Water Damage Discoloration at Base of Door

Discoloration may or may not be repairable. December 24, 2009

I failed to finish the bottom of a wood door. Moisture has wicked into the end grain of the stile and discolored the wood finish underneath the spar urethane finish. Can this be fixed?

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor J:
I wouldn't think you could fix it. I have had to restore a lot of flood damaged furniture. Restoration of this type of woodwork would usually involve drying the wood completely, then sanding down prior to application of the appropriate finish. I think you are going to have to take off the varnish at the base of the door and do as suggested above.

From Professor Gene Wengert, Sawing and Drying Forum technical advisor:
In some species, the water dissolves some chemicals within the wood. These colored chemicals are carried to the surface where the water evaporates. The chemicals are then concentrated at the evaporating surface. Sometimes they can be bleached to remove the color; other times they can sanded off. Sometimes they are too deep to sand off. In addition, the wood where the chemicals are removed is no longer the right color when the water has had a lot of time to remove the chemicals. Sanding will not remove this non-colored wood, but the wood can be stained to bring the color back. Urethane can be repaired.