Easy 3-Step Guide On How To Fix Water Damaged Wood Table Top

If you want to know how to fix water damaged wood table top, then this article is for you! You can fix water-damaged tabletops with household or industrial supplies.


how to fix water damaged wood table top

Is wood ruined if it gets wet?

Wood is already a sturdy material, but it can still break down. Water almost always damages wood. That’s why when you leave a drink on the tabletop for too long, the wood gets stained.

If there’s continuous exposure to water, then the water damage becomes worse. Say, for example, a leaking pipe. If water drips on your tabletop, then the wood can rot and form molds.

Wet wood also swells, making the paint or varnish chip off. Since the wood expands, the paint or varnish naturally breaks apart.


How To Repair Water Damaged Wood Table Top

When wood gets wet, it’s not very enjoyable. What can you do to remove those pesky stains, cracks, molds, and other signs of water damage? Don’t worry; there’s still a way to repair your wood tabletop!


Step #1. Assess the situation

Take a good look at your tabletop. Are there stains on the surface? Are there rotting pieces of wood?

Once you’ve seen the extent of the water damage, you can choose to fix it yourself or call a professional for help. If the water damage is beyond repair, then you should consider replacing your table altogether.


Step #2. Prepare your materials

Before anything else, you’ll need to prepare your materials. For minor cases, you can use household materials. You’ll need industrial materials if the damage is worse.


2.1 For minor water damages like stains 

For stains on your tabletop, you can choose from the following:

  • Baking soda paste
  • Toothpaste
  • Vinegar and olive oil
  • Finishing oil


2.2 For more prominent water damages

To repair the rotting and molds on your tabletop, you’ll need:

  • Filler-putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint-primer and paint


Step #3. Repair the wood tabletop


3.1 For minor water damages like stains 

To get rid of minor water damage on your tabletop, you can use the household materials mentioned earlier. You can choose baking soda paste, toothpaste, vinegar, olive oil mixture, or finishing oil. The process is the same for all four materials.

For this method, you don’t need to move the table to a more open area. You should place a protective plastic over the floor in case of spillage.

Rub the liquid on the area of the stain until it goes away. Then you can wipe the remaining mixture off with a damp cloth. Repeat the process if needed.

However, this only works for minor water damage. Stains from glasses and spilled beverages are likely to go away with this method.


3.2 For more prominent water damages

For the filler-putty method, you’ll need to move your table to open space. You can set it inside your garage. Be sure to place a plastic sheet or newspapers to protect your floors.

If your tabletop has rotting parts and minor water damages, remove the affected areas first. Once you’ve removed these areas, you can put a filler-putty to fill in the empty spaces.

When the filler putty dries, you can now sand it down using coarse grit sandpaper. Make sure that the tabletop surface is as smooth as possible. Sanding down a surface also helps the paint to adhere better.

If you’re happy with how the filler-putty looks, you can now paint over the tabletop. To begin, apply a paint primer so that the paint stays on longer.

Once the primer dries, you can now paint the tabletop. You can opt to only paint over the repaired area. If you want a more polished look, you should paint over the whole tabletop.

It would be best if you let the paint dry before painting another layer. When you’re satisfied with the results, just put your good-as-new table in its original place!


When to replace your wood tabletop

The two methods mentioned above can only do so much. If you notice that your tabletop is beyond repair, then you should consider replacing it.

Leaving your water-damaged tabletop can affect the wooden furniture around it. That’s why it’s better to replace the tabletop, especially if you can’t repair it. Replacing your tabletop is also a good option if you want to update your furniture.

Sometimes, insurance coverage includes water damages to your furniture. However, the damage should be from sudden events like hurricanes. If the water damage is gradual, then insurance won’t pay for it.


How do you avoid water damage on wood tabletops?

A common way of preventing water damage on wood is by using a water-resistant varnish. Some varnishes also come with anti-stain properties.

You can also use coasters, placemats, or table cloths to protect the wood from stains further. These items will add a layer of protection against water.

Don’t forget to regularly inspect your tabletops for molds, rotting, and other signs of water damage.



If water damage does occur on your tabletops, don’t fret! You now know how to fix water damaged wood table top to restore your furniture’s glow.

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