One of the least resilient man-made woods available is particle board. This wood composite, often known as chipboard, is more delicate than plywood or MDF, yet is used considerably in making furniture, etc. One of the most significant issues is when the particle board is near water, which will quickly expand once a small amount of moisture enters them.
You often see this in kitchen floor underlay, drawers, countertops, or cabinets where water has been spilled. In addition, it occurs when sealing chipboard edges hasn’t been done correctly. Trimming a countertop or other area and not finishing it is a prime example. Other areas can be on your countertops, where hot pans or wet items cause the surface to break down.
Despite the drawbacks, you can see why it is so popular at half the price of some wood alternatives, such as plywood. In our guide, you can see the best ways to fix flaking particle boards. By the end, you’ll see how the wood needs to be sealed and how to fix a stripped screw hole in the particle board, as that is another point of failure when using this material. (Learn How To Connect A Wood Furnace To Existing Ductwork)
What Happens To Bare Particle Board?
The result will depend on whether or not that particle board surface has been laminated. If it has received a laminated coat treatment and the surface is still in good condition, you can seal it with a clear epoxy coat.
However, if the particle board is unfinished, use an exterior-grade oil-based polyurethane sealant or even already exposed. This is primarily because of the superior capacity of oil-based polyurethane to penetrate those apparent surface fractures and helps to seal particle board from the inside out.
Additionally, when you paint on this covering, it can effectively cover slight damage to a countertop. That countertop will have a good amount of waterproofing and heat resistance from epoxy and polyurethane.
However, all this is under the assumption that you have done what you can to protect the surface.
How To Keep Particle Board From Crumbling?
It doesn’t take much knowledge to come up with the answer to this question. However, all the answers come back to stopping moisture from getting near this wood.
In a few hours, you can find your wood ruined, so at your earliest convenience, paint on some epoxy resin, solvent-based polyurethane or another suitable acrylic sealer that can make the particle board water-resistant and save you money.
Can You Seal and Waterproof Particle Board?
Don’t let the fact that particle board is straightforward to seal up be overshadowed by the fact that it absorbs water like a sponge.
Just limit yourself to non-water-based sealants. Additionally, whenever possible, choose a sealer that can soak into the surface of your particle board.
Can You Use Polyurethane On Particle Board?
If it’s water-based polyurethane you have painted on, no. The answer is no because they contain water. Water-based poly sealers are bad for particle boards and cause damage like spilled water.
Evaporation dries water-based polyurethane. Polyurethane solution evaporates after applying to wood, leaving a solid resin. The particle board isn’t water-resistant. So don’t put coat after coat of water-laden poly.
Solvent-based polyurethanes, like oil-based poly, don’t evaporate dry. Instead of drying, they chemically convert from liquid to hard resin. This is slower than evaporation, resulting in a sturdier poly seal answer to the waterproofing issue. (Learn How Deep Are Residential Electric Lines Buried)
What Is The Best Sealant For Particle Board?
Polyurethane Oil-Based Wood Finish is a good oil-based polyurethane sealer, which works best on bare particle board, so don’t brush it on a laminated surface. If particle board crumbles, remove the lamination. Then, you’ll need lacquer thinner, care, and patience.
If the particle board is laminated and in good condition, use epoxy to coat the countertop. If so, you need a penetrating epoxy resin that dries to a transparent coat. You can add 2 or 3 applications of oil-based polyurethane to help stop a crumbling countertop. The poly sealer seals out water and glues loose particle pieces back together.
To seal particle board, the emphasis is on keeping moisture out, so solvent-based poly sealers are your best bet.
How To Stop Chip Board Crumbling?
Wet chipboard is usually discarded, although it can be saved sometimes.
Cut until you can press on the raw edge from any direction without crumbling, splitting, or cracking when cutting disintegrating chipboard.
To fill the gap:
- Inside the chipboard, temporarily staple some fabric (the piece must be larger than the hole).
- Make a mark along the edge of the hole on the fabric with a wax or tailor’s chalk pen.
- Trim your cloth to the line; this will serve as your patch’s template.
- Choose a stronger wood product around the same thickness as your chipboard.
- Lay a sticky shelf liner (contact paper, wallpaper, whatever you have) below the original chipboard while working with the up-facing side of the board.
- Patch carefully into the hole and let it settle on the adhesive surface.
- Use wood glue to close the gap between the chipboard and the patch; Allow it to dry completely; fill any open areas with shim trims or pieces cut from bamboo skewers or wooden matches. (Some users sprinkle baking soda to help set the glue).
- Apply the sticky shelf paper on the opposite side after it has dried.
- Your patch and chipboard should now be softly reinforced and protected from water damage.
- You can add a layer of luan or veneer to either side of the chipboard before covering the furniture with shelf paper where you need to support more weight.
Sadly, this isn’t the best answer to fixing particle board in a kitchen setting.
How To Repair Water Damage Particle Board
Particle board is used for kitchen cabinets and lightweight, durable furniture. Water-damaged particle boards can be easy to fix, although sometimes damage needs a new sheet. Repair water-damaged boards by following our step-by-step guide.
1. Dry wet areas
First, dry the water-damaged particle board. You will need a lot of time for natural drying. If you are in a hurry, you can use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process.
2. Sand the raised area with sandpaper
The dry particle board will have an uneven surface, so you’ll need to sand the raised area. Buffing the particleboard reveals the dried area beneath the surface, so remove any damaged material mess until you get to the dry parts.
Medium-grit sandpaper is best to repair particle board, yet when buffing, use finer-grit sandpaper. The buffing process smoothes the sheets enough to add your waterproof coating and avoid wet wood again. (Learn How To Remove Glue From Wood)
If you have sealed the surface with a waterproof coating, let it dry before proceeding.
3. Remove the damaged area with a knife
After your waterproofed particle board dries or is sanded, remove the damaged sections. Cut out bloated and damaged material with a knife.
Vacuum any powdery particle board pieces. Also, wear a face mask as particles can irritate the lungs.
4. Add wood filler
Buy wood filler and follow the label’s directions. Apply wood filler to holes with a knife or scraper. Remove excess filler so the particle board has a level surface. (Learn How To Remove Agitator From Maytag Bravos Washer)
5. Sand to smooth the repair
After the wood filler dries, sand it with fine-grit paper. This final sanding ensures an even, smooth board. Now you can apply another coat of waterproof seal to answer any future board damage.
Crumbling Countertops Particleboard
Many people discover that when they replace the dishwasher, particleboard brackets screw into the underside of the laminate counter and crumble. As you open and close your dishwasher door, more fragments of particleboard come loose from the screws, and you can’t replace these with longer screws as it keeps crumbling.
How can I fix this before replacing the kitchen is often asked. The answer is to replace the whole thing since it is breaking apart. Or, at the least, you’ll need to change your laminate counter if the cupboards are fine.
Whatever you screw in will pull at the wood and create a bigger hole. You may be seeing just the tip of the iceberg. You don’t want the sink to fall through the countertop once you have filled it with water. To make a temporary fix, remove the dishwasher and sand the countertop with a 36-grit disk sander until you reach good wood.
Glue the 1×4 with gallon-sized construction adhesive. Screw into it after the counters dried overnight. With some knowledge, you’ll see the particle board degrades from dishwasher steam, so you’ll need to sand and prime so the area is covered and protected.
- Avoid using your dishwasher to let the area dry.
- Mask off the Formica on the front.
- Use solvent-based polyurethane on the crumbling laminate particle board.
- Cover with thin plastic.
An alternative is to glue a 1/4-inch strip of pine under the counter and sink dishwasher screws into that. Be sure to paint this for added protection.