Know The Cheap Ways On How To Straighten Warped Wood
Upon entering your home, you may notice something different of your wooden door, the staircase or the planks of your wood flooring. If it isn’t the termites munching your home, then it’s probably wood warping or bending. This makes your woodend stuff at home appear worn out, but most especially can be potentially dangerous to you and your family.
We found a few ways to fix the problem. What we will share is an easier and cheaper alternative on how to straighten warped wood. But, first, here’s an overview of why woods warp.
Why Woods Warp or Bend?
Glen Huey of Woodworking Magazine shared how wood warps. It is simply the overexposure of water or the lack thereof on the wood. When the wood has exceed below its fiber saturation point or FSP the wood, then will warped when it dries. This also works the opposite way, where the wood will bloat when there is too much water.
There are five kinds of warping (see picture above). The most common type is the cupping. So you need to look out for these weird shapes on your wood products.
You have different means to fix the problem, but as we mentioned, we will share the cheapest and easiest. Thus, we have the noninvasive treatments, which means treating the wood without cutting or removing its parts.
Prepare These Materials: (Wooden Doors As Sample)
These materials are easy to manage and are less messy since the sand is contained in a bag. Also, transferring these from place to place is less painful since it has a place for you to handle.
Blocks (hollow or bricks) can also be used instead of sandbags because it can still provide the weight required for the project. But, we chose sandbags since it will only require a few of them to attain enough weight.
We choose to have blankets to both dry and moisten our wood as it is bigger in thicker than towels or other fabrics. Since we are working on a wooden door, it will only need a single blanket to help with the treatment.
3. Plastic Sheets
Most doors are only coated with varnish to keep the natural look and feel of the wood as much as possible. We choose to include varnish to recoat the warped part of the door and restore it to its previous or original look.
If your door (or wood material) is painted and not varnished, you may choose to repaint it to give the door (or wood) a fresh look.
5. Flat Iron (Optional)
Depending on the damage of the wood material, you may or may not use the iron. But, we included it as an optional material in cases where there is more damage to the material that what you initially saw or examined.
Ready these tools as well:
1. Paint Brush
3. Table With Clean Top
Alternative: Concrete Floor Or Sawhorses
If you don’t have a table, you may use the concrete floor at home or sawhorses if either of these is available. You just have to make sure that the surface is clean.
Our Step-By-Step Procedures
With The Use Of Blankets And Sandbags
Remove the door from the door from the door frame carefully. With the use of your screwdriver, unscrew the door from its hinges.
You may skip this step if you are not treating a wooden door. You may be working on your flooring or frame or even a chopping board.
Safety Tip: Make sure that you properly and completely unscrew the door and avoid pulling it out to avoid more breakage or damages.
Place the removed wooden door on top of a clean table with the warped area facing upwards. Even if you are not working with a door, this step still applies.
If you don’t have a table that can fit the door, you can place it on the floor. Some professional crafters have sawhorses. But, a clean table or floor is already sufficient.
Reminder! Make sure that the surface, where you place the door is clean before before laying it down. This will help prevent a dirty output when you refinish the door later on.
Step 3 (Optional)
If your door (or wood as the case may be) is still wet or moist, you need to place the blanket (or towel to dry it up. If the wood is not wet, you can proceed to do Step 4.
You have to take note that this process works with small to medium warping issues. Larger warping problems may require a more rigid drying process.
Now, grab our sandbags (or other weights) and place one on the areas that are warped. We now have to wait for 4 to 5 days to check if the warping is treated. After each day, you need to add extra weight on each of the areas that are warped.
On the fourth or fifth day remove the sandbags ( or the bricks or blocks) and check if the warping has been treated.
Skip A Step: If the warping has been cured then you can proceed to Step 12.
If the warping of the wood is not fixed or cured by the simple placing of the weights. You need a more complex method or treatment process.
In this step, you need to flip the door with the warped area face down. So you will work on the other side.
Note: BUT! If the warping does not reach the other side, or the warping does not create a concave that affects the other side, there is no need to flip it over.
Unlike Step 3, the blanket now will be used to wet the door.
Again, get your blanket and soak it this time with hot water. Make sure that the towel is not dripping wet. You have to squeeze out the excess water. But make sure that it is wet enough to wet the wood properly.
Safety Tip: Be careful with handling the hot towel to avoid burns.
Lay down the wet towel on the warped area. You have to ensure that the towels are actually placed on the warped or damaged areas.
Once the towels are properly placed, wrap the wet towel with the plastic sheets securely. The purpose of doing this process is to keep the towels wet.
After placing the plastic sheets on top of the towel, you have to leave it there for a night.
If the following day, the warping is not treated, you need to repeat Step 6 and Step 7 until you’re sure that the you are able to fix the problem
Skip A Step: If the process has been successful, you should dry again the wood and proceed to Step 12.
With The Use Of Iron, Blankets, And Sandbags
If the process you’ve done still does not work, you can now use your iron.
Wet the blanket (or towel) and remove the excess water to have a slightly wet or damp fabric.
Place the damp blanket on the warped area of the wood.
Once the wet blanket is placed on the wood, iron it out. You just have to imagine that you’re ironing it out like your clothes or any fabric for that matter.
Make sure that you run the iron for several times on the warped area of the door to ensure good results. The challenge in the ironing process, without the right timing, it may cause crack the wood. Thus, you are creating more damage.
Now, you are ready to dry the wood. This does not mean placing it under the sun or leaving it alone. You have to again place the sandbags (or the weight of your choice) on the damaged area.
Leave the sandbags until the wood dries up.
Once the wood is now dry and flat (hopefully), you can do your finishing touches. With the use of your paint brush coat the door with varnish (or paint) to make the door or wood new again.
You are now ready to place the door back by screwing it again on its hinges.
If the method above does not work, then you need to consult a specialist and see what they can do to save your door. Some may suggest a more complex treatment, which will require cutting the parts and gluing it again together. But, it will require more skill, equipment and process to make the door good as new again.
If the process we’ve done did not work, you need to ask for help immediately. Do not wait too long as the door may no longer be salvageable.
Now you don’t have to resort to hacking the door down and throwing it away. You have a few alternatives to restore or to “its former glory” as they say. The process may seem a difficult and laborious task, but it can be done in a day and even less (except for the waiting part). But, it's definitely a cheap alternative before hunting down an expert to revamp your door for you.
Don’t stress yourself out to get the results right away. Remember that this activity should be fun and exciting. Well, did you enjoy or mini tutorial?
Let us know of your experiences. We’d like to hear your stories and the learnings you’ve acquired along the way.