How To Restore Water Damaged Wood In 5 Simple Steps

You’ll be surprised to know that you can actually save a water-damaged structure by learning how to restore water damaged wood correctly. In fact, water damage is a common issue dealt with in a household that is, most of the time, if not always, a subject of insurance coverage.

As there are plenty of ways to salvage the damaged areas or pieces, there are also a bunch of precautions to be taken if you are doing the repairs yourself. You are also expected to detect first the symptoms of a water-injured wood. The earlier you notice and address them, it’s more probable that you can identify the most applicable and least costly remedies.

how to restore water damaged wood

Such indications that your wood furniture, flooring, or the wall has been attacked by water include changes in shapes and texture, discoloration or staining, and mold growth. Although we may not mention all the signs, you may easily spot an impairment just by paying attention to the appearance of the piece.

Depending on the kind of wood your furniture or other structural parts are made of, the visible effects of water damage differ according to it. The remedies also vary in dealing with different types of water damage your wood has caught.

This article finds out the steps and techniques you can apply to deal with and save water-damaged wood.


5 Steps In Repairing Water-Damaged Wood

We pack in the ways to fix a water-damaged wood in 5 simple remedial steps!


Step #1. “Troubleshoot” causes and solve them

Before hopping into the repairs, you’ll want to know first the main reason for the water damage. The culprit could be indoor flooding or occasional flooding.

Water leakage from a dripping faucet, sink pump failure, drain stoppage, or even a faulty home appliance causes your wood structures to be water-damaged. In instances where a storm flooding caused the wood impairment, it’s least likely that your reparation will be much easier.


Step #2. Locate and detach or move the affected piece

Once you’ve identified the source, it’s time to select and separate the area or portion needed to be fixed. For wooden furniture, wipe the moisture seeping into it to prepare them for drying. For minor exterior damage, carefully cut out the area and be ready to bring them outside.


Step #3. Clean and sun or air-dry piece

Clean any mildews using a mixture of bleach and a small amount of water. Then, let the wood piece dry outside under the sun to remove excess moisture. You can also use other ventilation such as plug-in fans to help in drying, especially during damp weather.


Step #4. Identify and apply the most appropriate restoration process

Wooden furniture is most of the time reparable on your own. At the same time, certain water damages caused to walls, flooring, and subflooring are left to experts for reparation.


Filling and sandpapering

If it’s minor damage, fill in any holes with a wood putty filler mixed with a toughening agent, then use sandpaper to even the surface once the filler dries.


Piece replacement

The best remedy for significant water damages, such as on flooring, is to replace the damaged subfloor boards. Naturally, remove the rotten wood and weave in new ones instead of curing it with sanding. Ensure though that the concrete is dry before placing the new floor to prevent molds from reactivating.


Seeking floor repair professionals

While some significant restorations can be “DIY,” there are still repairs that should be left to experts. In cases such as the wall’s baseboards being damaged, it’s best to call on a repair expert.


Step #5. Resurface area

After applying the best remedy, proceed to reassembling and refinishing the area or the furniture piece. For filler and sander-remedied pieces, reattach joints using wood glue. Then, apply coats of waterproof varnish over it using a paintbrush.

For floor replacement, spread over a marine polyurethane coating (which you can leave on the contractor’s hands). Finally, you’re good to go! If you wonder how to paint over water-damaged wood, below is a guide to doing so.


How To Fix Water Damage On A Coffee Table

Perhaps you spilled a beverage over your wooden coffee table, and you worry if it will leave a permanent mark on it. However, these stains are actually removable.

Using any of the following mixtures, rub it on the stained surface with either a soft cloth or fine steel wool:

  • Baking soda and water paste
  • Olive oil and vinegar solution
  • Non-gel toothpaste
  • Furniture finishing oil


Can I Repaint Water Damaged Wood?

The answer is yes. Once you rectify the moisture problem using the remedies mentioned above, buy lead-free paint if you chose to paint yourself.

Experts recommend applying oil-based primer as a base coat and a latex or a low-gleam with a strong finish for the topcoat. Assure that the wood is totally dry before using paints.



Although ways on how to restore water damaged wood are pretty simple, nothing beats the benefits of preventing the damage from occurring in the first place. It can also save you more money if you regularly check your home’s wood structures and any possible water leak sources.

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