How to Straighten Warped Wood | UK Guide | 2023
Warped wood can be very difficult to work with. The issue of warping is commonly encountered with wood that has been left exposed to the elements for long periods of time. Even wood that has been properly finished will ultimately become warped after prolonged exposure to heat, sunlight and moisture. Regardless of how minor or major the warping damage is, there are some techniques you can turn to remedy the problem.
Using Steam Heat
An everyday iron can be used to straighten warped wood in some instances. However, this solution can only really be applied if you are working with smaller pieces of wood or individual panels that can be separated from larger pieces of furniture. To use this approach, you’ll need to ensure that the affected piece of wood is fully wrapped in damp cloth. An old towel is arguably the best option here. Just ensure you are completely covering the wood you are looking to straighten.
Next, place the wrapped piece of wood on a flat surface, with the warped side facing upwards. You can then bring the iron into play. Your steam iron should be primed and ready to go, with its temperature setting at maximum. Once your iron is hot enough to work, simply glide it over the warped surface of the wood.
Ensure you are gliding across the entire surface of the wood and repeat the process as many times as required. Ultimately, you may find this steam iron solution insufficient in dealing with severely warped material.
Another way of tackling warped wood is to utilise natural sunlight. As with the previous approach, you’ll first need to wrap the affected material in damp cloth, ensuring the entire surface is completely encased. Once the wood has been completely wrapped in damp material, you can place it outdoors in direct sunlight to dry.
Ideally, you should be aiming to place your wood outside as early in the day as possible to benefit from as many sunlight hours as possible. You should also ensure that the wood has been laid out a soft and even surface to achieve the best results.
One downside to this approach is that is is very time-consuming. In fact, the sunlight technique can take several days to demonstrate any noticeable results. What’s more, you’ll need to constantly dampen the material you have wrapped around the wood with to ensure it remains moist for the duration.
Another downside to this solution is that you’ll need to bring the wood indoors at night, ensuring the material is always kept warm. You can then return it outdoors during daylight hours. Repeat these steps for as long as it takes for the warping to disappear.