Updated at: 09-09-2022 - By: cnbusinessnews

Kitchen cabinets take a beating since they are typically made of MDF or particle board, two materials not noted for their durability. Cabinets may not look their best due to water damage caused by a combination of sink water and humidity in the air.

Cabinets can lose their finish from expanding, leading to paint chipping or laminate bubbling. You may find that a laminate surface on your cabinets is totally peeling off as a result of water damage.

Kitchen cabinets that have been damaged by water should be repaired as soon as feasible. The group at Kitchen Infinity found that wood is resilient to some degree of water damage, but that cabinets can be ruined beyond repair at some time.

In this piece, we’ll take a look at how to fix kitchen cabinets that have been damaged by water and how to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

9 Steps For Repairing Kitchen Cabinets After Water Damage

Regardless of the material or style, these are the standard procedures for installing cabinet doors. Your cabinets may be salvageable if you use some common sense in assessing the extent of the water damage.

Water Damage Under Kitchen Cabinets - Designing Idea

Follow these nine steps to fix water damage to cabinets made of MDF, particle board, plywood, and other materials.

Is there a solution to repairing water damage to wooden cabinets?

1. Prepare the cabinets for repair

To begin, prepare the cabinets for the work that has to be done.

Work surfaces that are safe and protected for tools/paint must be used for the cabinet door’s removal. Cover it with dropcloths and store it in a garage or shed to protect it from paint spills.

To stop water from getting into the wood, you may want to take the cabinet door off its hinges and knobs. You may find this procedure useful regardless of the degree of water damage.

Make sure the doors are totally dry before you start working on them. Take them down a couple of days early in case you need to make adjustments.

2. Use a shellac-based primer on the wood

Shellac-based primers are easily obtainable and can be used to repair minor faults and damage on wooden furniture like our cabinets.

Primers made with shellac can be easily sprayed over damaged surfaces and are widely available. Applying one or two coats of this solution over the affected areas can restore the smoothness of your cabinet door.

Primers made from shellac can be painted over with any paint. Paint will stick better to the primed wood, and the smoother surface will make painting easier.

3. Apply plastic wood filler if necessary

Water damage to your kitchen cabinets can be sealed and repaired with plastic wood filler. Particle board cabinets require special care while cleaning.

Applying plastic wood filler straight from the tube to damaged places, I like to use a little putty knife to smooth it out. Obviously, the dosage and administration technique will depend on the specifics of the situation.

Make sure the surfaces of the cabinets are perfectly level before moving on to the next step.

4. Get sanding that cabinet door!

We can now begin the sanding procedure.

Sanding is an integral aspect of repairing kitchen cabinets. It is necessary to sand the surface of water-damaged cabinets in order to remove any bubbling or swelling in the wood and return it to its former state.

However, any sandpaper with a coarse grit would work; I just seem to like 120 grit the best. A manual sander may be preferred by some at this stage, but I find that an electric sander works best for me.

An electric sander from a trusted name in the home improvement industry will do the job the best.

If you sand the cabinets too much, they won’t appear as good as new again immediately quickly. You should sand it down till it looks smoother and less damaged, but that’s about it.

5. Repeat the previous steps if necessary

If your cabinet sustained significant water damage, you may need to repeat the aforementioned steps multiple times.

Whether or not you may use the same primer, filler, and sanding steps again after fixing a damaged cabinet door depends on the level of damage.

If you are unclear as to what you should try, consult a buddy who is skilled in home improvement projects. Repeat steps 2–4 until the surface is even and smooth.

It’s more important to fix the wood than to change the color.

6. Start painting your kitchen cabinet!

Once the water damage is barely noticeable and the cabinet door seems very flat and smooth, it is time to begin painting the door to restore it to its previous appearance.

You should paint over the existing cabinets using the same type of paint that was used for the original design. Shellac priming improves paint adhesion to wood.

It is possible to paint a wider cabinet door using a paint roller and a tiny paintbrush. Whether you use a paintbrush throughout the entire procedure or not depends solely on your personal preference and skill with painting.

If a cabinet has been damaged by water, the entire cabinet, not just the damaged areas, should be repainted.

Allow the cabinet door to dry for as long as is recommended by the manufacturer of the paint you used. Oil-based wood paint may take several hours to dry in between layers, so give yourself plenty of time.

7. Sand the painted cabinet doors down

You’ll learn that you’re a sanding pro by the time you’re done with this fix.

