Updated at: 24-06-2022 - By: cnbusinessnews

Since MDF and particle board, which are not known for their strength, are commonly used in kitchen cabinets, they are subjected to a great deal of abuse. When the water in your sink and the humidity in the air combine, you can end up with water-damaged cabinets that don’t look their best.

As a result of the swelling caused by water damage, cabinets can lose their finish due to paint chipping or laminate bubbling up. Because of water damage in your cabinets, you may discover that a laminate surface is peeling off completely.

Repairing water damaged kitchen cabinets as soon as possible is critical to preventing further damage. As Kitchen Infinity’s crew has discovered, wood can withstand a certain amount of water damage, but the cabinets can eventually reach a point of no return where they are rendered unsalvageable.

In this article, we’ll examine the best methods for restoring water-damaged kitchen cabinets as well as possible safeguards against future water problems.


9 Steps For Repairing Kitchen Cabinets After Water Damage

In general, these are the steps you should follow when installing any type of cabinet door, regardless of the material or style. A little common sense is required in determining how much water damage has occurred, as well as whether it is possible to salvage your cabinets from being ruined.

Water Damage Under Kitchen Cabinets - Designing Idea

To repair water damage on cabinets composed of MDF, particle board, plywood, and other materials, follow these nine procedures.

So, how do you restore wood cabinets that have been damaged by water?

1. Prepare the cabinets for repair

To begin, get the cabinets ready for the task you’ll be doing.

Work surfaces that are safe and protected for tools/paint must be used for the cabinet door’s removal. Move it to a garage or shed and cover it with dropcloths to prevent paint splashes.

In some cases, you may wish to remove the hinges, door knobs, and other hardware from the cabinet door to prevent further water damage. Regardless of the extent of the water damage, you may find this method to be helpful.

It is imperative that the doors are completely dry before you do any work on them. Remove them a few days ahead of time in case you need to make repairs.

2. Use a shellac-based primer on the wood

To fix little defects and damage on wooden furniture, such as our cabinets, shellac-based primers are readily available.

Spray bottles of shellac-based primer are common, making it simple to apply to damaged surfaces. In order to restore your cabinet door’s smooth surface, apply 1 or 2 coats of this product over the damaged areas.

Shellac-based primers allow you to paint over them with any type of paint. This primer will smooth out the wood’s surface while also making it easier for your paint to adhere to it.

3. Apply plastic wood filler if necessary

Plastic wood filler can be used to help seal and repair larger areas of water damage on your kitchen cabinets. If your cabinets are made of particle board, make sure to properly clean them.

I prefer to use a small putty knife to smooth up the plastic wood filler after applying it directly from the tube to impacted areas. Obviously, the amount you use and the method you employ to administer it will be determined by the circumstances.

Before moving on to the following stage, make sure that the cabinets’ surfaces are as flat as possible.

4. Get sanding that cabinet door!

The sanding process can now begin!

Sanding is a common part of kitchen cabinet repair, and this is no exception! Cabinets that have been damaged by water must be sanded to restore the wood’s surface to its original condition, free of any bubbling or swelling.

While 120-grit sandpaper is my preferred choice, any coarse grit will do. Some people prefer to use a manual sander for this phase, but I prefer to use an electric sander.

The best electric sander to utilize is one from a well-known home design brand.

The cabinets won’t look as beautiful as new right away if you sand too much, so be careful not to sand too much. After you sand it down, just make sure it looks smoother and less damaged.

5. Repeat the previous steps if necessary

It may be necessary to repeat the previous methods several times if your cabinet is severely damaged by water damage.

Reusing the primer, filler, and sanding process will depend on the extent of the damage to the cabinet door.

Ask a friend who’s good at home DIY if you’re unsure if anything will work. In order to get a level and smooth surface, repeat steps 2 to 4.

Focus on the wood repair, not the color.

6. Start painting your kitchen cabinet!

It’s time to start painting the cabinet door back to way it was after the water damage is scarcely evident and the cabinet door looks very flat and smooth.

Use the same sort of paint that you used for the original cabinet design when painting over the top. The priming with shellac will make it easier for the paint to stick to the wood.

A paint roller and a small paintbrush can be used to complete the process of painting a larger cabinet door. It’s entirely up to your own preference and level of painting proficiency whether or not you go with a paintbrush for the entire process.

Water-damaged regions of a cupboard should be painted over completely, rather than only the damaged sections.

Depending on the sort of paint you’ve chosen, leave the cabinet door to dry for as long as necessary. As a general rule, give yourself plenty of breathing room because oil-based wood paint might take several hours to dry in between layers.

