How do I keep my particle board cabinet from deteriorating further?

by Cheryl

I store fabric in this 6‘ x 3‘ cabinet in my sewing room. Several years ago my cat was sick and started “hitting “ the front of my cabinet. The behavior continued and I taped bed underpads to the cabinet to protect it but the damage had started. Even tho the area is not getting wet now the particle board continues to swell and disintegrate. I knock off what I can monthly back to what seems dry. My kitty has been gone a year now and the wood still swells and gets moist. This is about 3 years worth of damage, but it is progressing faster now. I’m not so concerned about the door, but about the bottom shelf and kickplate which is completely eaten through along part of the bottom. The cabinet and fabric is very heavy and I don’t want this falling over.

I don’t know why this doesn’t dry out and stop. Is it just humidity that keeps it going? Even this winter? If I cut the damaged portions away and seal it, will that work? I’m worried I will seal in moisture. Of course need to reinforce that bottom edge too. I don’t care what it looks like for now. Just want it to stop getting worse and be safe. Ideas?

  8 answers
  • BOB.D. BOB.D. on Mar 29, 2019

    You could cover it by glu=eing a vynl panel over the doors .

    • Cheryl Cheryl on Mar 29, 2019

      Thanks! That would make it look nicer if I can stop the deterioration.

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Mar 29, 2019

    I would patch it using drywall patching materials. Let dry...sand smooth and decoupage to seal in the new surface.

    • See 1 previous
    • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Mar 29, 2019 of these answers will be the right one. Glad to have been o e.

  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Mar 29, 2019

    Cheryl, particle board is effectively a sponge when exposed to the air. Try drying it out with a space heater set nearby for a couple of hours. Then use Kilz to seal all exposed edges. This should stop the deterioration and keep it from absorbing ambient moisture.

    • See 1 previous
    • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Mar 29, 2019

      Best wishes! You are welcome! After sealing the particle board edges, then maybe you can repair the cabinet as one of these other posters described. 😉👍

  • I agree with Laura, you need something that will block the moisture from getting in. Once you seal it, then you can add some sort of patch to cover the spot.

  • Rymea Rymea on Mar 30, 2019

    You need to determine where the moisture is coming from. You should move it and see if the carpet is wet.

    If needed you could probably add a new 1/4" plywood board to cover the entire bottom floor of the cabinet. Add a thin piece of metal mesh to the back of the door to hold whatever kind of filler you are going to repair the door with. How about covering the doors with fabric.

  • William William on Mar 31, 2019

    The moisture had absorbed into the particle board and dried it out. What you are experiencing is the shredding of the particle board. Moisture is an added killer. Seal he damage with a few coats of shellac or varnish. You need something that will absorb into it and harden it. Then cover the whole door with a thin sheet of plywood, prime, and paint.

  • V Smith V Smith on Mar 31, 2019

    Use Bondo to fill the door. It is very easy to work with and it can be done in stages. Sand down the filler and paint the doors using oilbased primer and paint. If you need to create a bottom edge on the door before filling you may be able to use a wooden paint stirrer. They can be cut using an exacto knife. Attach it to the existing bottom edge with paintable caulk.

  • Rhoda Kariuki Rhoda Kariuki on Jul 20, 2019

    First you should know that particle boards absorbs moisture unless well-sealed. Once they absorbs the moisture, they tend to swell and loose their structural strength. If you are installing Particle boards on a area exposed to moisture, its advisable you get the moisture resistant once. Or you make sure the expose inside of the board is well sealed off by edge banding it or painting it.