How To Restore Water Damaged Wood Vanity: 8 Manageable Steps

Humidity can ruin woodworks like vanity doors, so this article will explain how to restore water damaged wood vanity. Not having enough ventilation in your bathroom can cause humidity in the air to wreak havoc on vanity doors. 


how to restore water damaged wood vanity

Steps To Fix Water Damage On A Bathroom Vanity Door

In cases of extreme humidity, the wood can swell, causing the doors not to close correctly. However, you can learn how to repair most damages using glue, sandpaper, wood bleach, and wood plane, but if the repairs are immense, you’ll most likely need to restain and refinish your wood vanity. 

Below are the steps you can take to repair your water damaged bathroom vanity door. 


Step #1. Remove the water damaged door

What you need to consider first is to remove the water damaged door and lay it on a workbench. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the hinges and take off the handle.


Step #2. Glue down the lifting veneer

Use a carpenter’s glue to glue down the lifting veneer. You may put your glue in a syringe, start putting 20 percent water, and place the tip behind the lifting veneer.

Apply glue under the lifting veneer, place wax paper over the veneer, and put a piece of plywood on the wax paper. Clamp the plywood to the door to hold the veneer down while the glue dries.


Step #3. Remove the plywood

Unfasten the clamps and take off the plywood and wax paper. Use 150-grit sandpaper to sand off the dried glue by hand.

Using a hand plane, trim the edges of the doors that swelled and no longer close properly. 


Step #4. Remove the finish

Sand off any areas covering a black or gray water stains using a palm sander and 120-grit sandpaper. See that the area you sand is wider than the stained area. 


Step #5. Make a solution of oxalic acid crystals and water

Prepare a solution of oxalic acid crystals and water and brush the solution onto the stain. Let it sit until it’s ready, and brush until the stain is gone. 

Neutralize the solution by brushing on two tablespoons of baking soda and one-quarter of water. Allow the wood to dry completely. 


Step #6. Seal the bare wood

Choose a stain that can match the door’s color onto all the spots you have repaired, and wipe away the excess using a rag. Seal the wood with a coat of polyurethane, and let it dry completely.


Step #7. Sand the surface

Sand the finish using 220-grit sandpaper. Brush another coat of polyurethane again, sand the surface as soon as it dries and apply the third coat.


Step #8. Reattach the hardware

Put the hardware back when the third coat dries already and rehang the doors. 


The Secret To Reducing Humidity Levels

One way to keep wood protected is by controlling humidity. Exhaust fans in bathrooms aren’t just for odors and dispersing the air.

Bathroom exhaust fans can pull the moisture out of the air so that it’s not stuck in the room. If you don’t have an exhaust fan, it’s advisable to have one installed as soon as possible, but it doesn’t have to look fancy as there are various models on the market today that you can install quickly and without much effort. 

Some homeowners choose to put up ceiling fans and install an open window in the room for natural ventilation. You can have a dehumidifier if you have issues with excess moisture from the air. 

A dehumidifier can give an extra layer of protection by taking more moisture out of the air. It’s not essential, but it can ensure that your bathroom stays clean and dry, no matter how wet it can get inside. 


The Importance Of Waterproofing Your Woodwork

One way to protect your wood in the bathroom is to waterproof your woodwork and cabinets. High-gloss paints are desirable for bathroom spaces because they repel water better and prevent water from seeping into the woodwork. 

Most wood vanities use veneer to overcome moisture problems in the first place. These veneers are not impervious to water damage.

Even the best vanities have cracks, seams, and areas where water can penetrate and cause a significant problem before you even understand what’s going on. 


Tips In Maintaining Wood Bath Vanities

A bathroom vanity is an excellent investment, and it’s essential to pick one that can last for a long time. Well-made bathroom vanities can stand harsh conditions from bathrooms and handle fluctuating heat and humidity levels. 

Here are a few guidelines to keep the best quality of your wood vanity and cleaning tips to maximize the life of your wooden furniture. 


1. Wipe up spills immediately

Spills are one of the most severe dangers to wood vanities and stone vanity tops. To safeguard the finish on your wood vanity and the seal on top, use a gentle motion to wipe up spills. 

Keeping your wood vanity dry is the best way to look elegant. It can also allow the sealing finish on the wood to do its job effectively. 


2. Dust and polish regularly

Wipe down your wood vanity using a dry cloth to eliminate loose dust or hair. From time to time, use a soft cloth to apply wood polish on the surface and rub the cloth gently on the surface. 


3. Don’t use harsh chemicals

Harsh chemicals can strip the finish away from your wood vanity and do more harm than good. If mold and mildew develop, it’s almost impossible to eliminate them without damaging the vanity’s finish. 

Always remember to be consistent with regular cleaning to prevent significant problems from developing in the first place. 



Now that you already know how to restore water damaged wood vanity, you can do repairs on your wood vanity if there’s a presence of water damage. 

Ensure that you always wipe spills immediately to minimize the amount of water seeping into your wood vanity. Be vigilant of the chemicals you use in cleaning your wooden furniture, as harsh chemicals can strip the finish of your wood vanity. 

For more information about water damage in wood, you may check out this article to learn how to clean water damaged bare wood and a guide on how to lighten water damaged wood.

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