Fix Warped Wood – Things You Must Know

You were ecstatic moments ago after walking into the workshop to start a fresh project.

However, the flat board on the table has warped. It happens overnight and not long after all materials are ready.

It is a usual occurrence, and it is easily remedied.

Slight warping can be corrected with just moisture and heat, but for severe distortion, the solution needs to apply extra pressure on the wood as well.

What Causes Wood to Warp?

Wood has hygroscopic properties, in which water inside moves through the cells. The fibers start swell, stretch, and expand when water exposure. As the wood is dried, it will take the opposite, causing the piece to shrink.

The term “wood warping” refers to the deformation of a piece of wood that occurs due to unequal variations in the moisture content of various regions of the wood.

For example, if one side of a board made of wood dries more quickly than the other side, the side that dries more quickly will shrink more quickly, producing tension that will affect the shape of the wood.

Below are some reasons that can make wood warp:


When heat is applied to wood, it causes the material to swell. This phenomenon, also known as thermal expansion, can lead to warping, swelling, and shrinkage in the object.


When unequal wood moisture, it will warp. It also bows out from the normal position.

The uneven water distribution, which leads to such conditions fluctuation of moisture during various seasons, also affects the distribution.

Cold weather

Your wooden furniture may suffer damage if you live in a cold climate. Wood will compress when exposed to cold temperatures, and when exposed to warmer conditions, wood will expand.

A warping effect can be caused by repeated contraction and expansion of wooden furniture, which results in the furniture losing its original shape and stability.

Untreated wood

As the wood dries, it undergoes a process of contraction, which can warp if one edge or face contracts more than another.

Different species of wood to warp can be affected by both the tree’s chemical make-up and the wood’s physical characteristics, such as the size and thickness of the cell walls.

Use an iron to unwarp wood

Wrap the surface of the wood in damp towels.

Ideally, the towels must be large to cover everything on the surface. Choose rags or towels that can withstand ironing. They have the resistant capability when facing heat.

The ironing board should be positioned atop the wood. Bring the temperature of the iron up to its highest setting.

You only use the iron that can work adequately with steam. This tool is specifically designed, and the dry one is not useful.

Apply pressure to the warped surface with the iron. Press the one end of the wood.

Please take a look at how far it has come. If the problem has been fixed, this is the point where you should stop.

If there is still some warping after following the technique, continue the steps until there is no more warping.

You may do it several times with the steam iron.

Using pressure to unwarp a wood

Damp a towel should be used to cover the surface of the wood. Moisten sheets of a towel and place them on the wood’s concave surface. Wrap the paper towels in plastic wrap.

Put the wood into a clamp. Tighten the clamp slowly and carefully. If you put the robust tied, the wood may split. Take it for a week. After that, take off the wrappings.

If warping is still there, you return the wood to the clamped position. Please wait until it dries for three weeks. Regularly monitor the progress.

How to Fix Warped Plywood

The laminated layers that add strength are plywood’s most important structural feature. However, lamination also has risks due to the unfavorable mixing ratio of various materials. This condition leads to plywood warps.

You cut the plywood into the finished size and see if any warp affected its use. Alternatively, use a sponge and enough weight to try to soothe the dried side.

Finally, for thinner plywood, you discover that simply shaping it on the piece of wooden furniture is sufficient. It gradually takes on its right shape.

How to Straighten a Warped Wooden Floor

An aggressive sanding method is required to straighten flooring floors that have warped at the edges and bulged at the center. Many refinishers sand the floor diagonally with a drum sander.

To eliminate the scratches, they sand parallel to the grain.

Filling a floor will not take a long time. Latex filler can fill gaps until it reaches approximately 1/4 inch wide and is easily spread by thinning it to consistency.

Filling before sanding is preferable because any remaining old finish makes spreading easier. Latex filler can crack in gaps larger than 1/4 inch, necessitating the use of epoxy wood.

Fixes For Warped Wood on Furniture

Finding the exact location of the warp is the first task that needs to be accomplished.

Fix one or more catches to the end of the furniture. You must ensure to use the one that has a high holding strength.

However, remember that this method is only temporary because it cannot correct the warp but only assist in aligning. This step is preliminary before stepping to the more practical ones.

Another less invasive treatment is to extract moisture from the convex side and add it to the concave side.

With the help of heat and humidity, the cells in the wood will soften partially. This allows the fibers of wood to slide along one another.

Heat the area with a blower or a hair dryer.

Apply clamps to secure the furniture in the right place.

Check the spotted area repeatedly to see if the warped section is corrected. Allow the wood to cool after the warped spot becomes straightened.

How to Repair a Bowed Wood Table

To take the legs of the table off, you will need a screwdriver.

You can try a hammer and chisel to destroy the glue. Using a chemical stripper, remove the finish from the table.

After that, wash with clean water to remove any residue from the stripper. Cut the lumber strips into 2-inches longer, comparing the table width. Cut pieces of wood to make battens.

Place a wet towel on the bow and place battens on the damp towel. Add more on the tabletop. Hand-screw clamps should be placed at the bottom batten directly above it, with the end extending toward the center.

Place a lamp directly on the towels. Pick the one that produces more heat. Continue to use the towels, heat source, and battens until the straightening is done.

Repair damped and warped wood

Water is another reason the wood is warped, which will ruin its properties such as rot and discolor.

Repairing this warp is determined by some factors such as the use of the wood, the type, and the severity.

More feasible will make progress easy to implement.

Warping is frequently treated with sandpaper, and discoloration is removed with bleach. However, your only choice is to replace the existing wood because the warp and rot compromise the structural function.

Wet is the top risk, so you must put in extra effort when installing the laminated board. For your information, the situation is not only for outdoor furniture but also indoor. The only difference is the wetness level.

You must dry the board but avoid too much drying. After that, check the severity and put the glue. The adhesive compound keeps the wood structure in the right position.

Unfortunately, this solution is less useful if some edges are fragile. You can use a clamp to tighten and add fillers.

Frequently asked Questions