7. Sand the painted cabinet doors down

After this repair, you’ll discover that you’re an expert sander!

Yes, after the paint has dried, use a finer sandpaper to refinish the surface. Rather of reshaping the wood, the purpose here is to make the finish of the paint appear more uniform. Additionally, the sanding serves to produce microscopic holes and grooves in the cabinet door surface, which helps subsequent paint layers cling to the cabinet.

You can use 220-grit paper for this step of the restoration process.

The painted wood can be sanded by hand or with an electric sander. But I prefer sanding this stage by hand because you must be more careful and protect the paint job.

Take it easy!

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

After the last coat of paint has dried, use fine 220-grit sandpaper or something similar to carefully sand it down. Depending on the condition of your cabinet door, you may want to repeat the process once or twice.

There shouldn’t be any signs of water damage or paint chipping at this time. The cabinet door should appear as if it was just installed. We’re almost done with the repairs!

How To Repair MDF Water Damage | Handhills Cabinets

9. Apply a water-proofing varnish or seal

I would recommend applying a final topcoat or clear finish to assist prevent future water damage to your kitchen cabinets if you are serious about repairing them and preventing it from happening again.

Wooden kitchen cabinets can be coated with a variety of waterproof sealants, transparent coatings, and varnishes. It’s important to pick one that is compatible with the sort of wood and paint you’re using.

The clear coat’s finish should also be taken into consideration. It is important to use a clear coat that does not dry glossy when painting using flat matte-finish paint.

Waterproof paints and varnishes won’t make your cabinets water-proof, but they will make it much more difficult for future moisture to permeate the wood. They are not completely water-proof.

How Much Does it Cost To Replace Cabinet Doors?

When evaluating the cost of replacing cabinet doors in your home, there are a number of things to keep in mind. There is a per-square-foot expense for changing cabinet doors. Some door designs are more difficult and time consuming to produce, while some types of wood are more costly. Consider how the doors will be finished and whether or not drilling and hinges are required for installation when making this decision. The cost of your cabinet doors will be affected by each of these criteria, and your final budget will be determined by them all.

Do some research and get in touch with a painter or paint supplier before deciding on a finish for your cabinet doors. When it comes to deciding whether or not to take on a DIY project, they can help. If you don’t want to handle the finishing yourself, Cabinetdoors.com can paint your doors in a Sherwin Williams color of your choice, or if you want a more natural look, we can use a Clear Satin Conversion Varnish to seal them. A local painter or finisher could be hired as a third alternative. Professionally finished painted doors will cost more than unfinished, paint-grade doors. Be sure to factor in the materials expenses connected with each step of the painting or staining process when estimating your final budget if you intend to do it yourself.

We at Cabinetdoors.com are unable to provide you a general estimate of what this would cost you in your location. Whatever your location, it is important to keep these points in mind when putting out a financial strategy.

  • Design of a cabinet door
  • Sizes of cabinet doors
  • Species of wood used
  • Finish for cabinet doors
  • Consistency with which the cupboard doors close
  • Replacement cabinet doors can be purchased from the following retailers:

Cabinet Door Replacement Costs at Cabinetdoors.com

The cost of new cabinet doors is an important consideration while doing so. You could pay much more or less for your doors, depending on where you get them. You’ll normally pay a markup of 30 to 50 percent over the manufacturer’s pricing when you buy from a retail outlet. You don’t want to pay the markup. Right from the manufacturer’s website, you may place your order.

Cabinetdoors.com offers factory-direct pricing on replacement kitchen cabinet doors, so there’s no retail markup to worry about. Our custom-sized products can be purchased in any wood species or finish that we offer, as well. Your new cabinet doors are custom-made to your exact requirements and supplied directly to your home from our manufacturing facility. So, how can you figure out how much it will cost you to have new cabinet doors?

If you want a certain sort of wood for a particular door style, you can get a different price per square foot when purchasing cabinet doors. When you make an order for a replacement cabinet door, you’ll provide the exact dimensions you need to establish the price. Then select your wood type and finish, and the Cabinetdoors.com order page will compute the cost per door for you.

Cabinetdoors.com makes it simple to figure out how much you can spend on your project. For an additional fee, you can have each of the doors’ hinge pockets drilled for quicker installation, even if you don’t buy the hinges from us! At Cabinetdoors.com, we believe that the cost of replacing cabinet doors should be simple to determine. From ordering to receiving, everything is made simple on our website.

