Repairing and Salvaging Water Damaged Wooden Furniture

Water damage to wooden furniture requires restorative care to ensure that it is solid and functional. Water does more than stain your wood furniture; it can leave behind dangerous mildew and mould that must be promptly removed.

Step 1: Prepare for Cleaning

To get rid of the mildew or mould, move your furniture outside. Prepare a cleaning solution with two capfuls of bleach, half a normal-sized bucket of warm water, and a splash of kitchen detergent, mixed thoroughly. Put on disposable plastic gloves before cleaning.

Step 2: Clean the Furniture

Using a scrub brush, scour the furniture and rinse off the soap with a splash of water or a garden hose. Repeat the process several times and leave the furniture outside to dry. However, avoid leaving the furniture to dry for too long in the sun, which can cause the wood to buckle and warp.

Step 3: Remove Stains

Stains in your water-damaged furniture can be removed using special cleaners. A few drops of orange oil mixed with a furniture cleaner of your choice will effectively eliminate stains. Rub this mixture in a circular motion on your furniture until the stains are gone. Use a soft cloth for rubbing the furniture, and remove any excess oil afterwards.

Step 4: Sand the Furniture

If stains persist, try using a sander with 220-grit sandpaper. Be cautious not to inhale any wood dust. Protect yourself by opening windows, sealing off air conditioning ducts, and wearing a dust mask. Sand the water-damaged sections of your furniture toward the wood grain. Use a clean paintbrush to remove wood dust, and continue sanding other sections to even out the finish.

Step 5: Apply a Chemical Stripping Agent

Using a chemical stripping agent removes deep-set stains without damaging the wood layers. Dip a paintbrush into the agent and apply it with smooth strokes to the furniture’s surface. Use a knife to scrape the surface and sand away excess stripping agent with 100-grit sandpaper.

Step 6: Paint and Varnish the Furniture

Once your wood furniture is repaired, paint it with a clean paintbrush, applying an even layer of waterproof paint. Apply two coats, allowing the first to dry completely before applying the second. Ensure the first coat is dry before applying the second one. Finish by applying two coats of a clear, insect-repellent, and waterproof varnish using a clean paintbrush.

Restoring water-damaged wooden furniture can be an engaging and rewarding process, but it involves attention to detail to prevent further damage to your valuable pieces. Alternatively, you can choose to have trained experts handle the restoration process.


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