How To Fix Water Bubble On Wood Table: A Complete Guide




When water bubbles ruin the smooth finish of a wooden table, it gets annoying. No one wants their table to get bumpy. Are you facing the same problem? Are there water bubbles on the table ruining the smooth texture? Do you want to get rid of all the water bubbles without causing any harm to your favourite table? Do not worry. To learn more about ‘How to fix water bubble on wood table?’, go ahead and read more.

How To Fix Water Bubble On Wood Table

Fix Water Bubble On Wood Table

In short, to fix water bubbles on a wooden table, carefully assess the table first. Choose the materials required for your repair method. Repair the table following the steps. Learn the causes of water bubbles and avoid repeating them. Inspect the table from time to time to prevent things from getting worse.

These are some takeaways from the process. The complete process is filled with helpful tips and instructions to help you get your expected outcome. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive into it.

SkillCostEstimated Time
Moderate$30-$5015-20 hours

Key Takeaways:

  • Fluctuations in moisture levels lead to warping and swelling, creating water bubbles.
  • Fixing involves drying, using wood glue, ironing, sanding, and refinishing the table.
  • Regularly inspect and fix minor damages, control humidity levels, and place the table away from direct water and sunlight exposure.

Causes Of Water Bubbles On The Wood Table

How do you fix a bubbling wood table? Before going to that, you need to know the causes of water bubbles. Moreover, it is essential to know the causes before learning to repair bubbles techniques on wood veneer so you don’t repeat the same mistakes.  

  • Ineffective Finishing
  • Trapped Moisture
  • Changes In Temperature
Causes Of Water Bubbles On The Wood Table

Ineffective Finishing

The purpose of wood finish is to protect wooden furniture from external damage. If the applied finish is insufficient or inadequate, the wood becomes sensitive. As a result, water penetrates the surface of the wood table and causes water bubbles to form.

Trapped Moisture

Wood has a specific moisture level. The fluctuation in the moisture level causes the wood to warp or swell. Excess moisture from heat gets trapped in the pores of the wood. It creates water bubbles, and the affected part gets swollen. Penetrated water can also get trapped in the pores and cause water bubbles on the wood table

Changes In Temperature

Constant changes in the temperature cause wood movement. Wood expands and contracts. These movements can cause water bubbles to occur in the wooden furniture.

Be aware of repeating any of these causes. The more you repair your table, it causes the lifespan of the table to decrease. So, prevent water bubbles rather than fixing them.

How To Assess The Wood Table Damage?

How to remove water bubbles from wood? The first step is to assess the table. Carefully inspect the entire table with the following steps. You can also follow these to fix scratches on laminate wood table.

  • Clean the surface of the table.
  • Look for visible water damage.
  • Use a flashlight to see damages that are not completely visible.
  • Stroke the entire surface with the palm of your hand to find uneven spots.
  • Divide the damages into three categories and mark all the damage.

Make sure to assess the whole table. Find out all the possible problems and fix them before they get worse.

What Are The Materials Used During The Process?

How to fix bubbling on wood table? For that, you need to learn about all the required materials . You can’t achieve your desired results using the wrong materials. Also, it can make things even worse.

What Are The Materials Used During The Process
  • Grit sandpaper to sand the surface or damaged area.
  • Electric sander to make the surface smooth.
  • Blade for a precise cut.
  • Wood glue for use on the table.
  • Injector to use wood glue.
  • Iron to fix the damages.
  • Wood finishes to refinish the table.

There are different methods to fix bubbling on wood tables. Each method needs different materials. Choose your materials according to your repair method.

How To Fix Water Bubble On Wood Table? Step-By-Step Guide

How to fix water bubble on wood table? It is easy. You need to follow a set of steps to get your desired results. All of these steps are simple. So, try not to ignore any of them.

How To Fix A Water Bubble On A Wood Table

Clean The Table

Cleaning before fixing any wooden furniture is a necessary step. It prepares the piece of furniture for the rest of the process. It helps to clean all the dirt and stains and makes the surface easy to work on. Use a damp cloth to wipe the entire surface in a circular motion. You can use clean water to dampen the cloth or solvents like mineral spirit or denatured alcohol. After drying, use a tack or soft cloth to wipe the surface again. It will remove the residues left. You also need to clean before refinishing a burl wood table.

Inspect The Table

Inspect the table to look for any signs of water damage. Divide them into categories depending on the severity of the damaged area. Mark them to find them later.

Fix The Area 

Fixing water-damaged wood furniture is simple. You can easily fix them. Some techniques you can try to fix the water-damaged swollen wood furniture:

  • Let It Dry:- Letting the damaged part dry will solve almost half of the problem. As most of the water damage on wood furniture is caused by trapped moisture, drying it will fix the little problems. You can use direct sunlight to dry them. If the sunlight is too strong, use a damp cloth on top of the damaged part. These tips also can be followed while finishing the teak dining table.
  • Use Wood Glue:- How to fix bubbles in laminate furniture? Slightly cut the damaged part where the wood or the veneer is sticking out. Use blades for a precise cut. Now, put some wood glue in an injector. Squeeze some glue inside the cut and apply pressure with the palm of your hand. Wipe the excess glue away.
  • Use An Iron:- How to fix water bubble on wood table DIY? The answer is using an iron. If the table is old, a veneer table or it has been fixed with glue before, you don’t need to apply glue again. Preheat an iron. Now, press the iron on the damaged part for a few seconds. It will reactivate the glue, and you can use it again.

