How to Unwarp Wood

Written by andrea stein
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How to Unwarp Wood
You can often save money by unwarping wood yourself. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Installing a wood floor, wood panelling or other wood accents can add beauty, as well as value, to your home. Excessive sun or moisture can damage wood and cause it to warp, or curl up, resulting in expensive replacements. You can often unwarp the wood yourself with just a little time and a few basic tools. Follow these steps to learn how to unwarp wood.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood screws
  • Wood finish
  • Wood sealant
  • Wood filler
  • Towels
  • Rag

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  1. 1

    Dampen towels in water and position them over the warped boards. Make sure the boards are covered entirely by the towels. If panelling or other vertically installed wood has warped, drape the towels over the wood boards and secure the towels to the walls or surrounding area with duct tape. Tape the towels securely enough so that they remain pressed firmly against the wood. Allow the towels to remain there for two days.

  2. 2

    Use a measuring tape to measure 3 inches from one end of each board and make a mark. Measure and mark every subsequent 3 inches across the board until you reach the other end. Use a drill to drill a hole along each mark. Repeat this technique with every warped wood board.

  3. 3

    Screw wood screws into each previously drilled hole with a screwdriver. This will help bend the wood back down into its original shape.

  4. 4

    Use wood filler to fill the holes in the wood. Wipe away any excess filler with a clean, damp rag.

  5. 5

    Refinish each wood plank using wood finish, according to the manufacturer's instructions, to restore the look of the wood. Then apply wood sealant according to the manufacturer's instructions. The wood sealant will protect the wood from subsequent moisture and keep it from re-warping.

Tips and warnings

  • If the wood has warped significantly, it cannot be unwarped and will require replacement. Consult a professional carpenter to inspect the wood if excessive warping is evident.
  • To prevent injury, always use safety gloves and safety goggles when working with hand tools and power tools.

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