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How To Repair Kitchen Cabinets With Water Damage

Water damage to kitchen cabinets can cause paint to flake off or laminate to bubble up and degrade the finish. Water from your sink and moisture in the air can cause water damage to your cabinets. Due to water damage, you may even discover that a laminate surface begins to come off altogether.

Here, we'll look at the best approach to repair water-damaged kitchen cabinets, as well as alternative strategies to prevent your cabinets from future water problems.

9 Steps to Repairing Water Damaged Kitchen Cabinets

  • Prepare the cabinets for repair

If your kitchen or bathroom cabinet doors have been damaged by water damage, there are a few things you need to do to ensure they are ready for the job that is to be done. Remove the cabinet door from its hinges and set it on a work area that is free of tools and paint.

  • Prime the wood with a shellac-based primer

Shellac-based primers are meant to help restore tiny defects and damage in hardwood furniture. Apply 1 or 2 applications of this product to damaged areas of your cabinet door to help level out the surface. This primer will assist smooth out the wood's surface while also allowing your paint to adhere to it nicely.

  • Apply plastic wood filler if necessary

If you're working with particle board cabinets, make sure they're as flat as possible before moving on to the next step. Because particle board tends to collect more bumps than MDF, be sure to do this step properly if you're using it. If there are significant areas of damage, plastic wood filler can be used to help seal them up.

  • Get sanding that cabinet door!

Water-damaged cabinets must be sanded so that the wood's surface is even once again. It's best to use 120-grit sandpaper, although any coarser grit would suffice. Some individuals accomplish this process by hand, but an electric sander makes it much easier.

  • Repeat the previous steps if necessary

Depending on how much your cabinet door is damaged, you may want to repeat the shellac primer, plastic wood filler, and sanding process. Steps 2–4 should be repeated until the wood appears flat and smooth. At this time, don't bother about the colour; instead, concentrate on the wood restoration.

  • Start painting your kitchen cabinet!

After you've fixed the damage caused by water damage to a cabinet door, you may begin painting it to restore its original appearance. Allow the cabinet door to dry for as long as it takes for the type of paint you used to dry - oil-based wood paints might take several hours to dry between applications.

  • Sand the painted cabinet doors down

After the paint has dried, sand it down with a finer sandpaper once more. The purpose here is to make the paint finish look more smooth, not to flatten or distort the wood. Small holes and grooves are created on the cabinet door surface as a result of the sanding.

  • Apply one more layer of paint and sand it down.

What is the best way to fix a cabinet door that has been ruined by water or paint chipping? Apply a layer of paint, let it dry, and then sand it smooth with a 220-grit sandpaper. Depending on how much the door is damaged, you may need to repeat the operation one or two more times.

  • Apply a water-proofing varnish or seal

Applying a final topcoat or clear coat to help keep the water out in the future is recommended. Waterproof paints and varnishes will not make your cabinets impenetrable to water, but they will make future moisture penetration much more difficult.


The best thing is to avoid flooding which causes damage, though there are flood restoration professionals, but still flooding is a nightmare that will not only destroy your kitchen cabinets but a lot more.

Harry Virk

Harry Virk is the director of CleaningPro Auckland. He has years of experience in the cleaning industry and his company is expert at providing exceptional cleaning services in Auckland. He has a passion for helping people and making sure that their homes are clean, tidy, and ready for visitors.

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