Cabinet Door Replacement Costs at Retail Stores

Big-box hardware and home improvement retailers typically charge more than Cabinetdoors.com does for the same products. In fact, you may expect to pay 30 to 50 percent more each cabinet door on average. Because you have to pay for the shop location, these prices are greater. That is to say, you are subsidizing a slew of middlemen.

Big box retailers have less personalization possibilities due to the same intermediaries, so you pay more for less. Cabinetdoors.com has a far wider selection than what you’ll discover elsewhere. To buy simply the doors is not an option in most retail establishments. This means that you’ll need to have your old cabinets dismantled before the new ones can be installed. While doing it yourself can save you money on demolition, in order to maintain the warranty, most retail businesses insist that their items be installed by specialists.

Nowadays, shopping in a brick-and-mortar store and hoping to find someone who can help you is much less convenient than ordering online and having everything delivered straight to your door. Replacement cabinet doors at a big-box retailer are often too expensive.

Cabinet Door Replacement Labor Cost

“How much is it to replace cabinet doors?” is a common question. The installation costs, in terms of both money and time, must also be taken into account. When it comes to replacing cabinet doors, you have two options: you can either do it yourself or pay a professional to do it for you.

Professionals may measure, source cabinet doors, buy hinges, and then remove the old doors and install the new doors for you if you hire them to do it for you. However, these labor expenditures can quickly pile up if you hire the wrong people. Cabinet doors can be installed by you instead of hiring a professional. For free, but requiring some additional time and work, this is an excellent option for those who want to save money on their doors. Especially if you’re a first-time home renovator or you’re a full-time worker who can only spend weekends working on projects around the house. You’ll also need a good drill and screwdriver if you don’t already have one. In contrast, the process is made as simple as possible by Cabinetdoors.com from then on out.

Measure, order, and install new cabinet doors with the help of Cabinetdoors.com’s step-by-step instructions and video tutorials. Using this method, you may order your doors from us online, saving you money, then install them yourself, saving even more! To hang your new kitchen cabinet doors precisely, you don’t need to be an experienced contractor, as we promise. Everything on this site has been created with the end-user in mind. It might even be fun if you’re a fan of DIY projects.

Instead of accepting whatever a contractor offers, you can set your own schedule and make all the decisions when you perform the work yourself. To avoid having to wait for someone else to free up their calendar, and to avoid having to pay for something that you can easily do on your own, you should use this service instead. Keep in mind, however, that even if you pay someone to finish or hang the doors, you may still save money on cabinet door replacement expenses by purchasing online with Cabinetdoors.com.

Other Potential Cabinet Door Replacement Costs

It’s possible to incur a lot of additional charges when you replace a cabinet door. It’s not uncommon to discover damage that needs to be repaired during a house, kitchen, or bathroom renovation. As a result, whenever you intend to remodel a room in your house, be sure to budget a little extra to account for any unexpected expenses. When it comes to budgeting for new cabinet doors, keep the following expenditures in mind.

Replacing cabinet doors can also result in the following additional expenses:

  • Repairing or replacing any cabinetry that has been damaged or is in poor condition. Over-the-range microwaves and other appliances that have to be relocated will cost more.
  • Replace any cabinet parts that have been damaged by water or mold or mildew that have been discovered during the process of replacing the parts.
  • Supplies and materials are subject to sales tax.
  • Replaced hinges and bored hinges.
  • Sandpaper, paint, stain, or laminate are all examples of finishing goods.
  • Products for existing cabinet boxes for cleaning, refinishing, and mending.

If you’ve ever worked with a contractor on a large-scale home remodeling job, you know that the expenses can grow rapidly and unexpectedly. Because of this, acquiring replacement cabinet doors from Cabinetdoors.com and performing the installation yourself can save you a significant amount of money. Changing cabinet doors doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive. Let Cabinetdoors.com help you keep within your price range..

How Do I Protect My Kitchen Cabinets From Water?

Keeping your kitchen cabinets in good condition is important once they’ve been fixed. Protecting your cabinets rather than constantly repairing them is preferable. To accomplish this, there are five primary methods:

1. Get them laminated

Laminate kitchen cabinetry is a popular option. The “laminate” that covers your wood cabinets and frames protects them from water damage.

Plastic or another water-resistant material can be used for the laminate layer’s appliqué, which has a smooth, shiny finish. Cabinet doors with a laminated outer layer can keep water from accessing the wood core, but they are not waterproof.

It is feasible to paint laminate kitchen cabinets to complement the style of your kitchen if you like a more matte finish.

