How To Repair Water Damaged Pressed Board Cabinets: 5 Steps

Knowing how to repair water damaged pressed board cabinets goes beyond drying and restoring the pressed board. It also involves removing mold that has grown from your furniture.

This is why we wrote about the process of repairing water-damaged pressed wood boards and removing mold from the said boards. We also explained how pressed wood gets water damage. Lastly, we included the costs of repair and how insurance policies cover water damage.

how to repair water damaged pressed board cabinets


How Do Pressed Wood Acquire Water Damage?

Pressed wood, pressboards, and particleboards are sometimes used interchangeably. However, they are different from each other.

Pressed wood is built from wood scraps, while pressboards are made from paper scraps. Both are engineered to become durable, and they’re more eco-friendly than solid wood.

The difference between the two and particle boards is the process they are made from. Particleboards are processed through an extrusion method. The two are made through a pressing process.

However different the process they were made, all of them get water damaged by absorbing too much moisture and water. Due to them absorbing too much water, they swell and expand.

Water damages the fibers of the pressed wood, so it is pretty challenging to repair them. However, we’re written the instructions on how to fix them below.


Steps In Repairing Water Damaged Pressed Wood Board


Step #1. Dry the board

Like with any water-damaged furniture, you have to dry them first before doing anything else. Pressed wood boards take a long time to dry, but it has to dry naturally. Ventilate the room to hasten the process of drying.


Step #2. Smoothen the boards

Since water-damaged pressed wood swells when they’re water-damaged, it’s necessary to sand them down. This is to smoothen the raised areas of the wood.

When you’re finishing the pressed wood, you can use fine-grit sandpaper. However, when you are removing the swelling, use medium-grit sandpaper.


Step #3. Remove damaged areas

After sanding the boards, assess the state of your pressed wood. Cut the damaged areas, then poke the wood with a knife and look for parts with powdery texture and remove those. Lastly, vacuum the remaining powdery sections of the board.


Step #4. Fill the holes

After sanding and removing damaged parts, put wood filler on the damaged areas. Level it after applying and scrape any excess wood filler. Here are some choices on wood filler.


Step #5. Finish the pressed wood repair

After the wood filler has dried, use fine-grit sandpaper to smoothen the board again. This would help your sealant to adhere to the board. Apply a coat of waterproof seal to prevent your wood from swelling again.


How to remove mold from water-damaged pressed wood cabinets

Swelling is not the only problem born from water damage, and there is also mold and mildew. This is why we included how to remove mold from your pressed wood cabinets. Here are the steps to eliminate mold from your cabinets:


Step #1. Protect yourself

Mold can cause respiratory problems, so you have to put on a respirator. Also, put on safety goggles and gloves, and put on a long-sleeved shirt. This is to prevent mold spores from coming into contact with your skin.


Step #2. Scrape off mold

If there is visible mold on your pressed wood board, scrape them off. You can use a soft bristle brush or a damp cloth to remove visible mold.


Step #3. Make a bleach and water mixture

Mix a gallon of water and a cup of bleach in a bucket. Then, use a sponge to scrub the pressed wood boards with the bleach-water mixture. Do not saturate the board with the mixture, or it might result in discoloration.


Step #4. Dry and finish

Let the pressed wood dry. This time you can use fans to accelerate the drying process. After that, apply a stain-blocking primer on the wood to prevent future mold growth.

Use a solvent-based primer rather than water-based so that the pressed wood board does not swell. You can apply additional coats on top of two coats of primer on the board to completely cover its edges. Then, let the primer dry and paint the board to match its original color.


Costs of repairing pressed wood board cabinets

Generally, the cost of repairing cabinets is around $281 to $429. This includes basic labor such as removing the cabinets, area preparation, and cleanup. Standard supplies like finishing materials are also included.

The average range also encompasses the equipment allowance. However, fixing water damage on pressed wood cabinets may cost higher since it requires more time and expertise to repair them.

Also, this general cost does not include fixing the root cause of water damage — which may be a leak on your ceiling or wall. If you doubt your budget on repairs, try to talk with your insurance company and lawyer about your insurance coverage regarding water damage.



Now that you know the specifics of how to repair water damaged pressed board cabinets and eliminating mold from wood, we hope you get to protect your cabinets from water damage. You’ll always have this article to read if you encounter a similar situation.

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