How to Fix Swollen Wood Cabinet

Are you tired of looking at your tired and swollen wood cabinet? Do you cringe every time you open the doors, fearing they might stick or worse, fall off completely? Well, fear no more! In this blog post, we will dive deep into the world of how to fix swollen wood cabinet and provide you with practical and effective solutions to restore your cabinet to its former glory.

How to Fix Swollen Wood Cabinet

Whether you are a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a newbie in the realm of home improvement, this post is for you. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to learn all the tips and tricks to bring life back to your wood cabinet – and impress everyone who lays eyes on it. Get ready to say goodbye to frustration and hello to a stunning, functional cabinet in just a few simple steps.

Tools and Materials You Will Need to Fix Swollen Wood Cabinet

1. Screwdriver

2. Sandpaper (medium and fine grit)

3. Wood glue

4. Clamps or heavy objects like books or bricks

5. Paintbrush

6. Clean cloth

Step by Step Guidelines on How to Fix Swollen Wood Cabinet

Step 1: Identify the Cause of Swelling

Before we jump right into fixing the problem, it is essential to understand why your wood cabinet has swollen in the first place. It could be due to exposure to moisture, changes in temperature, or even poor-quality wood. Identifying the cause will help you prevent future swelling and choose the appropriate solution.

It is Essential to Understand

Step 2: Remove the Hardware

To have better access to the swollen area, remove any hardware like doorknobs or hinges attached to the cabinet. Use a screwdriver to carefully unscrew and keep them in a safe place. Removing the hardware will also prevent any damage during the repair process. If the hardware is rusted or damaged, now is the perfect time to replace it.

Step 3: Sand Down the Swollen Area

Using medium grit sandpaper, gently sand down the swollen area until it becomes level with the rest of the cabinet. Make sure to remove any rough edges or splinters. Once done, use a clean cloth to wipe away any dust or debris. While sanding, be careful not to remove too much of the wood or damage the cabinet further.

Step 4: Apply Wood Glue

Using a paintbrush, apply a generous amount of wood glue to the affected area. Make sure to cover all the exposed wood and any joints that may have come apart due to swelling. While applying the glue, use a clamp or heavy objects to hold the cabinet together and prevent any gaps from forming. This step is crucial in ensuring a strong and sturdy repair.

Step 5: Let the Glue Dry

Follow the instructions on the wood glue bottle, but generally, you will need to let it dry for at least 24 hours. During this time, make sure to keep the clamps or heavy objects in place and do not disturb the cabinet. Once dried, the wood glue will form a strong bond, and your cabinet should be back to its original shape.

Step 6: Sand and Paint (Optional)

If you want to give your cabinet a fresh look, you can sand down the entire surface using fine-grained sandpaper and then paint or stain it in your desired color. This step is optional but highly recommended as it will not only improve the appearance of your cabinet but also protect it from future swelling. If you choose to paint, make sure to use a primer before applying the final coat.

 Give Your 
Cabinet a Fresh Look

Following these simple steps, you can easily fix a swollen wood cabinet and save yourself from the hassle of replacing it. Remember to always identify the cause of swelling and take preventative measures to avoid any future damage. With a little bit of patience and effort, your wood cabinet will be as good as new in no time. Happy repairing!

Additional Tips and Tricks to Fix Swollen Wood Cabinet

1. If the wooden cabinet is severely swollen and cannot be fixed using the methods mentioned before, it might be time to replace the entire piece of wood. You can find a similar type of wood at a hardware store or salvage yard and have it cut to fit the dimensions of your cabinet.

2. To prevent future swelling, make sure to seal any cracks or crevices in the wood with wood filler and apply a coat of waterproof sealant or paint.

3. Another way to prevent wooden cabinets from swelling is by using dehumidifiers in your home, especially in areas that are prone to high humidity levels.

4. Regularly dust and clean your wooden cabinets, as dirt and grime can contribute to the swelling of wood over time.

5. Consider using a humidifier in your home during the winter months to prevent the wood from drying out and shrinking, which can also lead to swelling when exposed to moisture.

Consider Using a Humidifier

6. If you live in an area with high humidity levels year-round, consider investing in cabinets made of materials that are less prone to swelling, such as stainless steel or plastic.

