- Custom cabinetry for kitchens, bathrooms, office and other rooms
RSS Follow

Delivered by FeedBurner

Recent Posts

Visit My Personal Blog Website
The Cost of Running a Custom Cabinet Business
"Perfection" in Woodworking and Construction
Remodeling Your Kitchen? “Piece of Cake” NOT!!!
Cabinet sizes and why they are what they are


Cabinet Costs
Cabinet insight
Cabinet Installation
Cabinet maintenance
Kitchen cabinets
Kitchen colors
Kitchen design
Kitchen design blog
Kitchen Hoods
Kitchen insight
Kitchen Remodel Costs
Personal Blog and Advertising
Remodeling insight
Remodeling problems
Replacing Conuntertops with New Granite
powered by

My Blog

Water Damaged Sink Doors

We do a lot of repair of the finish on cabinet doors in our shop for our clients. Very often people complain that the finish seems to have disappeared in places on the false drawer front and doors under the sink while not having done so elsewhere (except above the stove which I will deal with in another blog). There are places on these doors where the finish is worn, dull and/or blistered. What causes this? Most often it is due to water that has spilled on the door or transferred from our wet hands when we open the doors.

This exposes a consistent weakness in the finishing process of many manufacturers. While most companies use very high quality varnishes or lacquers the problem is they do not apply a thick enough coat to protect the wood. In most cases, the manufacturer’s spray on only two coats which results in a minimal buildup of only 3 mils whereas 5-6 mils is recommended and can only be achieved with 3 or more coats of varnish or lacquer. So, there is not enough finish on the door especially on the end grain and at the joints between the frame and panel of the wood.

In the case of the end grain, which is the grain at the top of the door (see picture below), the open pores of the wood are not filled with enough finish to keep water from getting inside the wood. Once the water enters the unfinished wood below the surface evaporation causes it to condense under the finish (much like water collects on a skylight or greenhouse roof) and then blisters the finish exposing the now-raw surface wood to more damage. 

Likewise, water tends to collect where the center panel meets the frame at the bottom of the door (see picture below) and is drawn by capillary action into the groove of the frame where it then is absorbed by the raw wood panel and causes the same damage as the end grain situation.  

1) Pay particular care to avoid getting these parts wet and if they do get wet dry them off immediately.

2) If your cabinets are new and you don’t see any damage yet you can either use paste wax or spray lacquer or varnish to add the coats that the factory failed to put on there.
     a. Wax is the simplest but needs to be re-done every 6 months or more depending on how hard you are on your          cabinets. Be sure to use paste wax (Johnson’s floor wax, Minwax, Trewax, etc), not liquid wax, lemon oils or          sprays like Pledge. Paste wax is the most durable of the easy to apply protectors.

     b. Spray varnishes or lacquer are more durable and long lasting but require more work. If you choose to do this            you must do it outside in an open area for safety and follow the finish manufacturer’s directions. Before                  spraying the whole door test a small area on the back of the door to be sure the finish will adhere to the old f          finish. Apply 2 or 3 coats with special attention to the end grain and the joints where the panel meets the                frame. Sand between coats with 320 or 400 grit wet (black) sandpaper. If you are spraying the false drawer              front be sure to coat the back which is usually left unfinished by many manufacturers.

3If your cabinets are old and damaged you will need to use a spray finish as in 2b to restore the finish (paste wax will not do the job in this case). In this case, first wash the door using an extra fine 3M pad and mineral spirits (paint thinner) to remove any traces of food residue, grease, etc. Allow the door to dry completely and then lightly sand the whole door with the 320 or 400 grit paper. If the door is discolored you can attempt to apply some stain to the raw spots but you are better off doing this after you spray one coat of finish on the door. (Usually the stain will not penetrate into the wood fibers due to presence of some finish in the pores). Use a fast drying stain such as Rustoleum Ultimate Wood Stain (which takes about an hour). If you use a stain like the typical Minwax oil base stains you will need to allow it to dry for about 24 hours before spraying on any additional coats of finish. Brush the stain on with a small brush and blend it into the surrounding area. About a week after applying a spray finish (to allow for curing) you can then use the paste wax as noted in 2A above.

4) Or, you can have us do this for you at our shop.

As always, if I can help you with this or other cabinet problems do not hesitate to email me. 

24 Comments to Water Damaged Sink Doors:

Comments RSS
Pool Service Broward County on Saturday, February 1, 2014 11:18 PM
I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this post Water Damaged Sink Doors.I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me.
Reply to comment
best faucet water filter on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 1:00 AM
If truth to be told prosperous content and exceedingly valuable information. I got it my result from here. I exceedingly urge his/her workings with the positive informative information. Thanks a lot…!!!!

