Particle board is one of the most popular options when it comes to materials for your cabinets. Not only are such cabinets budget-friendly, but they are also relatively durable and long-lasting, especially when their price tag is considered.

Despite the advantages of particle board cabinets, however, there remains a question of whether you should be reinforcing them. We dive into why this is an inquiry worth considering and how reinforcement could benefit your cabinets.

Why You Should Reinforce Your Particle Board Cabinets

While particle board is strong, it does lack the strength that regular wood cabinets possess. Reinforcing your particle board allows you to place more trust in its longevity and stability. 

The way in which you go about reinforcing your particle board will influence the ways in which your particle board is improved. Let’s explore some of the options.

Laminating

Laminate is one of the more popular choices when it comes to reinforcing your particle board cabinets. This option will drastically increase the strength of your particle board, thus preventing any future cracks or splits. It also manages to protect against moisture, which decreases the likelihood of having to eliminate those little bubbles that form as a result of water damage. 

Laminate is fairly easy to apply and is basically indestructible once it is applied with contact cement.

Bracing

Bracing is an excellent way to physically fortify your cabinets. If you’re able to access the hidden parts of your cabinets, such as underneath your shelving or on the backside of your cabinets, this is a great way to ensure that they are able to support any extra weight without concern. 

Stylish light gray handles on cabinets close-up, kitchen interior with modern furniture and stainless steel appliances. kitchen design in scandinavian style

Simply glue or screw small strips of plywood to your particle board. It may look a little rough, but there’s a reason you’re applying it to the unseen parts. Besides, having stronger cabinets is more than worth the trade-off.

Sealing

Deciding to seal your particle board cabinets is a great choice, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms. Sealing prevents moisture from penetrating your particle board, thus ensuring your cabinets’ integrity and soundness for years to come. 

The fronts of your cabinets, in particular, experience their fair share of water and other liquids, thanks to water dripping over while washing dishes or from cooking. From an aesthetic standpoint, ensuring your cabinets don’t begin to peel and look aged can be another motivation to seal your cabinets.

This can be done by simply applying a quality sanding sealer or even a plain lacquer.

While it may be an extra step in installing your cabinetry, choosing to reinforce your particle board cabinets will ensure a longer lifespan and less maintenance down the road.


Handhills is a cabinet maker and manufacturer serving central Alberta. We specialize in custom cabinet design and installation, closet design, bathroom vanities, bookcases, custom entertainment centers, kitchen cabinets, shelving, MDF cabinet doors, cabinet parts and more. Send us your measurements and get started with custom cabinets from Handhills. Call the best cabinet maker in Calgary today at (403) 910‐2373 or send an email to [email protected].

A common material choice for cupboards and open cabinetry, MDF is a durable and easily customizable fibreboard.

However, MDF’s resilience will falter against prolonged water exposure.

Let’s look at how you can repair your water damaged MDF cabinets.

Repairing MDF Water Damage

You will notice that your MDF cabinets have swelled and puckered as a result of the water damage. Therefore, the first challenge will be to smooth out these bumps.

Prep

If possible, unhinge or remove the damaged MDF cabinet door from the rest of the cabinetry. This will make the repair process easier, as you will be able to move around and manipulate the damaged section at will.

Primer

Next, add a shellac-based primary to the MDF. This will help cover minor signs of damage, as well as help paint stick later on.

Filler

The next action is to use plastic wood filler to seal up the damage. This step may not be necessary if the damage is minimal, but the filler is perfect for greater ridges and bumps. It’s recommended you use a putty knife to help with the application.

Take your time with this step. The smoother and more level the MDF looks at the end of the application, the better your finished product will be.

Sand

Now it’s time to get to sanding! Water damaged MDF is evident by its bubbles, so sanding it down so that the material is even and smooth is critical.

You can choose to do this step either by hand or with an electric sander. Selecting a medium-fine grit, around 100 or 120, is a safe bet.

Paint

Once your MDF feels flat and even, it’s time to paint.