7. Keep an eye on your wooden cabinets during extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rains or snow. It’s a good idea to check for any signs of swelling and take preventive measures if necessary.

8. If you notice any signs of warping or swelling in your wooden cabinet, address it immediately before the issue worsens and becomes harder to fix.

9. When purchasing new wooden cabinets, look for ones that are made from high-quality, solid wood and have been properly sealed to prevent swelling.

Following these additional tips and tricks can help prolong the life of your wooden cabinets and prevent them from swelling in the future. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to maintaining the condition of your wooden furniture. So be proactive and take care of any potential issues before they become bigger problems.  Keep your wood cabinets clean and well-maintained, and they will continue to look beautiful and function properly for years to come. 

Precautions Need to Be Followed for Fixing Swollen Wood Cabinet

1. First and foremost, safety should be a top priority when dealing with swollen wood cabinets. Always wear protective gear such as goggles, gloves, and masks to avoid any potential hazards.

2. Make sure to work in a well-ventilated area to prevent inhaling any harmful fumes from chemicals or adhesives used in the fixing process.

3. Keep children and pets away from the workspace to avoid any accidents or injuries.

4. Before starting the fixing process, make sure to remove all items from inside the cabinets to prevent any damage or spills on your belongings.

5. It is advisable to work with a partner when dealing with large or heavy cabinets to avoid strain and injuries.

6. Use proper tools and equipment for the job, including screwdrivers, hammers, clamps, and sandpaper. This will ensure a more efficient and safe fixing process.

Use Proper Tools 
And Equipment

7. If the swollen cabinet is located in a kitchen or bathroom, make sure to shut off all water and electricity sources before beginning any repairs.

8. It is important to properly dispose of any old or damaged materials removed from the cabinet to prevent accidents and keep the workspace clean.

Following these precautions will help ensure a safe and successful fixing process for your swollen wood cabinet. Remember to always prioritize safety when handling any repairs or renovations in your home. Additionally, if you are unsure of the proper methods for fixing a swollen wood cabinet, it is best to consult a professional for guidance and assistance. 

So, don’t hesitate to seek help from experts to ensure the best outcome for your cabinet.  With the right precautions and help, your swollen wood cabinet can be fixed and restored to its former glory in no time. Happy fixing!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes Wood Cabinets to Swell?

Wood cabinets can become swollen due to exposure to moisture, heat, or humidity. This can cause the wood fibers to expand and push against each other, resulting in a swollen appearance. Other factors that can contribute to swelling include improper installation, poor ventilation, and low-quality materials.

How Do I Know if My Wood Cabinet is Swollen?

A swollen wood cabinet will have a bulging or distorted appearance. You may also notice that the doors or drawers are difficult to open and close due to the increased size of the wood. Additionally, you may see cracks or warping in the wood.

Can I Fix a Swollen Wood Cabinet?

Yes, it is possible to fix a swollen wood cabinet. The extent of the damage will determine the best course of action. In some cases, simply allowing the cabinet to dry out may help alleviate the swelling. For more severe cases, you may need to sand down the affected area and refinish it.

How Do I Prevent Wood Cabinets from Swelling?

To prevent wood cabinets from swelling, it is important to control the environment they are in. This includes keeping the area well-ventilated and maintaining a consistent temperature and humidity level. It is also important to address any leaks or water damage promptly to avoid moisture buildup.

Can I Repair Swollen Wood Cabinets Myself?

While it is possible to repair swollen wood cabinets on your own, it is recommended to seek professional help. Depending on the extent of the damage and the type of wood used, DIY repairs may not be effective or could potentially cause further damage. Professional contractors have experience and knowledge in properly addressing swollen wood cabinets.

Diy Repairs May 
Not Be Effective


All in all, knowing how to fix swollen wood cabinet can save you a lot of time, money, and effort. By understanding the causes of swelling and taking preventive measures, you can keep your wood cabinets in good condition for years to come.

In cases where swelling has already occurred, it is best to seek professional help to ensure proper repair and avoid any further damage. Remember to always maintain a healthy environment for your wood cabinets and address any issues promptly to avoid future problems.  So, keep these tips in mind and enjoy your beautiful, functional wood cabinets for years to come!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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