How to Fix Warped Wood Dresser

Wood has the tendency to warm when it is exposed to moisture and heat. Wooden furniture like dressers often suffers from warping especially when the piece has remained in a room where there are extreme heat and moisture. If you have a warped wooden dresser then this guide will show you how to unwarp it and save you from buying a new one.

How to unwarp a wooden dresser

Never throw away a warped wooden dresser (unless the warping is so severe!). You can still save it and prevent future warping with these methods:

Things you will need

  • Towels
  • Steam iron
  • Ironing board or flat surface
  • Water
  • Clamps


Use a steam iron to unwarp your dresser

1) Prepare the wood


Wrap the wood using moistened towels. Use at least two large towels and wrap them around the wood. Make sure that the entire warped area is completely covered. Place the covered wood on an ironing board or on a flat area or surface. The warped side should be face up while the concave or inward curving surface should face down.

2) Apply the steam iron


Heat the steam iron to its highest setting. Let it heat up at least two to five minutes before applying it to the moistened towels. Press the iron over the warped surface. Slowly slide it over the entire surface. Make sure to apply even pressure to the warped area.

Let the iron remain on each spot for 5 to 10 seconds before moving it to the next spot. Make sure that each spot should overlap slightly to ensure that the wood piece is covered. Allow the wood to dry thoroughly before use.

Using sunlight to unwarp wood

1) Prepare the wood


Wrap the wood in moistened towels. The material you use must retain moisture and be large enough to wrap around the piece. The material should be moist when you wrap it around the wood, but not drenched.

2) Place the wood under the sun


Place the wood in bright, direct sunlight. It should be a warm area that receives a lot of sunlight during the day. The concave side should face down and the convex side should face up. This method works best during warm, dry weather.

Keep the wood in sunlight for two to four days. Spray the towels with additional water to keep the wood moist. Dry until the warping is removed. This can take several days depending on the damage.

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Once the wood is unwarped, remove the towels and let it dry. Bring the dresser in when it is nighttime. Keep it in a warm place with the inward curve facing down.

Using pressure to remove warping

1) Prepare the wood


Cover the wood with damp paper towels. Arrange the paper towels over the concave (inwardly curved) surface of the wood. You will only apply the wet paper towels to the concave side of the wood.

Wrap several layers of plastic over the paper towels. Make sure that the plastic wrap is tight and secure and covers all sides of the wood, not just the side where the towels are.

2) Clamp the wood


Place the wood in a clamp carefully over-tightening the clamp until the warped area starts to straighten out. Leave the clamp on for one week. Keep the wood clamped and wrapped in a warm location.

Check the progress of your work regularly and remove the wood from the clamp if there are signs of damage. Keep the wood in a warm area as possible during this first week. Ideal temperatures should be as high as 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius). If you cannot maintain this temperature then the warmest room in your house would suffice.

3) Place it under direct sunlight


Let the wood sit in direct sunlight, underneath a heat lamp, beneath an electric blanket, etc. Keep the heat on wood for six to eight hours per day. Remove the wrappings after the first week. Let the wood completely dry. Check the progress of the warp. If it has unwarped then you can use your dresser as soon as it is dry.

If you spot more warping then return the wood in its clamped position and let this remain for an additional two or three weeks.


You can save money from buying a new dresser by unwarping your old one. As long as the damage is not too severe, you can still save your dresser and reuse it for years. Follow the steps closely and make sure to work safely as you treat your warped furniture.

  • January 5, 2019
  • DIY