How To Repair Split Wood Table Top? (4 DIY Steps)

Having split cracks on your robust and exquisite table top may appear irreparable since it does not seem as stunning as when you bought it, and you may have concluded that you will not be able to find a solution to it.

However, the good news is that you can still fix breaks in wooden table tops using a few standard household tools. So, if you’ve been wondering how to fix a split wood table top, you’ve come to the right place! 

With our essential íntructions in this article, you can have your table looking as good as new.


Things To Prepare Before Repairing Split Wood Table Top

First, we need to understand what causes split wood table top.

The constant swelling and shrinking movement of wood might cause problems. When the weather becomes more humid, the moisture in the air is absorbed by the drinking straws or wood fibers, causing the wood to expand. When the humidity drops, the drinking straws or wood fibers leak moisture, causing the wood to shrink. The swelling is particularly noticeable throughout the width. This swelling is strong enough to tear joints apart.

Furthermore, if the wood is poorly connected, it might fracture and break. However, keep in mind that wood cracks are perfectly normal and could happen to any wood, regardless of the texture age.

It is not a big deal to learn how to fix the problem. Here is the list of what you need to prepare for repairing split wood table top:

  • A patch
  • Wood glue
  • Plywood
  • Sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • Shims
  • Cutting tools, i.e., saws

4 Steps To Repair Split Wood Table Top

1. Examine the degree of the damage

First and foremost, before starting to do anything, you must inspect and assess the degree of the damage produced by the split. This step will help you determine the precise approach to use when dealing with the issue in your table top. It would help if you took note of the depth and area of the crack. If you detect a split caused by a slight wood movement, you may repair it with a patch.

Then, if the damage is more severe, such as a tear, move to the following steps to deal with it. 


2. Use shims to fix small cracks

Shims are required for wood splits produced by the minor movement of the wood. First, use sandpaper to flatten the sides of the cracks. After the surface has been smoothed, get the bevel shims and cut them precisely into the split spaces.

Fit and glue them into the cracks once they’ve been cut to suitable sizes. Then, use masking tape, cover the rest of the table before spraying a large amount of black lacquer or epoxy paint over the wood and allow the area to dry itself.


3. Use plywood for more significant splits.

If the split is too severe to be repaired using shims, you’ll need plywood or another piece of wood. Slip the piece of wood into the sanded area of the split, add a layer of resin or dark lacquer, and leave it to dry.

4. Improvise

Suppose the table is beyond repair; for example, if the crack runs the length of the table and through the wood, the best solution is to chop it down and reuse it. Sand the table’s remaining part after cutting it off the table. You can then shorten the legs to create a smaller but still functional table. Or you can make a chair and other smaller furniture out of it.

Even when you can’t do anything more to save the situation, throwing a split wood table top away is a waste of money. The beyond-repair table can still be valuable for other woodworking projects.


1. Are splits in wood bad?

It’s not that bad. While severe stress can cause a wood beam (or, less frequently, a post) to split, this is generally due to shrinkage as the wood dries, happens down the grain, and is not a structural problem.

2. How do I keep my wood table from splitting?

  • Keep an eye on the humidity in your house and make sure your humidifier is working correctly to avoid any problems, especially during the winter months.
  • Avoid frequent and abrupt changes in humidity, as they can be harmful to your furniture.
  • If possible, avoid storing wood furniture in the basement, attic, garage, or warehouse since this can cause it to age faster.
  • Avoid excessive heat or dryness. These factors can cause wood to split and crack.
  • Use a dehumidifier to remove extra moisture from the air in damp rooms or during wet, rainy seasons.

3. Will linseed oil stop wood from cracking?

Linseed oil is most commonly used to protect wood against splits and cracks. This method is simple and takes a few steps. Sand the wood first. You should make sure the sanding is done in the correct direction of wood fibers.

If you are keeping your wood in board shapes, you must do the sanding for the whole surface of the wood; however, for long woods, you should sand the open ends. Sanding your wood should be done with caution because it is a vital step in maintaining it.

Final Thoughts

So far, we have discussed how to repair split wood table top. To sum up, table top having cracks or breaks in your wood is unavoidable, but it doesn’t mean you have to throw it away or hire an expert to repair it.

We advise you to carefully select your woods and implement the optimal method based on your wood requirements. Check to see if a particular product is available in your neighborhood before deciding on a method.

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