Once the paint has dry, you can refinish the surface with finer grit sandpaper. The goal here is to make the paint look more professional, not to reshape the wood. Furthermore, the sanding creates microscopic holes and grooves in the surface of the cabinet door, which aids following paint coats in adhering to the cabinet.

For this stage of the repair process, 220-grit paper is appropriate.

You can sand the painted wood by hand or with an electric sander. In contrast, I find that hand sanding at this step is the best way to go because it forces you to be more cautious and meticulous with the paint.

Gentlemen, take it easy!

8. Apply a final coat of paint and sand it down again

Use fine 220-grit sandpaper or something similar to sand down the surface after the last coat of paint has dried. The number of times you’ll need to perform this depends on the state of your cabinet door.

Water damage or paint chipping shouldn’t be evident at this time. A freshly installed cabinet door gives the impression of being of high quality. The maintenance is coming to a close.

How To Repair MDF Water Damage | Handhills Cabinets

9. Apply a water-proofing varnish or seal

If you are serious about restoring the water damage to your kitchen cabinets and keeping it from happening again, I suggest putting a final topcoat or clear finish.

Waterproof sealants, translucent coatings, and varnishes are just some of the options for coating wooden kitchen cabinets. Choose one that works well with the type of wood and paint you intend to use.

The glossiness of the clear coat needs to be thought about as well. When painting with flat matte-finish paint, a clear coat that does not dry glossy is essential.

Although painting or varnishing your cabinets with a water-resistant coating won’t make them completely watertight, it will greatly reduce the likelihood that moisture will seep into the wood in the future. They are not totally impervious to water.

How Much Does it Cost To Replace Cabinet Doors?

There are a few factors to consider when estimating how much it will cost to replace the cabinet doors in your home. Cabinet door replacement comes at a cost of $.50 to $1.00 per square foot. There are more expensive varieties of wood and more labor-intensive door styles to consider. When deciding, think about the doors’ final finish and whether or not you’ll need to drill and add hinges. All of these factors will have an impact on the final price tag you set for your cabinet doors.

If you haven’t decided on a finish for your cabinet doors yet, it’s a good idea to conduct some homework and get in touch with a painter or paint supplier. They are useful for determining whether or not to do a do-it-yourself job. Cabinetdoors.com offers professional finishing services, including painting in any Sherwin Williams color or sealing with Clear Satin Conversion Varnish if you want a more natural appearance. A third option is to employ a painter or finisher in your area. Doors that have been professionally painted are more expensive than paint-grade doors that have not been completed. If you plan to undertake the painting or staining yourself, be sure to include the costs of the necessary materials in your final budget estimate.

Cabinetdoors.com cannot give you a ballpark figure for what this would cost in your area. These considerations are relevant when developing a financial plan wherever in the world.

  • Layout for a cupboard door
  • Door sizes for cabinets
  • Used wood species
  • Cabinet door veneer
  • The reliability with which the closet doors shut
  • Cabinet door replacement options are available from the following stores:

Cabinet Door Replacement Costs at Cabinetdoors.com

When doing so, it’s crucial to think about how much money you can allocate toward purchasing new cabinet doors. The price of doors might vary greatly depending on where you purchase them. Retailers typically add 30-50 percent to the MSRP when selling to the public. In other words, you’d rather not pay the premium. You can place your order directly with the manufacturer through their website.

Replacement kitchen cabinet doors can be purchased from Cabinetdoors.com at prices that are lower than the wholesale cost since they are purchased directly from the manufacturer. In addition to offering standard sizes, we also manufacture to order. Each of your new cabinet doors is handcrafted to order and shipped straight to your house. How do you estimate the fee for new cabinet doors?

You can negotiate a different price per square foot for cabinet doors depending on the type of wood you want and the door style you’re interested in. To determine the cost of a replacement cabinet door, you will need to supply precise dimensions when placing your purchase. Cabinetdoors.com’s order page will automatically calculate the door price after you choose the wood species and finish.

Cabinetdoors.com streamlines the process of estimating project costs. Even if you don’t purchase the hinges from us, we will drill the hinge pockets in each door for an extra charge to make installation easier. Here at CabinetDoors.com, we think it should be easy to estimate how much it will cost to replace your cabinet doors. All aspects of doing business with us online (from placing an order to receiving a shipment) are streamlined.

