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Water damage to Cherry Wood Fireplace

My question is this:How to fix slight water damage (small bubbling) on cherry wood veneer from a damp runner (sat overnight). There is tiny bubbling on the top around a 6" x 6" area. I can cover it with a runner, which I do to protect the finish. But, I am heartbroken now that I see the damage from watering a plant. Is there any way to 'iron' the bubbles out and is this going to harm the rest of the wood? Or, should I just leave it and cover it to hide the damage. I just want to be able to fix my mistake.

Re: Water damage to Cherry Wood Fireplace

It is hard to tell how bad it is without seeing it, but here is my suggestion: sand the area lightly if the bubbles are small. If the spot is a distint ring, then sand the spot, stain the wood again to match the rest of the wood, and put a polyurethane over top.

Re: Water damage to Cherry Wood Fireplace

BEWARE! This is TEDIOUS and could make the problem worse if something goes wrong. I have never done this, but there is a method of using an extremely sharp brand new x-acto knife to slice the bubbles. Then you can take a tooth pick or some other flat object and dip the very tip in wood glue and try to poke some glue under the bubbling veneer. The weight it down for the glue to dry and hold the bubble flat.

I found a video for you:


Good luck, and be careful. Sometimes leaving it alone is better but it's hard to tell without having seen it.

Re: Water damage to Cherry Wood Fireplace


Can you post a pic or two?

Re: Water damage to Cherry Wood Fireplace

There's really not enough information here to give a reply. It depends on what you mean by "bubbling" and depends on how exactly the veneer is finished. If you could take a couple of pictures it would be very helpful. See if you can take a couple, one looking directly at the bubbling and another from an angle, if possible. Be close enough for us to see the wood grain if any is visible.

Real American cherry is a beautiful wood and is often just covered with a hard glossy film finish, like lacquer or polyurethane. I've also used Watco and tung oil. If you have a hard film finish and just the finish is bubbling, you may be just fine to lightly sand (300+ grit paper) the bubbles out and then apply a thin topcoat of finish. The trick is to use fine sandpaper, don't sand through to the wood- just get rid of the bubbles / scuff up the finish, and use a light coat of finish.

If the bubbles are from something else, like the grain raising under the finish, then you may have more work to do. Again good pictures would help a lot.

Re: Water damage to Cherry Wood Fireplace

It is really hard to give suggestions when you haven't seen it. I think it is better that you post a photo of the damaged area here so that we could give more accurate suggestions.

Re: Water damage to Cherry Wood Fireplace

What's under the veneer is also a concern; if it's any kind of particle board, you probably can't do anything as a homeowner, and at the very last the entire surface would have to be stripped and refinished once re-glued.

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