March 02, 2022

How To Remove Dents In Wood

How to Steam Out A Dent

Let’s face it, dents happen; whether you accidentally missed with your hammer, dropped something, or your wood was damaged in a shipment. Now you have an unsightly dent that you’d like to remove.

In this video and blog, I’ll show you how to remove a dent in unfinished wood using three things you probably already have in your home:  a hot iron, water, and a cloth or old rag. This method works best for a dent that is too deep or too large to sand out.

How Can Steam Fix A Dent In Unfinished Wood?

A dent is made when it has been hit by something heavy. This causes the wood fibers to become compressed. We know that increasing the amount of humidity is what helps compressed fibers of dented wood return to their Man-pouring-water-on-clothoriginal shape. So, in order to make the humidity rise, we use water and heat from an ordinary iron to create steam which will swell the wood grain. The iron forces steam into the individual wood fibers. The moisture content of the wood rises swelling the wood fibers and removing the dent. The crushed area of the wood expands back to its original shape and will remain enlarged even after it dries out.

Heat Up An Iron

First, you will want to heat up an ordinary household iron. I usually set the temperature for cotton fabrics. 

Use A Cloth 

Then, lay a cloth over the dent and pour on water. Make sure to fully saturate the cloth or rag so that it is thoroughly wet.

Apply Heat

Once your iron is up to temperature, set it on top of the cloth and press down with moderate pressure. I usually keep the iron in place for at least thirty seconds.

Repeat 

using steam from an iron to remove dent in wood

More often than not, you will need to repeat this process until you’re satisfied with the end result. It won't take very long for the water in the cloth to evaporate. So, if your cloth has dried out, pour on more water.

Note: This will only work on unfinished wood. If you have a dent that has a finish on it, you’ll need to strip that finish off before you use this method.

Next time you are hammering away, you’ll know how to fix the problem if it happens to you. In fact, dents are very common when putting up molding, for example. One way to skirt that issue is my tip to help protect your molding from dents. Happy Hammering! 

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