How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Furniture? 7 Effective Steps

How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Furniture? 7 Effective Steps

No one except the water damaged wood furniture. But, it can happen causing unsightly swelling and compromising its structural integrity. Luckily, you can restore your water-damaged swollen wood furniture to its former glory with the right approach. So, how to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture? The initial step is to extract extra moisture using clean towels or clothes. Therefore, …

No one except the water damaged wood furniture. But, it can happen causing unsightly swelling and compromising its structural integrity. Luckily, you can restore your water-damaged swollen wood furniture to its former glory with the right approach. So, how to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture?

The initial step is to extract extra moisture using clean towels or clothes. Therefore, allowing the furniture to air dry is crucial, but ensuring it dries completely is quite critical. But, when  the wood is thoroughly dry, sand the swollen areas to reduce their size and restore a smoother surface. 

By the way, this blog post will provide you with detailed info on how to fix swollen wood furniture and some crucial FAQs that are helpful. 

How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Furniture?- Step by Step Directions 

Water-damaged refers to furniture that has been exposed to extra moisture, causing the wood to absorb water and swell. This can lead to visible damage including bulging, cracking, etc. Swollen wood loses its original shape and structural integrity, compromising the furniture’s functionality and appearance.

You can revive water-damaged wood furniture. To know how to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture, read the below step by step directions. 

Assessing the Damage

Assessing water damage involves checking affected areas for visible signs like discoloration, warping, or mold. Look for water stains on the swollen wood furniture. 

Check for unusual odors, as they may indicate hidden damage. Use moisture meters to measure dampness or examine the extent of water damage on your swollen wood furniture.


Disassemble the water-damaged furniture to address swollen joints and parts more effectively. It can help facilitate moisture removal by exposing more surface area. Ensure proper ventilation and use moisture-absorbing materials like silica gel or rice to absorb excess moisture. 

And, consider placing the disassembled pieces in a dry, well-ventilated area to aid in the evaporation procedure. 

Get rid of Excess Moisture

Yes, you can treat the water-damaged swollen furniture to get rid of excess moisture. Drying method is the most popular and simple technique nowadays. How to dry it? Follow the below points.

  • Using towels or a sponge to wipe off any standing water or excess moisture to fix swollen wood
  • Place the furniture in a well-ventilated area. Open windows and doors to enhance air circulation.
  • Position fans around the furniture to speed up the drying process. Point them at the damp areas. 
  • If available, use a dehumidifier to extract moisture from the air and surroundings. 
  • If possible, raise the furniture off the ground using blocks or other objects to allow air to circulate underneath.
  • Expose the furniture to sunlight depending on the weather. Sunlight can aid in drying and inhibit mold growth.
  • Monitor the drying progress and adjust the setup as needed. Ensure that all areas, including hidden ones, are adequately drying.

Use an iron to Dry

Wonder to see the name of iron? Well, iron is also used to remove water bulges from the wood. Using an iron on swollen wood can help alleviate moisture-related swelling. Here’s a simple method-

  • First, set the iron. Be sure your iron is fixed to a low or medium heat setting with no steam.
  • Seat a damp cloth over the swollen area. The cloth should be damp, not soaking wet. 
  • Iron carefully over the damp cloth. The heat helps to evaporate the moisture, and the cloth protects the wood surface. 
  • Lift the cloth to check the progress of swelling decreases. 

Alternatively, you can use a hair dryer instead of an iron in some cases. Hold your hair dryer by fixing on the lowest heat setting. Now, move it six inches away from the surface to repair water damaged wood. After some time, all the bubbles are gone and your swollen wood is dry.

Sand Swollen Areas

Sand swollen areas using fine-grit sandpaper to avoid causing further damage. Be sure the surface is dry and use light, circular motions. If the swelling is due to moisture, address the underlying issue to prevent future problems. 

Clamp Together

In this step, you need to use wood glue on separated joints or areas. Clamp the glued parts securely, maintaining pressure until the glue sets. You should follow the glue manufacturer’s instructions.

Finish and Refinish 

Once repairs are complete, sand the entire piece for a smooth finish. Then restore the furniture’s appearance by refinishing it as needed. Applying a water-resistant sealant or wax is essential to protect the wood from future water damage. 

Important read: How to Get Furniture Marks out of Carpet

How to Prevent Wooden Furniture From Water Damage? 

How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Furniture

Buying water-damaged furniture is not a good idea. But, you can prevent wooden furniture water damage by covering a water-resistant finish, using placemats or coasters. And, you should avoid placing wet items directly on the furniture. Regular cleaning and polishing the wood is also helpful to protect smooth finish. Here in details-

Use Placemats or Coasters

Always place coasters under glasses and cups to protect the wood from water rings and moisture.

Use oil finishes

Using oil finish is another way to protect your wood furniture from water damage. Tung oil, linseed oil, mineral oil, or any oil based finish is effective to do this job. It makes a barrier to prevent the wood from swelling.

Ignore Direct Heat

Refrain from placing hot items directly on the wooden surface, as it can cause discoloration or damage the finish.

Apply Sealant

Use a quality wood sealant or furniture wax to create a protective barrier against moisture. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and restoring wood furniture

Control Humidity

Maintain a consistent indoor humidity level to prevent wood from swelling or contracting. Use a dehumidifier in damp conditions.

Position Away from Sunlight

Avoid placing wooden furniture in direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure can lead to fading and damage. Use curtains or blinds to filter sunlight.

Clean & Wax regular 

Clean the furniture with a mild wood cleaner and wax it periodically. This creates a protective barrier against moisture. For cleaning, use a slightly damp, not wet, cloth to wipe surfaces. So, swollen wood furniture care is important to keep it beautiful. 

Fix Leaks Promptly

Discourse any water leaks or falls near the furniture to prevent prolonged exposure to moisture. This step is important for repairing swollen furniture

Elevate Furniture

If feasible, elevate wooden furniture slightly from the floor using furniture pads or coasters. This helps to minimize contact with potential water sources as well as swollen furniture repair

Some Questions & Answers on How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Furniture?

How do you fix wood that expands due to water?

You can move the affected wood to a dry environment and let it naturally dry out. This might take some time, but it’s a simple and effective solution. Also, use a dehumidifier to remove extra moisture from air along with wood. Once the wood is dry, lightly sand the expanded areas to smooth them out. Be careful not to remove too much material. To prevent future water damage, consider applying a water-resistant finish or sealant to the wood.

Can water-damaged wood furniture be restored? 

Yes, it is possible to restore  water-damaged wood furniture, but success depends on the extent of the damage. Begin by drying the furniture thoroughly, then assess & address any visible stains or contortion. Sanding and refinishing is important for more severe damage. Consider consulting a professional if the restoration process seems tough.

How do you fix water-damaged swollen particle board furniture?

Believe it or not, particle boards don’t recover well from water damage. When it’s swollen, the inner structure may be compromised. You might try drying it thoroughly by using sandpaper to level the dried areas. But, for a more lasting solution, remove or replace the damaged parts or the entire piece if necessary. 

How do you fix water-damaged wood furniture? 

Fixing water-damaged wood furniture is not a hard process. First, it is needed to remove extra water with any dry cloth. Keep your furniture in an open place with enough air circulation. But, avoid direct sunlight. Is the damage more painful?  Apply a mixture of equal parts white vinegar along with olive oil to scratch into the wood. 

Will swollen wood go back to normal?

Yes, swollen wood will go back to its normal state when it dries out. Although it depends on the type of wood and cause of the swelling. For proper drying, ventilation and moisture control is essential for repairing damaged wood. 

How do you flatten bloated wood? 

For flatten bloated wood, try to place a damp cloth on the affected area. A hot iron can help to heat it. This is helpful for the wood fibers to swell and even flatten. The other way is to use a moisture barrier (wax paper) and place a weight on the wood to encourage gradual flattening over time. 

Can you fix water swollen wood?

It is quite challenging to fix water swollen wood completely, but not impossible. You have to dry the wood slowly. Once the wood is dry, sand the swollen areas that helps smooth the surface. Using a wood conditioner (buy wood conditioner from Amazon) can also minimize the visual impact of the swelling. 

How do you fix swollen MDF furniture?

Fixing swollen MDF furniture is quite similar to fixing swollen wood furniture. First of all, withdraw extra moisture by sanding the swollen area. It is important to wait until drying completely. After dry, sand again and finish with paint or a sealant to protect against future swelling. Don’t forget to maintain water damage repair tips

Final Verdict 

At the end of the day, you have understood how to fix water damaged swollen wood furniture properly. So, you have to decrease extra moisture and try to dry your water-damaged furniture quickly. Once dry it completely, sand the swollen areas then using a wood conditioner.

Frequent polish & seal the wood to prevent future issues. Convenient intervention and ongoing care are necessary for salvaging water-damaged wood furniture. 

However, we have provided 9 steps to do this task easily. Don’t skip any points to get good results. 

Stay with your excellent swollen wood furniture!!

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Rachel has a talent for selecting and displaying the latest trends and items in the market, and her writing about home decor and accessories is intelligent and fascinating. Her writing is usually accompanied by wonderful imagery, and she has an uncanny ability to help her readers imagine how various pieces might be combined to create a beautiful living area. She has a profound understanding of color theory and how to use accessories to improve the overall beauty of a room. Rachel's blog is a fantastic resource for anyone seeking to enhance their home's decor, as her writing is both instructive and motivating.

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