How To Repair Water Damaged Kitchen Cabinets

Repair Water Damaged Kitchen Cabinets, The kitchen is the most dominant part of a house or any workplace where one can show his cooking skills. Every kitchen has cabinets to put food items, glass, jars, or anything that is related to the kitchen. These cabinets are made of wood, plywood, hardwood, particleboard and wood veneer, etc. Cabinets can be designed in various shapes and forms to make the kitchen look beautiful and fascinating.

Repair water damaged kitchen cabinets:

But these cabinets are not waterproof. That is the reason water can damage the cabinets easily, whether they are cabinets made from wood or wood-based materials. Water can enter the cabinets due to continuous leakage, some sort of issues in water supply pipelines, or any other reason and can swell and distort them. But yes, these damages can be repaired by professionals and if you want you can do it yourself as well. So here you will know how to repair water damaged kitchen cabinets.

Estimate the Level of Damage

The first step of repairing the cabinets is to evaluate that how much damage is caused and how much your cabinets got wet. Secondly, what is the main reason for the damage? It is caused by leaking water, high humidity, or burst pipe. Once the cause is diagnosed, you will know your next. And it will make your repair process easier and quicker. You can predict that this process or these steps are better to overcome the problems or damages in the current situation or not so that you can avoid further complications.

Open the door and make sure to clear the cabinet.

Whatever you have placed in the cabinets, just move them out. Food items stored in containers will surely be safe and can be eaten, but food packed in paper or cardboard boxes should be wasted because there are maximum chances that food will be expired or not in a position to eat, and the fact is that health comes first. Just see what you can save and waste the other things. This step should be done before you actually start to repair your water damaged kitchen cabinets.

Remove the Water

Before starting repair of the damage, you need to remove as much water as you can remove from the cabinets by using any towel or a thick piece of cloth. Or else water will immerse in the cabinet doors again cause more damage and problem for you. Just dry your cabinets to the maximum extent to make your work trouble-free. You can use electronic fans or dryer to make your drying process faster.

Prepare the cabinets for the repair action.

Remove the cabinets door from its hook at least 2-3 days before you start to work on it. Put these doors in a safe place and let the air dry them. It will help you to recognize the defective area or parts, and you can repair them by using various tools like glues, screws, and claps. You can buy them from markets or hire a professional who can do all the steps properly because they have all the basic knowledge for this problem and carry all the essential instruments with himself in a bag.

Use a shellac-based primer on the wood.

Shellac-based primer is the best to remove any mark or mend any damage on wooden furniture, even though it works pretty well on wooden cabinets as well. This primer comes in a spray bottle. That is why it is easy and convenient to use. Apply just 1 or 2 coats of this primer on the damaged parts, and it will remove the stain or flaw as if it never even exists. Besides, you can paint any wooden thing after spraying this shellac primer, and it will help the paint to stick very well on whatever thing you wanted to paint.

Apply plastic wood filler if necessary

If the defective area is large enough, then you can use plastic wood filler. That will seal the damage and help to repair that part. The plastic wood filler mostly comes in tube form. Just apply it directly to the damaged part and smooth it using a knife or any other tool. The amount you will apply and the technique you will use will totally depend on the level of destruction.

Get sanding that damaged cabinet door.

After applying the plastic wood filler on the cabinets if, the wood’s surface still looks uneven then, just put sand on the cabinet doors by using a high-quality electric sander or sandpaper to make it look equal and even. You don’t need to worry about the color or paint. Just do this step twice or thrice until and unless the wood gets smoother. Remove extra sand or dust from the cabinets.

Get Rid of Stains

The cabinet doors having stains on them can be removed easily without any further trouble by using a solution of water and oxalic acid. Just apply it using a brush on the darkened part. Now to neutralize this portion apply another solution for that mix water with baking soda and apply that using a sponge on that part where you applied saturated solution. After it gets dried, the blackened or stained part will all be cleared like before when there was nothing on it and gives a new look to the cabinet doors.

Replace damaged parts

For the parts which cannot be repaired, you can replace them. The best idea is to consult a professional person. Because he can advise you in a better way or can do all the replacement steps himself, as this process is a bit complex, it also takes more time. Like you can replace the bottom shelf of under sink cabinets that are waterlogged because of continuous leakage or drawback in the pipes.

