Tips To Repair And Restore Water Damaged Wood In Your Home

Water damage to wood can cause warping, stains, and mold growth, so it is best to clean up the water as soon as possible so you can begin the restoration process to any wood affected. Here are tips to help repair and restore wood trim and wood veneer cabinets.

Wood Trim 

Wood trim around your home's floors can become stained, warped, and moldy if it is exposed to water for too long. There are several techniques to repair the wood without replacing it. 

When wood trim has become water soaked and has warped, remove the entire length from the wall. Then, place the wood trim on a flat surface and set a heavy piece of furniture over the warp to press the board down flat for a few days while it dries out.

Wood trim that has become stained from water can be painted to hide any stains. If you don't want to paint over your wood trim and want to restore the wood trim to its natural finish, you need to remove any water stains from it. First, sand down the wood trim to see if it will remove the water stains. If the stains remain, use oxalic acid to bleach the stains from the wood.

Make sure to wear long sleeves, goggles, and rubber gloves when you work with oxalic acid as it can burn your skin and damage your eyesight if it comes in contact with your skin or eyes. Mix approximately two tablespoons of oxalic acid power with one cup of hot water in a plastic container. Once the oxalic powder dissolves into the water, wipe the mixture onto your wood trim with a sponge brush. Let the acid sit on the wood for 20 minutes while it lightens the water stain. If the wood is still showing water stains, apply a second coat of acid and wait 20 minutes more. Wipe the wood trim with a wet sponge when the water stain has lightened from the wood. 

Next, neutralize the acid solution on the wood to prevent the erosion of the wood trim. Combine three tablespoons of borax with one gallon of water and use a sponge to wipe this onto the trim. Then, wipe the wood trim with clean water and a sponge and allow the wood to dry overnight. 

To prepare the wood for staining its final color, sand it down with 120-grit sandpaper, then a finer 180-grit sandpaper. Vacuum up any sanding dust and apply your choice of stain.

Wood Veneer Cabinets

When your wood veneer cabinets have become damaged in water, depending on the extent of the damage, they can be repaired. If the exterior of the wood veneer has white or dull spots from water damage, the damage can usually be buffed or removed from the surface and refinished without removing the grain design in the veneer.

First, dip a rag in denatured alcohol and rub it over a white surface area. If this does not remove the spot, combine cigarette ash and linseed oil and rub it over the spot with your finger, following the grain of the wood. If you are able to remove the white area from the veneer finish, wipe it clean with a rag and apply two layers of hard furniture wax and polish the surface.

If the surface of the veneer cabinets is peeling away, sand down and remove any loose areas of veneer layers. Also cut out any areas of water rot or mold in the cabinet wood. Mix up auto body filler and smooth a layer over the surface of the sanded cabinets with a putty knife. Use the auto body filler to fill in any voids where you removed rot or mold. Allow these repairs to dry according the auto body filler package's instructions, then sand the surface until smooth. 

Any repairs made in your wooden cabinets with auto body filler will need to be painted over along with the rest of the cabinet because the filler won't accept wood stain. But any water damage on the cabinets will be removed and repaired.

Use this information to restore and repair your water-damaged wood.