Wally Weather on Sunday, December 4, 2016 11:38 AM
Hi there, as the weather was really bad this morning so I preferred to work from home and check out the internet instead, it was honestly a incredible experience for me as I looked around your internet site. I just wanted to commend you upon the quality of the work and to wish you bon chance with it as you grow in the coming years. It was nice to surf this website and I will undoubtedly be dropping by again before long to discover how you're doing. Thank you and I will see you back here soon - Wally Weather

ricky on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 4:27 AM
I like the blog Its has nice information.
Reply to comment

end of lease cleaning darwin on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 12:03 AM
This blog is about water damage and repairing services. i like the post so much and happy with your services and results. Thanks for the brilliant efforts.
Reply to comment

dennis on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 9:50 PM
nice post man
Reply to comment

Bifolddoors in Newcastle on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:01 PM
Your blog post contains some useful information about the water damage and repairing service of doors. I appreciate your post and your work in this post. So thanks for sharing this post with us..
Reply to comment

Bifold doors on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 4:26 AM
It is very important to care for your door from water so that your door can be safe for a long time.Thanks for sharing this blog with us.
Reply to comment

Traffic Management Courses on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 2:35 PM
This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best article i ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.
Reply to comment

Traffic Management Courses on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 2:36 PM
Wow thanks for sharing..
Reply to comment

www.odbierzbonus.com on Sunday, March 9, 2014 2:05 PM
Nice layout!
Reply to comment

Limestone Tiles suppliers on Monday, March 24, 2014 4:52 AM
I am sure many people like me will find this solution to be of great help. Thank you so much for this valuable share with us.
Reply to comment

Commercial doors in Conroe on Friday, April 11, 2014 1:12 AM
I have not checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are good quality so I guess. I will add you back to my daily blog list.
Reply to comment

Sewage cleanup New York on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 10:22 PM
A fine quality blog about Water Damaged Sink Doors. I like the way blogger presented information regarding the concerned subject. Thanks for posting such a nice blog.
Reply to comment

Linda Edwards on Monday, May 26, 2014 11:29 AM
This is great info for the front of my doors. I'll use your advice to make sure the part you SEE is kept looking great! However, is there anything I can do about the water stains on the INSIDE under sink cabinet wood? It doesn't appear to have any type of finish on the wood at all, and now I have some VERY UGLY stains from water leaking down between the sink edge and counter. We've taken steps to prevent this from happening again, but I'm pretty disgusted by what it looks like under there now. Will sanding the wood remove the stains, or at least lessen them? Then, perhaps, I could apply the wax for future protection? Your advice would be greatly appreciated!
Reply to comment
Geoff Dunn on Monday, May 26, 2014 2:49 PM
Linda, The sink floors have been a pet peeve of mine for 38 years. I have torn out thousands of kitchens and always (without fail) the sink floor was water damaged and often rotting and loaded with mold and mildew. The industry has never had a good answer for this. No matter whether they use particle board or plywood they never hold up, no matter what coating they use, because none of the materials are designed to have water sit on them for long and if the water can get in through an edge or a hole cut in it the panel is toast (soggy toast that is). The only good solution is to make the sink floor out of marine grade plywood (3/4" plywood made for use on the hull of boats) and laminated with Formica. That is what we use in our custom cabinets. But that doesn't solve your problem unless you have access to those materials and the skills and tools to replace the whole panel. We repair sink floors like yours in several ways. One is to completely remove the panel and replace it with the marine grade material. Another is, if the floor is solid and only the finish is peeling, we will overlay the floor with a sheet of Formica applied with contact cement or a 1/4" sheet of melamine clad MDF (medium density fiberboard). Attempting to recoat the floor with a varnish is a generally disappointing solution unless the damage to the core of the panel is minimal. You can now get a floor liner at the website listed below which may be your simplest answer. Go to http://www.rev-a-shelf.com/p-226-undersink-drip-tray-sink-and-base-accessories.aspx I hope this helps. Don't hesitate to ask if I can help you further.

Water Damage on Thursday, September 18, 2014 7:54 AM
Amazing article. I am so impressed. Could never think of such a thing is possible with it...I think you have a great knowledge especially while dealings with such subjects.
Reply to comment

Shelay on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 4:11 AM
This is a great article. I am pretty much impressed with your writing skill, Very useful information related to Water Damaged Sink Doors.
Reply to comment

Water Damage on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 9:16 PM
Great post! This is an interesting read. It's very useful and informative information for me. Thanks for sharing this useful information.
Reply to comment

Forklift Training Melbourne on Thursday, October 30, 2014 11:52 AM
This is a great post. I am really bad at remembering to pin articles I liked or were helpful but I do have a board started.
Reply to comment

Basic Scaffold Training on Friday, October 31, 2014 10:20 AM
It is really nice to read such a good post…I like it…
Reply to comment

Forklift Training Melbourne on Friday, November 7, 2014 11:28 AM
This is really wonderful tips you have been shared in this article..Let me shared this tips with my friends...!!!
Reply to comment

Geoff Dunn on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 6:04 AM
Thanks for your kudos and comments everyone!
Reply to comment

Anonymous on Sunday, August 23, 2015 11:33 AM
What spray varnish / lacquer do you recommend for new pine shelves painted with a washable satin paint? I don't really want to put a lot of effort into sanding, painting and building these kitchen cabinets just to have them fall apart because I used a varnish that wasn't good quality.... Thanks lots for your very useful help! I'm also going to check out the sink liner.
Reply to comment

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint