How to Repair Particle Board Water Damage

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Particleboard is commonly used for furniture, kitchen cabinets, and other household needs. Accidents can happen that cause the particle board to experience water damage.

The boards are made with a combination of wood dust and glue mixture. This makes it lightweight and durable.

However, having the particleboard exposed to water can cause damage to it.

Tell-tale signs of water damage on particleboard is a swollen, bubbled-up surface in contrast to the previously smooth shape.

The good news is that water damage on particleboard is not hard to repair. The board itself can be rather hardy, too.

Even with my experience of a serious bathroom leak and yet, our particleboard IKEA furniture has survived!

Read on to learn how you can ensure the longevity of your particleboard furniture and cabinets.
how to repair particle board water damage

Particleboards are commonly used for their durability and low weight.

The boards also can be treated with waterproof sealants to help them resist water damage.

Without that waterproof coat, particleboard can quickly swell up when it gets wet with water.

The water damage will vary according to the amount of exposure to the water.

How to Repair Particle Board Water Damage: Easy Steps to Repair

To fix particleboard furniture with water-damage, first dry off the water. Then use sandpaper to buff the swollen areas. You can use a sharp knife to remove severely water-damaged swollen areas. Replace these holes with wood filler. Then sand it smooth.

If the particleboard has extensive damage, you will need to replace it with a new board. Use veneer glue to attach it. For a nice look, you can seal the particleboard and edges with contact paper.

Step 1: Dry off the wetness

First, you will need to dry the wet particleboard.

Use towels to quickly soak up the excess water. If possible, move the item to a dry area and fix any leaks.

Since the natural drying process can take a long time, you will want to hasten this process to reduce the damage to the particleboard.

Use a hairdryer like this supersonic one on Amazon, for efficient drying.

Any hairdryer will also do the job, taking a longer time.

Turn on the hairdryer and hold it towards the wet area of the board. Let the particleboard dry completely.

Step 2: Buff of the swelling with sandpaper

Next, you need to buff the raised area with sandpaper. The sandpaper will help you to level the particle board by sanding it.

Buffing the particleboard will expose the dried board portion to you. This way, you can even remove the damaged portion of the particleboard.

Use medium-grit sandpaper to remove the damaged portion of the board and finish the buffing with the fine grit sandpapers.

It will give the board a smooth finish. If you only have minor water damage, your work is done!

Now, for outdoor items you can coat the area with a waterproof coating to make sure that you do not have to face the problem again.

Then, put the board aside to let the coating dry properly.

Step 3: Remove the damaged area of the board with a knife

Next, use a sharp knife to dig and remove any swollen parts of the board.

Remove the portion which has become a powdery texture.

Vaccum the board to ensure that you have no powdery part left.

If there is any moisture left, let the particle board dry so as to not damage it from inside of the board.

Step 4: Add wood filler

Now you use wood filler, like this water-resistant one from Amazon.

Apply the filler mixture in the holes you have made and use a scale or a knife to make the filler level to the other portions of the board.

Scrape out the excess filler from the board to make the whole board even again.

Step 5: Sand the area

Then, you need to use a fine-grit sandpaper to sand the area once again to make the whole area smooth and level.

You can add a waterproof coating on outdoor boards to make it waterproof.

The process given above can help you to repair the water damage on the particleboard.

But if the damage is big and has spread to a larger area, then it is better to change the boards.

Because in that situation, repairing will be extensive.

Use veneer glue to put pieces of particle board together.

Read on to the next section to learn more about particle boards.

Can You Waterproof Particle Board?

You can make the particle board waterproof to only a certain level.

Putting on a layer of waterproof coating on outdoor items, can help you make the particleboard waterproof.

Or putting a laminating sheet or contact paper on the top will give it a decorative look and resist water damage.

How to Seal Particle Board Edge?

There are products available in the market that help you seal the edges of the particleboard.

You can use an iron-on edging band to seal the edges. It’s made for cabinet and furniture repairs, with strong glue that will finish the edges of your project. The melamine finish gives a neat, completed look.

To apply it, place it on your item and then firmly put on hot heat of a household iron. You can use an edge banding trimmer to help remove the excess.

You can also use contact paper to seal the particleboard edges.

If you are more handy, you can cover it with plywood.

To seal the edges with the products, you can use glue to attach the sheet on the edges of the particleboard.

How to Fix Water Damaged Laminate Furniture?

Fixing water damaged laminate furniture is simple with the steps above for particle boards.

Then, you can apply a coat of waterproofing to the furniture to make it waterproof for the long run.


Particle board is used for the making of furniture of many homes. Look for water-resistant feature to reduce their chances of water damage.

Because water can be the worst enemy to wood and wood type furniture.

If you’ve got severe water damage, though, that would require new sheets of particle board. You might want to call an expert at that point, who can restore the item for you.

Knowing how to repair particle board furniture will ensure it will look stylish in your home for a long time.

Related: How to Remove Water Stains From Leather

How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Furniture

How To Fix Gap Between Door And Frame


  1. I’m so glad I found this! We recently had a flood in one of our bathrooms and the bottom of the whole counter now has water damage. Fortunately we were able to catch it quick enough and call a local water damage restoration company to help with the flooring and clean it up before it can damage anything too bad, but I was at a loss as to how to fix the counter until I saw this. Fingers crossed that this works because I really don’t have the budget to buy a brand new counter. Thanks for sharing!


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