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How do I Repair Furniture Water Damage?

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  • Written By: T. L. Childree
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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There are several different ways to repair furniture water damage. Relatively simple methods maybe used to remove small rings and stains while more extensive procedures are usually required for flood-damaged pieces. A soft cloth heated with an iron will usually repair small areas of furniture water damage. Toothpaste, mayonnaise, and citrus oil can also be utilized for small rings and stains. Flood damaged furniture usually needs to be dried, cleaned, repaired and refinished.

Furniture water damage can range from small stains and rings to pieces that have been completely submerged in flood waters. Milky water stains on furniture are usually the result of moisture trapped beneath the finish. This type of furniture water damage can generally be repaired by drawing the trapped moisture to the surface with heat or oils. Larger areas of damage can sometimes be repaired by gluing separated pieces back together and refinishing the surface. Heavily damaged furniture probably need to be discarded.

Water rings and stains are typically repaired according to the type of finish. A soft cloth and a clothes iron may be used for all finish types to draw the moisture to the surface. Place the cloth directly over the stain and heat it with the iron for several seconds. Remove the towel to check the condition of the stain. Stubborn areas may require several applications to completely repair the water damage.

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If the cloth and clothes iron technique is unsuccessful, there are other methods that can be tried. For glossy finishes, apply a small amount of toothpaste to the stained area. Use only white, paste-type toothpaste for this procedure to avoid discoloration. Rub the paste into the stain with a soft, white cloth following the direction of the grain. Continue rubbing until the water damage is completely gone, and polish the surface with rubbing compound to make the repair less visible.

Water damage on glossy finishes can sometimes be repaired with mayonnaise. Apply a small amount of mayonnaise to the stain and rub gently with a soft cloth until it disappears. Satin finishes can often be repaired with citrus oil and fine steel wool. Apply several drops of citrus oil to the stain and rub in the direction of the grain with steel wool. Allow the oil to soak overnight and apply a coat of furniture polish to the repair area.

Furniture water damage caused by flooding typically requires a more comprehensive repair technique. Begin by drying the furniture thoroughly in an outdoor area away from direct sunlight. Then clean the surface using a damp cloth and brush to remove soil. Reattach any loose pieces with good-quality wood glue and allow them to dry. Remove the old varnish with a chemical stripper and apply a fresh coat to complete the repair.

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anon151372
Post 1

I can't tell you how grateful I am for the advice on the removal of water marks with a hot iron. I tried to disguise them for months and now - like magic - they're gone. Thank you so much!

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