Sand The Table

How do you fix a bump on wood? The answer is to sand and refinish the table. After fixing all the bubbles on the wood table, sand the table. It will flatten the wood surface, make the discoloured parts even, and remove the water stains. Use fine-grit sandpaper and an electric sander for a smooth finish. You will also need to sand the table to smooth the rough wood table top.

Refinish The Table

Refinishing will give the table a new look. There are varieties of wood finishes. You will also need to sand and refinish the table to fix a discolored wood table.

To find the finish for your wood table, you need to know the type of wood. Different types of wood respond differently to different wood finishes. I suggest using oil-based finishes, for example, tung oil, linseed oil, etc. Oil-based finishes are durable and add a protective layer to the surface. It is advisable to run a sample test on a flat wood block before making decisions. 

Try not to skip any of these steps. Missing any of them will affect the rest of the steps. This way, you will not be able to acquire your expected results.

How Much Does It Cost Fix Water Bubble On Wood Table?

The cost and duration of the process depend on whether you are doing it yourself or hiring professionals. In terms of skills, you will need basic management skills and some knowledge about the process.

How Much Does It Cost

The Estimated Cost Of The Process

The common cost of both DIY and professional projects is the cost of materials. It is the only cost for DIY projects because you are doing the rest yourself. Hiring professionals is comparatively costly because you must pay for their labour and time.


The Duration Of The Process

The duration of the process done by professionals is less than in DIY projects. It is because you don’t have the same skills and experience as a professional.

Duration15-20 hours6-7 hours

The Skills You Need

If you want to fix water bubbles yourself, you will need a set of skills. These are sanding, finishing, paying attention to details, solving unexpected problems you face, etc. You don’t have to be perfect. With some knowledge, experience, and instructions, you will be able to do it.

Common Mistakes To Avoid Fix Water Bubble On Wood Table Repair

Some mistakes are common, and we make these mistakes regularly. You don’t realise how badly they affect our wooden furniture. To prevent making these again, you need to get familiar with them.

  • Lacking Preparation
  • Improper Cure Time
  • Ignoring Safety Hazards

Lacking Preparation

Clean the table before fixing anything. Remove all the dirt and stains on wood. Sand the old finish if necessary. Gather all the tools in one place. Place them in a way so that they can’t create any hurdles. 

Improper Cure Time

Allowing enough cure time is necessary for fixing wooden pieces. It gets more serious when it comes to swollen wood furniture. Rushing will only make things worse. Adhesives and finishes require enough cure time to set in. 

Ignoring Safety Hazards

Wear protective wear (goggles, masks, aprons. etc) so that you don’t get hurt. Safety is the most vital for any process. Abide by all the safety measures to avoid any unwanted accidents. 

Avoiding these mistakes will increase the lifespan of your wooden table by a few times. Also, follow these instructions while refinishing a redwood picnic table.

Preventing Future Water Damage

Preventing future damage is a wise decision. Prevention is better than cure. Preventing future damages now will add some years to the lifespan of your wooden table.

  • Retouch the finish once in a while. Refinish in a few months if the applied finish is not durable enough.
  • Use protective pads on your wood table. Use carpets on wood flooring.
  • Wipe the water spills immediately. Do not let the moisture get trapped.
  • Avoid placing hot or wet items directly on the table.
  • Inspect the table and fix little damages regularly. Do not let them get worse.
  • Keep the humidity level in the room in check. Keep it stable. Maintain this tip after fixing a faded wood table as well.
  • Place the table where water or sunlight can not touch the table directly.

These tips are not only for wooden tables. You can apply these to any of your wooden furniture.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are Water Stains On Wood Permanent?

No. Water stains are removable. You can use mild abrasives for mild stains. For stubborn water stains, mix toothpaste and baking soda. Apply the mixture to the stain and buff it.

Can Baking Soda Remove Water Stains From Wood?

Yes, baking soda with toothpaste can remove stubborn wood stains. 

What Is The Best Wood Stain Remover?

A chemical stripper can instantly remove wood stains. However, it may cause other damage to a wood table.

Is There A Chemical That Removes Stains From Wood?

Yes, alcohol solvents like mineral spirits, acetone, rubbing alcohol, etc can remove stains from wood.  Enzymes such as proteases and lipases can also remove stains.


Therefore, how to fix water bubble on wood table? You got your answer, right? First, learn the causes of water bubbles on wood tables so you don’t repeat them. Assess the condition of the table and list all the problems. Choose the right materials according to your repair method. Follow all the steps along with the instructions. Last but not least, avoid the common mistakes and prevent them.

Want to know more about table restore? Then visit- Restore Journey.

Richard Journey

Written by

Richard Journey

Meet Richard Journey, the Antique Furniture Maestro. With a Fine Arts degree in Furniture Restoration and Conservation, he’s a guardian of historical craftsmanship. His accolades include the Golden Chisel Award, and he’s your guide to discovering and restoring antique treasures.

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