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

Keeping your kitchen cabinets watertight is easy with the many clear coatings available. Even though your kitchen cabinets are built of low-quality wood, you may avoid water damage by following these simple steps.

Depending on the type of wood and paint used, several types of waterproof sealants, varnishes, and clear coatings can be used on different types of kitchen cabinet doors.

The finish (glossy, matte or satin) of a waterproofing clear coat should match the finish of your new kitchen cabinet design.

3. Get a deeper style of sink

Kitchen cabinet door drips may indicate that it’s time to redesign your kitchen.

Do you, for example, require a sink with a deeper bowl to prevent water from sputtering out? To keep the water from escaping, you may want a stronger seal around the sink’s perimeter.

Water spills can be avoided entirely by installing a different type of sink. It’s better to avoid a problem than to fix it!

4. Try new countertop edges

Changing the design of your countertop edges may also be an option. You may not think about it, but the design of your countertop edges can have a big impact on the likelihood of water pouring into your cabinets and causing them to be damaged.

It is common to see water spills from kitchen countertops with bullnose edges (i.e., a bullnose edge that bends all the way around) drip into the cabinets below.

On the other hand, if your kitchen counters have beveled edges, spills will go straight to the floor instead of soaking into the cupboards.

Square edge or beveled edge countertops are an excellent alternative if you have no small children to worry about (the edges might be sharp!) if your home is prone to cabinet damage.

5. Get better ventilation or dehumidification

If you find that moisture is the source of your troubles, you may wish to upgrade your kitchen’s ventilation. Steam can build up in your home, especially if you boil a lot of water or cook a lot that generates steam.

It’s not a difficult task.

Open your windows to let the moisture and steam out, but you might also want to look into kitchen extractor fans and dehumidifiers to help soak up the excess moisture in the air that’s damaging your treasured cabinets!…

An open window has a limited impact.

Repairing Damaged MDF Cabinet Doors - YouTube


How do you fix a water damaged MDF door?

Apply a water- or oil-based primer to the damaged area with a soft brush. Fill the gouges and scratches with wood filler, or putty, by using a putty knife. Damaged areas should be sanded until they are completely smooth. Use a tack cloth to remove sanding residue.

How do you repair cabinet doors with particle board swelling?

You can use a pad sander and 100-grit sandpaper to get rid of the swollen particleboard. Wait five to ten minutes before attaching the laminated particleboard to the flattened particleboard. With C-clamps, secure the laminate to the surface of the board by pressing it into place. Clamp it for the night.

Does wood filler work on particle board?

You may acquire particle board cheaper than hardwood by making it out of wood chips and shavings that are compressed and extruded. Wood filler and a sanding block can be used to swiftly repair damage to this sort of material.

Can you fix swollen particle board?

To repair water-damaged particleboard furniture, first remove the water. Sand the swollen areas with sandpaper after that. Swollen spots that have been extensively affected by water can be cut out with a sharp knife. A replacement board will be needed if the particleboard is damaged beyond repair.

Is steam bad for wood cabinets?

Damage to cabinetry is the most common consequence of using appliances that produce heat or steam. Wood cabinets, for example, can become steam burnt (developing a white film) while cabinets made of Thermofoil, Melamine, or wood substitutes can become discolored or even melt (a white film). Countertops can also be damaged due to excessive heat buildup.

Can steam damage cabinets?

Heat and Steam Heat and water combine to form steam, which is extremely destructive. A lack of effective management of steam can result in burns, warping, discoloration, and even melting of lower quality cabinets. Stovetop heat can cause cabinets to dry out and crack prematurely, resulting in warping, shrinking, and even splintering.

How do you fix steam wood damage?

If the affected region is still white after using the hair dryer every day for a few weeks, dampen a cloth with rubbing alcohol. Gently scrubbing the affected area will help. Until the affected area is clear and the steam damage is gone, repeat the process every day.

The Bottom Line

Repairing your kitchen cabinets is not a simple task, but it is doable if you are ready to put in the time, effort, and resources required. Keep in mind that repairing your wet cabinets might take anything from a few hours to several days, depending on the type of paint you’re using and the scope of the project.

Personally, I believe that installing deep sinks, strong sealing, and counter edges that assist liquids roll down the end and directly to the floor are the best ways to keep your cabinets safe from such spills in the future. I wish you the best of luck with any repair project, whether you’re addressing an existing problem or protecting against future water damage.

Always be cautious, take your time, and keep going until the cabinets appear brand new again!