How To Fix Split Wood Cabinet: A Complete Guide Of The Easiest Solution




Hey! Are you having problems fixing a split wood cabinet? Don’t be tense. Looks like you found the right person just in time.

Let me introduce myself. Hi! I am a cabinet expert. I love to help people get rid of all kinds of cabinet issues both personally and online. 

How To Fix Split Wood Cabinet

How to fix split wood cabinet? No biggie! You will be amazed to know how easy it is to fix splits. All you need is 4 easy steps-

Fix Split Wood Cabinet

  • Prepare the split by cleaning and assessing it properly.
  • Apply wood glue and press together the broken pieces.
  • Secure it with clamps and let it cure.
  • Sand and refinish to get a flawless look.

Aside from the 4 steps, there are some tips I want to share with you so you can revamp your essential piece of furniture.

Shall we begin? Let’s go!

Overview of the project-

Estimated CostEstimated DurationSkill Level
$1005 hoursBeginners

Some Main Facts-

  • To clean the split properly, use a soft brush to brush off any dust or debris from the split. Then, use a damp cloth and wipe off the split to remove the old glue.
  • You must secure the repair with clamps after applying wood glue. It will stop any movements of the pieces and they will bond better.
  • Don’t forget to sand and refinish if you want a flawless look.

Cause Of The Spilt Wood Cabinet

So, can split wood cabinet be repaired? Definitely, it can. Splitting is quite common for any piece of wood. So, it is normal for wooden cabinets to split.

When I say normal, it is because the things that cause wood to split are normal, too. We see these things in every household. 

However, these aren’t anything pleasant. If these things are normal in your household that means you should be more careful. These things are;

Cause Of The Spilt Wood Cabinet
  • Excess Humidity: It causes warping and swelling, which causes the wood to expand. In extreme cases, the wood ends up splitting. This can also cause sticky painted cabinets.
  • Temperature Fluctuations: Constant changes in temperature cause the wood to expand and contract. Both of these things ultimately lead to splitting and cracking.
  • Poor Quality Wood: Poor-quality pieces of wood are naturally more prone to splitting than any other kind of wood.
  • Drying Issues: The drying issues cause internal stress in wood. In most cases, the wood tends to split easily because of the imbalance of moisture content level.

If you find any of these causes in your wooden cabinet, you should become more careful. Otherwise, there will always be different kinds of issues with your wooden cabinets, including splitting.

Tools And Materials Needed For Cabinet

One thing I forgot to mention is that you need to gather all the necessary tools and materials before starting to work. These are-

Tools & MaterialsUsage
Brushes (a medium brush, a small brush, and a paintbrush)To clean the dust and debris, apply wood glue, and paint the repair. 
Damp ClothTo wipe off the old glue.
Putty KnifeTo open the split.
Utility KnifeTo remove the scrap wood fibers.
Wood GlueTo help the broken pieces in the split bond.
Squeezy BottleTo apply the wood glue.
Wood Putty/ Wood FillerTo fill the split caused by screws.
Wood ClampsTo prevent any movement in the repaired part.
Fine-Grit SandpaperTo sand and take off the old finish.
Wood Finish/ PaintTo match the repaired part with the rest of the cabinet surface.

Whether you want to how to fix broken wood cabinet door or split wood cabinets, make sure to buy all of these necessary tools and materials from your local or online hardware store before you start working.

How Do I Prepare The Split Area For Repair?

I know you are waiting to know how to repair split wood cabinet. However, I will take some more of your time before talking about that.

It is because you need to learn how to prepare the split area before learning how to fix split wood furniture.

It is a must for any wooden furniture to prepare the split area before actually fixing it. Why and how to do that? Let’s find out.

Clean The Split
How do you fix cracked wood? You should always start by cleaning the split. Cleaning will get rid of all the things that may affect the bond. When fixing chipped melamine cabinets, remove polyester resin from the split. Use a soft brush to brush off any dust or debris from the split. Then, use a damp cloth and wipe off the split. It will remove the old glue.
Assess The Damage
Now that you have a clean base to work on, assess the split. Assessing will give you a clear idea of what to do next. 
Open The Split
If the split is not open enough, carefully open the split. It will help with the application of wood glue. You can use a putty knife to open the split. Make sure to be gentle. Otherwise, you will make things worse.
Remove The Scrap Pieces
Use a utility knife to remove the scrap pieces. It will make the split wood surface smooth and help them to bond.

You have no idea how much preparing the split will help you while fixing it. So, I suggest trying it. Trust me, you will be surprised.

How To Fix Split Wood Cabinet? [The Proper Guidelines]

Finally, we have reached this part. As I already mentioned the preparing step, I am gonna skip it. The rest of the 3 steps are-

How To Fix Split Wood Cabinet

Apply Wood Glue

If your concern is how to fix wood cabinet broken in half, wood glue is the only thing that can help you.

Open the split gently as much as possible. Be careful or you split the wood more. Apply wood glue to the inside of the split. 

You need to make sure the glue is spread evenly all over the split. You can use a squeezy bottle to apply the glue. If you don’t have the bottle, use a small brush or thin stick to spread the glue evenly along the entire split.

Now, press the broken wood together. It will help the glue spread evenly if there are still any lumps left. 

If you doubt whether wood glue can fix it or not, let me tell you. Do you know, how to fix broken wood cabinets? It is by applying wood glue.

Wood glue is to bond wood pieces. Spiltted wood created by screws doesn’t create cracks in wood but holes. So, to repair screw holes in kitchen cabinets, you need to fill them with wood putty instead of bonding them with wood glue. 

However, it is the opposite for you if you are looking for how to fix split wood cabinet door. You need to remove the door before working on it. Otherwise, you might damage it even more while working on it.