Cabinet Door Replacement Costs at Retail Stores

Traditional hardware stores and home improvement megastores often sell their items at higher prices than Cabinetdoors.com. In fact, the price of a single cabinet door may rise by as much as 50% in some cases. These costs are passed on to customers in the form of higher prices to cover the overhead of renting a physical storefront. That is, you are effectively funding a plethora of intermediaries.

Due to the same intermediaries, big-box stores can’t offer as much customization, so customers end up paying more for less. You won’t find a better collection than on Cabinetdoors.com. There aren’t many stores where you can just buy the doors. This necessitates the removal of the existing cabinets prior to the installation of the new ones. DIY disassembly may save money, but most retailers won’t honor warranties unless the item is professionally installed.

When compared to ordering online and having everything delivered to your door, shopping at a physical store and trying to find someone who can help you is considerably less convenient. It can be pricey to buy replacement cabinet doors from a big box store.

Cabinet Door Replacement Labor Cost

The cost of cabinet door replacement is a frequently asked subject. The time and money required for setup must also be factored in. One can either do it themselves or hire a professional to replace cabinet doors.

If you employ a professional, they can measure the space, find suitable replacement doors and hinges, and finally replace the old doors with the new ones. However, if you recruit the incorrect personnel, these labor costs can soon add up. You don’t need a handyman or carpenter to put in new cabinet doors. This is a great way to save money on doors, and it’s free if you’re willing to put in the extra time and effort. Especially if you’ve never done any home improvement before or if you have a full-time job and can only devote the weekends to home improvement. If you don’t already have them, you should also invest in a quality drill and screwdriver. In contrast, from that point onwards, Cabinetdoors.com makes everything as easy as possible.

Cabinetdoors.com has detailed instructions and video guides to assist you determine the right size, style, and material for your new cabinet doors. Ordering your doors from us online will save you money, and if you want to install them yourself, you’ll save even more. We guarantee that you won’t need the help of a professional handyman to properly install your brand-new kitchen cabinet doors. All of the content on this site was made with the reader in mind. If you enjoy doing things yourself, it could even be enjoyable.

In contrast to hiring a contractor, doing the job yourself allows you to choose your own schedule and make all of the decisions. Avoid wasting time waiting for someone else to make time in their schedule and saving money by doing something you can accomplish on your own with this service. Keep in mind that even if you pay someone to finish or hang the doors, you may still save money on cabinet door replacement costs by shopping online with Cabinetdoors.com.

Other Potential Cabinet Door Replacement Costs

The cost of replacing a cabinet door can quickly pile up. When renovating a house, kitchen, or bathroom, it’s not unusual to find damage that needs fixing. Therefore, it is important to leave some room in your budget for the unexpected whenever you plan to remodel a room in your home. The following costs should be accounted for when planning for new cabinet doors.

If you need to replace your cabinet doors, you may incur further costs.

  • Cabinetry that is broken or in disrepair should be fixed or replaced. It will cost extra to move items like microwaves that are placed above the range.
  • If you find any water damage, mold, or mildew while replacing cabinet pieces, throw them out and get new ones.
  • It is necessary to pay sales tax on materials and supplies.
  • Hinge replacement and boring were performed.
  • Surface treatments like sandpaper, paint, stain, and laminate are all examples of finishing goods.
  • Products for maintaining and fixing preexisting cabinetry.

If you’ve ever hired a contractor for a sizable home renovation project, you know how quickly and dramatically the budget can balloon. That’s why it makes financial sense to buy new cabinet doors from Cabinetdoors.com and put them in yourself. Changing your cabinet doors doesn’t have to break the bank. If you’re concerned about going over budget, CabinetDoors.com is here to assist you.

How Do I Protect My Kitchen Cabinets From Water?

Once your kitchen cabinets have been repaired, maintaining them is crucial. It’s better to prevent damage to your cabinets in the first place, rather than have to constantly fix them. There are mainly five ways to do this:

1. Get them laminated

The use of laminate for kitchen cupboards is becoming increasingly common. The wood in your cabinets and picture frames is safe from moisture damage thanks to the “laminate” that covers it.

The appliqué on the laminate layer, which has a smooth, shiny surface, can be made of plastic or another water-resistant substance. Water may be prevented from penetrating laminated cabinet doors and reaching the wood core, but these doors are not watertight.

If you like a more matte appearance in your kitchen, it is possible to paint laminate cabinets to match your decor.

2. Use a water-proofing varnish, seal, or clear coat

There are a variety of clear coatings on the market that make it simple to keep your kitchen cabinets watertight. Kitchen water damage can be avoided even if your cabinets are made of cheap wood if you take these precautions.

