May 19, 2022

Repairing wood furniture: how to remove dents with steam – Mother Earth News


Level deep dents on flat surfaces of wood furniture with this steaming method.

By Jeff Jewitt

Old furniture, whether it’s a heirloom or a consignment store, is often better made than anything you can buy today. Transform your old or new furniture into beautiful functional pieces with Furniture finishing made easy (The Taunton Press, 2012) by Jeff Jewitt. The following snippet shows you how to remove dents that are too large or deep for sanding.

How to steam clean a dent

Dents that are too large and deep to sand can usually be steamed at the surface level using a household iron and distilled water. My rule of thumb is that any bumps larger than a pencil eraser should be steam cleaned.

1.Pour a small puddle of distilled water in the tooth.

2.Put a piece of cotton cloth soaked in distilled water on the bump. Set a household iron to “cotton” (usually one or two steps below the highest setting). Place the iron on the cloth and hold it for about 15 seconds.

3.Repeat steps 2 and 3. Several (three to four) applications of heat should inflate the bump near the surface. It’s okay if you don’t make it perfect.

4.Sand the entire surface with 100 grit sandpaper to completely remove the bump.

More Finishing furniture

• Repair wooden furniture: dismantle and reassemble the chairs
• Repair wooden furniture: re-glue a table top

Cover courtesy of The Taunton Press


Reprinted with permission fromFurniture finishing made easyby Jeff Jewitt and published by The Taunton Press, 2012. Photographs by Gary Junken.