Wood warping is a phenomenon that effects lumber when it has had been stressed or unevenly dried and can be especially damaging on something like floating wall shelves. Since a lot of wood is used around most homes, wood warping is a problem for home owners. Often, shelves are the victims of wood warp and since their function lies in them being flat, it is a problem that needs to be fixed. For instance, floating wall shelves serve no purpose if they are not straight since they will not be able to hold anything on them.
Sometimes, the area or severity of the warp is large enough you will have to replace the piece completely however it is less costly to try and fix the problem yourself at home first. Fixing warped wood at home is simpler than replacing the entire shelf and costs almost nothing to do since all the materials required are found easily at home.
Step 1 – Measure the Warped Area
Measure the size of the warped shelf so you have an idea of how much materials you will need. Cut out the piece of cloth or paper towels you will need and figure out how heavy a weight will be need to straighten the warped section.
Step 2 – Place Paper Towels
Wet paper towels and place the wooden shelf on it upside down. Make sure the paper towels or cloth is damp enough that the moisture is seeping into the wood.
Step 3 – Steam the Warped Wood
Use a warm iron on the cloth or paper towels. This will create heat and moisture that should straighten the wood. If you have a steamer, you can apply steam directly to the wood instead of using paper towels and iron. Just make sure you apply steam to the entire area that is affected.
Step 4 – Use Weights to Straighten Wood
Put heavy objects on the wood. Make sure these are heavy enough to straighten the wood once it has absorbed the moisture from the towels. Leave the heavy objects on the wood for a few days.
Step 5 – Re-apply Treatment to the Wood
You can apply steam to the wood several times over this time but make sure the weights are put on top of the wood after every steam. Continue this treatment until the wood starts to straighten.
Depending on the severity of the wrap you might need to apply steam continuously for a few days. However, if the wood has a finishing (is stained or clear coated with varnish or lacquer) then you should not apply steam to the area as it will affect the finishing.
In the future it might be less likely that wood will warp since researchers are developing a method to change the process for manufacturing of wood sections so that they do not warp. Till then, you will need to either treat the affected wood at home or opt for costly replacements.