Get Rid of Bad Smell

Bad smell can be produced automatically in Repair Water Damaged Kitchen Cabinets, and it becomes unbearable to use this place and put something in that cabinet. Use some kind of ozone machine to remove that smell. On the other hand, bacteria can attack the damaged cabinets, so you can use various types of kitchen cleaner to kill bacteria and disinfect your cabinet doors. To make that place reusable. Mix bleach with water. It will not only kill the germs besides it will prevent the area from later attack of germs.

Start painting your kitchen cabinet doors.

After eliminating all the flaws, marks, and damages from the cabinet doors, now it’s time to paint them to make them look pretty like before. Use any good paint, but it is preferred to use the paint which you used earlier. Paint can be applied by either using paint brushes or paint rollers. It depends on your skills and comfort zone that what tool you will opt for this purpose.

Just apply it everywhere on the cabinet doors to give it a complete and neat look. Otherwise, it will look patchy and untidy. After applying the first coat, just let it dry. If you feel it still need another coat, then apply one more layer of paint and let it fully dry and settle down and the time required by the paint to get dried from paint to paint and brand to brand. Some of them just take few hours to settle down, but some take a full day. But after getting painted, the kitchen cabinets look pretty attractive.

Sand the painted cabinet doors down

After painting, now put the sand on the wooden cabinets. The purpose of sand here is not to equalize the wooden surface. Instead of it now, the sand is used to give a finishing look to painted wooden cabinet doors. This tip and trick will make your cabinets look flawless after getting repaired. Sanding will create small holes or long narrow cuts on the wooden surface so that if you need to paint these cabinets in the future, the paint will easily settle down without any disturbance. You can again put sand using an electric sander or sandpaper.

But at this point in time, it is more suitable to do it with your hands. Do remember one thing that before painting and sanding it again, make sure that your repair work is almost completed. Otherwise, all your efforts will be in vain, and it will be a waste of time.

Apply a waterproof varnish, clear coat, or seal on the cabinets

Repairing is not the solution for water-damaged kitchen cabinets. The major concern is the lifetime protection of our cabinets from this problem. For this, you need to apply waterproof coats, varnish, or seals on the doors. This will be the last coat which is to stop the trouble from coming back. A wide range of these waterproof coats is available in the market; just select wisely according to your needs. The one you will select will depend on the type of cabinet you are working on and the type of paint you have applied to it.

Get a professional opinion.

In case of repair, you can follow all the steps mentioned above. You can do it yourself, but for that, you must have the tools required for it if you don’t know how to use these tools and equipment and how to carry all the process. Then there are chances that you will fail to repair the damage. It is preferred to call a professional and let him do his work to make the repair process uncomplicated and end up with great success.

Safety precautions:

Suppose water keeps on falling on the kitchen cabinets because of the shape of the sink. It can cause a huge problem. Because in this case, it does not matter how many times you repaired it, the damage will come back again. The only solution to this problem is to change the design of your kitchen. Mainly the structure of the sink. Else this problem cannot be solved.

On the other hand, make sure that your kitchen is ventilated enough so that moisture cannot enter the doors of wooden cabinets or cabinets made of wood-based material. There should be a window or exhaust fan in the kitchen. So that moisture and steam can run out of the kitchen at the time of cooking. This moisture and steam are also dangerous for cabinet doors as they can absorb moisture that turns to cause damage in the future. And make sure there is no leakage in the taps, plus all the pipelines are working properly and efficiently.

You can also get your cabinets laminated. It is a plastic or any similar material that is not waterproof but can prevent your kitchen doors from water droplets and moisture. This idea is very useful to avoid future damage and problems. Plus, the lamination of wooden kitchen cabinets gives a glossy look to the kitchen, which looks extremely graceful and elegant. Precautions are always better than repair. Make sure you repair your damage timely. If the damaged part cannot be repaired, then replace them with a new one as it’s the last option left behind. Use any kind of waterproof clear coat or seals to make your kitchen cabinets water-resistant.

Repair work is not easy at all. It depends on the severity of damage that how much effort, money, materials, and time it will take to repair. That is why not only repair the parts causing problem take measures to protect these parts from causing further problems and destructions. As far as the repair process goes on, just be patient and repeat the above repairing steps till the time your kitchen cabinets that are damaged from water get repaired. As this procedure will end, all the issues will sort out, and you will get your dream kitchen back.


Firstly, always try to protect your kitchen cabinets from damage caused by water. But if due to certain reasons you fail to do so and you notice any sort of damage, quickly take action against it as soon as possible. And if not, it will lead to an expensive replacement. That will surely be a burden for you.