How to clean and fix water damaged furniture?

How to clean and fix water damaged furniture?

If you are a property owner, a DIYer, a woodworker, or a builder, one of the most inevitable and challenging problems you might encounter is furniture damage. Any type of damage can be too serious when left unnoticed and can cause severe destruction to your property over time. One of the types of damages you might encounter with furniture is water damage. Water can damage different types of materials, and even, wood.

How water damages wooden furniture?

Wood is a natural material and can be susceptible to mold and rot when exposed to water or too much moisture without protection. Wood can swell and move from increased moisture content. There are also instances where wooden furniture can get watermarks caused by the wood finish.  Note that dark watermarks mean that water has already entered through the wood finishing, while light marks signify that the stain is still on the surface.

Various types of wood respond differently to damage caused by water. For instance, a wood veneer can uplift from the glue joint due to the moisture, while man-made woods can crumble and fall apart like MDF. No matter what type of wood furniture you have, it is essential to equip yourself with the information and useful tips you need to save yourself and your furniture from any additional hassle when you encounter water damage.

How to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture?

Dealing with water-related damages on wooden furniture can be frustrating, and water damage is inevitable and unexpected. There are instances in which you will encounter fair light damages that are easy to resolve, but you might want to be ready with the severe ones with the following tips.

Dry the furniture.

             One notable solution in fixing swollen wood furniture is by drying it thoroughly before anything else. You can remove the moisture by letting it sit under direct sunlight for at least 24 hours rather than using artificial means such as a hairdryer or blower. Note that the furniture should dry completely, but not too quickly as the wood can break or move from drying to fast. You should take your time and patience in drying it the natural way to achieve a good result.

Use more fixings.

             After drying the furniture well, start the repair by adding more fixings if needed. Take a look at the parts which need support and can be moved back into place with only extra fixing. There are varieties of fixings available like nails, screws, bolts, expanded metal lathe and galvanized strips, wall plugs, pipe brackets, cable clips, frame fixings, and many more. By adding more fixings, you can ensure a better version of your repaired furniture by moving timber back in the right place that has moved from moisture movement.

Use a belt sander or finishing sander.

             You might want to consider the use of a belt sander and finishing sander to sand the furniture after it dries. The most powerful belt sander will do the fastest straightforward sanding, especially on top of your furniture tabletop, while the best finishing sander is then ideal for when you want to achieve an ultra-smooth surface at the end. For a superb result, you might want to use both these tools, to restore old wood like new again. 

Apply marine-based polyurethane.

             Marine-based polyurethane is an exterior coating for boats that can provide surface protection against water and sunlight. It is ideal also for applying on furniture, railings, table, countertops that are inside that you don’t want to get white watermarks. It is commonly available in oil and water-based options and can give wood adequate protection from possible water damage.

How to remove watermarks on wooden furniture?

To fix watermarks or stains on wood, you should have applied marine-grade polyurethane to the wooden furniture in the first place. But, you can still remove watermarks through some other alternative methods. 

Some alternatives to remove watermarks on wood include rubbing either a baking soda mixed with water, a mixture of vinegar and olive oil, dissolved salt on water, or toothpaste on the spot in a circular motion until the stain disappears. You should remember to avoid the use of too much water in the mixtures for a more noticeable and successful result. IF this doesn’t work, you can sand the whole surface with a finishing sander, and reapply a new coat of waterproof polyurethane.

How to repair water damaged veneer furniture?

A veneer is a type of wooden furniture composed of woods glued together to achieve a finished surface over man-made wood. Veneer furniture, however, is still prone to water damaged, especially it’s surface and between its glued joint.

When your veneer furniture needs repair caused by water, you can try to apply liquid furniture polish to remove dull white spots. If these spots are too severe, get a rag with denatured alcohol and rub it on the white rings. Make sure to keep an eye on the amount of denatured alcohol as it can destroy the wood finishing. You can also try rubbing the spot with either cigarette ashes with oil or a mixture of rottenstone and oil. Carefully clean the spot and wipe it with a rag. If you notice that the stain is gone, wax the place or the entire surface two times and polish it. But you might need to peel back re-glue and clamp down the veneer until it drys.

Furniture scratch repair for wooden furniture?

Scratches are one of the ordinary and annoying issues in wooden furniture. You can remove scratches by cleaning the spot first where the scratches are. You might want to prepare a dishwashing liquid mixed with water and use a cloth to rub on the spot. This is ideal for removing any dust, oil, and old polish from the surface before removing the scratches itself. You might want to choose the right color wood filler that will fit your furniture. Although there are lots of color wood fillers available in the market, you should consider your furniture when purchasing. It would also be best if you sand the area for an even surface then apply polyurethane as finishing.

Hiring a professional instead

You can do a DIY fix and apply these tricks and tips to resolve the problem with your water damaged furniture, but in some instances, it might be too hard to handle yourself to get a professional result. If the water damage in your wooden furniture is beyond you. This is the time wherein you will need to seek professional help to restore your important furniture.

Some companies offer professional services in repairing and restoring water-damaged furniture. Professionals in this field are trained to do the right process when improving and finding other hidden damage. With specialized training on handling various water-damaged situations and deciding best what needs to be done. 

Together with the expertise in the field, and the latest equipment, and tools needed for restoring damaged wooden furniture. Hiring a professional can end up saving both your time and money.


About Woodard Cleaning & Restoration

Woodard Cleaning & Restoration was founded in 1946 by Earl and Nancy Woodard. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, Woodard services the greater metro area (Illinois, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, St. Louis County, and many more). Woodard is proud to serve as the preferred provider for cleaning & restoration services. Our cleaning services include carpet, hard surface, furniture, and rug cleaning for both residential and commercial properties. We also provide water, fire, board-up, storm and smoke restoration services for residential and commercial clients. For information or questions submit a form online or call us at 314-227-3932.

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Updated 9/18/2020