The Craftsman’s Secrets to Restoring Water-Damaged Furniture

About 40 percent of American homeowners have experienced losses because of water damage, according to a survey by Chubb Corporation. This kind of damage may occur if your home is flooded, when you are cleaning, or due to certain weather conditions. Extremely humid weather conditions can make wood furniture expand and begin deteriorating. It may also cause your furniture to start growing mold. The humidity levels in your home should be balanced because if humidity is too low, your wood furniture may shrink and crack. Most of the time water damage can be managed or fixed with a partial repair

Minor water damage and submerged furniture

Minor damage like a white ring left on your wood table by a wet glass, can be dealt with using ingredients available in your home. Just mix equal parts of vinegar and olive oil and apply it on the ring with the wood grain using a soft cloth. If instead of a wet glass the mark was left by a hot mug, just clean the spot and apply car wax on the ring. Once it has dried, buff the area with a soft cloth. You can also use salt, toothpaste, baking soda, and petroleum jelly to remove water stains. 

Since there are many levels of water damage that can happen on wood furniture, there are different approaches in handling them. The first thing you need to do for furniture that was submerged in water is to let it dry slowly and naturally. Do not use a dryer because it may result in long-term warping, but instead use blowers or fans to accelerate the drying process. Some furniture may only take about two days to dry, but it may also take months depending on how long it was submerged in water. Use a mixture of warm water and bleach to remove mold or mildew if there is any growing on your furniture.

Restoring submerged furniture

Once the furniture is dry, you may notice that the glue that was holding the pieces together has been ruined. You can strip the deteriorating finish, remove the old glue with sand paper, and then clean and bleach the furniture. After this you should let the wood dry so that you can re-apply the finish. The stripping process is normally done using chemical stripping agents so that no layers of wood have to be removed. 

After the stripping agent has done its job, you can then scrape the surface of the furniture and sand it. Remember to re-apply glue to the area that had the old glue and then reattach the arm, leg or the furniture part the glue was holding. The next step is to use a waterproof stain on the furniture and then apply two coats of paint. Finish the whole process with a clear waterproof and insect repellent vanish.  You may make a few mistakes along the way that would make the furniture not look exactly the way it looked before the water damage. For that reason, you can just contact the insurance company and replace the furniture, especially if it does not hold any sentimental value. Another option is to hire a professional furniture restoration craftsman to do all the work for you.

Find more useful articles at the Furniture Work’s blog.