This is often the final touch that helps cover any evidence of water damage. However, if you aren’t happy with the result once the paint dries, you’re can always sand and paint again, repeating the process until it looks how you want it to.

Repairing MDF water damage can be tricky, but have patience and best of luck! Soon your cabinets will be looking as good as new.


Handhills is a cabinet maker and manufacturer serving central Alberta. We specialize in custom cabinet design and installation, closet design, bathroom vanities, bookcases, custom entertainment centers, kitchen cabinets, shelving, MDF cabinet doors, cabinet parts and more. Send us your measurements and get started with custom cabinets from Handhills. Call the best cabinet maker in Calgary today on (403) 910‐2373 or send an email to [email protected].

The world of building materials is constantly changing and improving. In our interconnected world, it is important to use our resources to their fullest potential so that as many people as possible may benefit from trees, water and food stores. One of the ways that we, as a society, make use of even the scrap materials from the forestry industry is through medium-density fibreboard (MDF) cabinet doors

Of course, MDF cabinet doors are only one way that we use the base product, which is MDF wood. We also use this material in the cabinets themselves as well as other indoor building projects and shop fitting, to name a few. For such a resilient and helpful product, the origins and manufacturing process seem shrouded in mystery. Today, we pull back the curtain.

The Process of Making MDF Wood

Fibre Production

After the lumber is gathered, the bark stripped, and the planks cut, there is a fair amount of leftover material. This is sent into the chipper, which makes chips of a regular size and cut. They are then stored or used for the creation of fibre. 

Wooden facades in furniture plant

The fibre production involved the heating of the wood chips to soften the natural binder material between the wood fibres. They are then fed through a rotating machine that pulls apart the fibres and turns them into a form of pulp. They are then coated with wax and then urea-formaldehyde, which serves the functions of binding the fibres together, increasing moisture resistance and reducing the likelihood of material clumping.

Sheet Formation

During the sheet formation, the bound and coated fibres from the previous stage are put through machinery to produce even sheets of material. It is pressure-treated and compressed to ensure a dense and strong final product. Occasionally, the boards will be laminated for additional strength. 

Where to Find MDF Cabinet Doors

Even though it is thrilling to learn where these building materials come from, it is even more exciting to see them inside your home performing their intended function. To learn more about MDF cabinet doors and how they can reinvigorate your favourite rooms, give us a call today. We look forward to hearing from you.

Handhills is a cabinet maker and manufacturer serving central Alberta. We specialize in custom cabinet design and installation, closet design, bathroom vanities, bookcases, custom entertainment centers, kitchen cabinets, shelving, MDF cabinet doors, cabinet parts and more. Send us your measurements and get started with custom cabinets from Handhills. Call the best cabinet maker in Calgary today on (403) 910‐2373 or send an email to [email protected]

The question, “Is MDF Waterproof?” is a good one to ask, if you’ve ever noticed a water stain on one of your MDF cabinet doors. Many people wondering if their MDF doors are waterproof get told that they aren’t, and also that they need to replace the doors with either vinyl or aluminum. These are both terrible options, though, so let’s take a look at why this may be the case.

The first thing to remember is that the moisture will not go all the way through the doors – they will just leak out and have to be removed by a professional. Also, even if the moisture did reach the MDF door, it is usually only a small amount of water that leaks in, so the panels don’t typically splinter or crack, which is because the water from the leak isn’t all of the same temperature. The cabinet doors aren’t going to burst apart or melt because of the low moisture levels.

MDF Cabinet Door Considerations

You should also know that the components that make up MDF cabinet doors will almost always weather off over time and will need to be re-stained and repainted. When you decide to replace your doors, you can get an option of having the doors replaced or having the entire cabinet doors replaced (with new hardware). There are times, though, when you want a whole new cabinet, and that’s when the standard replacement cabinets come in handy, which is because, generally, the replacement parts come with the extra hardware.

Another thing to keep in mind is that MDF cabinet doors have designs in a wide variety of patterns. Some companies will print out various materials and colours so that their customers can choose them in a sense. Some of these materials will then need to be finished by a professional painter, though, as they may be too heavy for MDF doors alone.

Wooden cabinet doors. Wooden frame. Home library with classic design. Work in progress. Wooden furniture manufacturing process

If you’re a little confused about this, you might consider how a patterned material will look on the inside of a cabinet door, so that you can get a better idea of what might be available for your project. When you find a material that you like, you can make sure it matches the pattern you want for your doors, and also that it matches the colour you’re trying to get.

MDF cabinet doors are also pretty inexpensive and are available for purchase in your local hardware store. As long as you have a good budget set, you can find a cheap set of MDF cabinet doors to fit your needs. Usually, they’re made from simple quality wood, so they’ll look nice, but there will still be enough room for all your baubles and decorations to fit in.

The Right MDF Cabinet Doors

Choosing an MDF door for your project will be something that you will have to live with, however. It’s not the end of the world, but it will affect the overall style of your room. Your project will not, however, look any worse for it than a door made from inferior material, and that you’re replacing will cost a lot more money. It would be best if you also remembered that you could get a door that has a built-in frame, which will also provide you with a less expensive way to replace the cabinet doors in your room.

Now that you know some of the basics, you should know how to handle this decision. If you do decide to replace your MDF cabinet doors, just remember that it will be an essential part of your room’s decor.

Handhills is a cabinet maker and manufacturer serving central Alberta. We specialize in custom cabinet design and installation, closet design, bathroom vanities, bookcases, custom entertainment centers, kitchen cabinets, shelving, MDF cabinet doors, cabinet parts and more. Send us your measurements and get started with custom cabinets from Handhills. Call the best cabinet maker in Calgary today on (403) 910‐2373 or send an email to [email protected]

To begin with, multi-density fibreboard (MDF) is a type of wood product. However, it is not a natural type of wood, rather it is a composite of several different types of wood by-products or scraps. It undergoes a process to become akin to wood and serves many purposes in our day to day life.

These purposes include MDF cabinet doors, panels, and more. It is better suited for indoor use because it has a tendency to warp and break when exposed to excessive moisture or high humidity. However, it is made in a very interesting way, that begins with:

The Process of Making MDF Wood

The process begins with debarked wood chips getting shaped and sized. It goes through several processes to get to small chips or plugs. These are then added into a heating chamber where the natural binder (lignin) is loosened and expanded to make the fibre more malleable. 

MDF cabinet door. Joinery. Disassembled glass cabinet doors in workshop. Furniture manufacture

It is then treated to a small amount of acid to further loosen the binder before moving into another chamber. Here, it is loosened and separated into individual fibres for the last time, before being exposed to a new binder agent. This allows the fibres to gather together, and then they are compressed with a combination of heat and pressure to form panels. 

These panels are made in several different thicknesses and sizes to be more useful and often treated with a seal coat to keep chemical vapours from leaking out during their life cycle. This is occasionally utilized to colour the MDF board in different styles and patterns.

Where to Find MDF Wood

Finding MDF wood is a simple process. Simply look for MDF cabinet doors and other products from your favourite hardware store, or if you are in the market for a new set of cabinets, consider consulting with a cabinet maker. Cabinet makers have many purposes for MDF wood and use them in the construction of custom cabinets for a variety of purposes in residential, commercial, and industrial scenarios.

Cabinet makers are also aware of the ins and outs of proper cabinet door preparation and will be able to advise you on proper sealing and staining materials to use with MDF wood. An important part of working with MDF wood is the proper use of cutting and shaping tools, and the protective equipment that must be used during this process.

Handhills is a cabinet maker and manufacturer serving central Alberta. We specialize in custom cabinet design and installation, closet design, bathroom vanities, bookcases, custom entertainment centers, kitchen cabinets, shelving, MDF cabinet doors, cabinet parts and more. Send us your measurements and get started with custom cabinets from Handhills. Call the best cabinet maker in Calgary today on (403) 910‐2373 or send an email to [email protected].