Waterproof sealants, varnishes, and clear coatings can be applied to a variety of kitchen cabinet doors, albeit this largely depends on the type of wood and paint that was originally used.

It is important to make sure that the sheen of the waterproofing clear coat (glossy, matte, or satin) complements the sheen of your newly remodeled kitchen cabinets.

3. Get a deeper style of sink

Dripping cabinet doors could mean it’s time for a kitchen remodel.

Do you want a sink with a deeper bowl so water doesn’t splash out? If water is leaking from your sink, you might want to upgrade the seal around the edge.

A new sink model eliminates the potential for any water to leak out. To avoid a problem is preferable to solving it.

4. Try new countertop edges

The borders of your counter tops can also be modified to suit your tastes. You may not give much thought to it, but the shape of your countertop’s edges can greatly affect how much water is funneled into your cabinets and how badly they are harmed.

Bullnose edges (i.e. a bullnose edge that bends all the way around) on kitchen counters are notorious for allowing water to drip into the cabinets below.

However, if your kitchen counters have beveled edges, any accidental spills will be directed away from your cabinets and onto the floor.

If your property is prone to cabinet damage, square edge or beveled edge countertops are a great option if you don’t have tiny children to worry about (the edges might be sharp!).

5. Get better ventilation or dehumidification

Upgrade your kitchen’s ventilation system if you discover that excess moisture is to blame for your problems. If you boil a lot of water or do other types of cooking that produce a lot of steam, you may find that the steam in your home becomes a problem.

This is not a challenging task.

You may prevent further damage to your precious cabinets by opening the windows and letting the steam and moisture escape, but you should also consider using kitchen extractor fans and dehumidifiers.

The effects of a cracked window are mild.

Repairing Damaged MDF Cabinet Doors - YouTube


How do you fix a water damaged MDF door?

Use a gentle paintbrush to apply a primer, either water- or oil-based, to the affected area. Wood filler (or putty) can be used to repair the gouges and scratches. The rough spots caused by damage should be sanded down to a smooth finish. To get rid of sanding dust, use a tack cloth.

How do you repair cabinet doors with particle board swelling?

Remove the enlarged particleboard with a pad sander and 100-grit sandpaper. Hold off on securing the laminated particleboard to the pressed particleboard for at least five minutes. Press the laminate down onto the board using the C-clamps to keep it in place. Put the locks on it tonight.

Does wood filler work on particle board?

Particle board, made from compressed and extruded wood chips and shavings, can be obtained at a lower cost than hardwood. Damage can be quickly fixed using wood filler and a sanding block.

Can you fix swollen particle board?

Particleboard furniture that has been damaged by water must first have the water completely removed before any repairs can be made. After that, use sandpaper to smooth off the bumpy spots. Extensive water damage can cause swelling, but a sharp knife can remove the afflicted tissue. If the particleboard is severely damaged, a new board will be required.

Is steam bad for wood cabinets?

To a greater or lesser extent, using any equipment that generates heat or steam will inevitably result in damage to your cabinets. Cabinets manufactured of Thermofoil, Melamine, or other wood substitutes can discolor or even melt, while wood cabinets can become steam burned (generating a white coating) (a white film). Even if you don’t use the stovetop, the heat from your oven or microwave can damage your countertops.

Can steam damage cabinets?

The Use of Steam and Heat Steam, created when water is heated, may do a lot of damage. Burns, warping, discolouration, and even melting can occur to lesser quality cabinets if steam is not managed properly. Premature drying and cracking of cabinets caused by heat from a stovetop can lead to warping, shrinking, and even splintering of the wood.

How do you fix steam wood damage?

After using the hair dryer on the affected area daily for a few weeks, if the area is still white, dab it with a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol. Scrubbing the area softly can help. Every day until the area is clean and the steam damage has disappeared, repeat the process.

The Bottom Line

Kitchen cabinet repair is not easy, but it is possible if you are willing to put in the time, energy, and resources necessary. Depending on the paint you use and the extent of the damage, fixing your water-damaged cabinets could take anything from a few hours to several days.

In my opinion, the best approach to protect your cabinets from future spills is to install deep sinks, good sealing, and counter edges that help liquids roll down the end and directly to the floor. Whether you’re fixing an existing issue or installing a preventative measure, I hope your repair efforts go smoothly.

Take your time, be careful, and stay at it until the cabinets shine like new.