep your wood table protected from moisture and other potential damage. With proper care, your newly waterproofed wood table will continue to look beautiful for years to come. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should I Waterproof My Wooden Table?

Waterproofing your wood table helps protect it from damage caused by moisture, spills, and wear and tear. It also extends the lifespan of the table and keeps it looking beautiful for longer. Waterproofing can also prevent warping, cracking, and rotting of the wood.

How Often Should I Waterproof My Wooden Table?

It is recommended to waterproof your wooden table at least once every year. However, if the table is exposed to high levels of moisture or heavy use, it may be beneficial to waterproof it more frequently, such as every 6 months.

Can I Waterproof a Table That Has Already Been Stained?

Yes, you can still waterproof a table that has been stained. In fact, it is highly recommended to do so to protect the stain and prevent it from fading or getting damaged.

How Do I Know if My Wooden Table Needs to Be Waterproofed?

There are a few signs that indicate your wooden table may need to be waterproofed. If you notice water marks, discoloration, or the wood feels rough or dry to the touch, it is likely time for a new coat of waterproofing.

Can I Use any Type of Waterproof Sealant?

No, not all waterproof sealants are suitable for all types of wood. It is important to choose a sealant that is specifically designed for use on wooden surfaces. You should also consider the level of protection and durability you need for your particular table.

Choose a Sealant That is Specifically Designed


Now you know how to waterproof a wood table and why it is important to do so. Remember to always use a suitable waterproof sealant and to reapply it regularly for maximum protection. With proper maintenance, your wood table will stay beautiful and functional for years to come.  So go ahead and enjoy using your wood table without worrying about water damage!  Keep it looking great with regular waterproofing.  

For more tips and advice, consult a professional or do some additional research on the best products for your specific type of wood table. Happy waterproofing!

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.

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