Do you know removing the doors has many additional benefits? For example, if your cabinet doors are twisted, you can fix the twisted cabinet door in this chance. You can fix the cabinet doors that overlap by removing and adjusting the hinges.

Secure with Clamps

After you are done applying glue, use clamps to hold the pieces of wood together. It will stop any movement of the pieces, and they will bond better. However, if you are looking for how to fix split wood cabinet from screw, you need to apply wood putty or wood filler instead of wood glue.

Place a few scrap pieces of wood on either side of the split. It will protect the cabinet’s surface. Then, tighten the clamps until the split is closed. Wipe off the excess glue.

Keep the cabinet like this until the wood glue has completely dried. Only then, you can remove the clamps.

For how to fix split wood plank cabinet, it is not possible to only clamp the plank you’re working on. So, clamp it including all the other planks it is attached with.

Sand and Finish

The last but absolutely not the least step is sanding and finishing the repair. Start by sanding with fine-grit sandpaper. 

Before sanding and refinishing, use frog tape to mask the surroundings of the repair.  For how to fix split wood bed frame cabinet, you need to detach the frame from the bed. Just take off the things above it.

You should always sand in the direction of the wood grain. So, be careful of that. After you are done sanding the repaired area, brush and wipe it off with a damp cloth. It will remove the dust and debris.

If there are paint chips, sanding will fix the paint chips on your cabinets. Then, choose a suitable wood finish or paint. 

There are a variety of colors of wood finish and paint. So, choose the one that matches the original finish of the cabinet. Apply the wood finish or paint evenly on the repaired area.

Do you know how to fix a cracked wood cabinet door and cabinet flawlessly? You need to apply a few coats of finish or paint to get a smoother finish. 

Apply a thin coat of finish, let it completely dry, and sand it lightly. Repeat the process for all the coats except for the last one.

However, you can use a joint compound to fill the crack, with a sprinkle of powder to match the wood texture just like automotive repairs often involve filling and smoothing imperfections before painting.

There, you have your flawless cabinet without any signs of the splitting or the repair.

Broken Cabinet Door Repair Hack! How to Quickly Fix a Cracked or Split Cabinet Door – by DIYNate

What Types Of Wood Glue Are Suitable For Fixing Split Cabinets?

How to repair split wood cabinet door? You know the answer is by using wood glue. But are you confused about which wood glue to use to fix your split wood cabinets?

Fear not. These are the suitable wood glues that are suitable for you. Choose the one that meets your requirements;

What Types Of Wood Glue Are Suitable For Fixing Split Cabinets
  • Carpenter’s Glue: This is commonly used as wood glue. It is because the yellow glue is suitable for a lot of different kinds of woodworking projects, including repairing split cabinets. It is also known as yellow glue. You can even warp the cabinet bottom with this glue.
  • Polyurethane Glue: It is known for its strong bond and ability to fill gaps. Do you want to know a fun fact? Polyurethane glue is highly suitable for repairing split wood cabinets,How do you fix a crack in a wood cabinet door? If you are using a gap-filling adhesive to fix the split, you must try this glue. It is a lifesaver!
  • Cyanoacrylate Glue: Do you know that cyanoacrylate glue is also known as super glue? It is because it is a fast-setting adhesive. It is great for small and precise repairs on split wood cabinets.
  • Epoxy Resin: An interesting fact about epoxy resin is that it is a two-part adhesive. It provides a very strong bond. This is the reason why epoxy resin is suitable for repairing larger cracks and splits.

Another advantage is that it is waterproof. So, if you need a waterproof bond, it is a holy grail.

All of these wood glues are highly suitable for fixing split wood cabinets. So, if you don’t have any requirements, you can choose any of these as you want.

Types Of Wood That Won’t Split

If you are fed up looking for how to fix a broken wooden cabinet door now and then, do you know some wood doesn’t split?

As you know, most types of wood become prone to splitting because of the common causes that I mentioned at the very beginning.

However, there are a few types of wood that are naturally resistant to splitting. These are;

Types Of WoodThe Reason For Not Splitting
TeakThe natural oils in teak and its high density make it resistant to splitting and decay.
CedarThe natural preservatives stored in cedar wood make it resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage
RedwoodRedwood is resistant to splitting because of its stability and durability.
MahoganyMahogany is known as a stable and durable hardwood. That is why it is naturally less prone to splitting.
CypressCypress wood contains natural preservatives. These make it resistant to decay and insect damage. This is why, it is also resistant to splitting. 

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Repairing Split Wood Cabinets

How to fix cracked wood cabinet? I think I have already talked about almost everything you need to know. 

So, I won’t make it too long. These are some common mistakes you should avoid when repairing split wood cabinets;

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Repairing Split Wood Cabinets
  • Never neglect proper cleaning before starting the process. Applying the wood filler or glue affects the bonding.
  • Always use a high-quality wood filler or glue for a long-lasting repair.
  • Make sure to use an adequate amount of clamps. It will stop any movement of the broken piece. So, the split woods will be able be able to bond better.
  • Let the epoxy dry and cure properly. Otherwise, rushing the drying process will affect the bond.
  • Do not skip the sanding and finishing steps. If you want to make your wood pieces look flawless, these are a must.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What Causes Screws To Split Wood?

Incorrect pilot size, screw size, and excessive force when installing the screw can cause the wood to split.

What Is The Best Screw For Joining Wood?

Steel screws or threaded screws are great for joining wood.

How To Fix A Cracked Wooden Cabinet Door?

You need to remove the door first. Then, clean the crack and apply wood glue. Then, press the broken pieces together and secure them with clamps.

How Do You Fix A Split Wood Frame?

It is similar to fixing a spit wood cabinet. You need to clean and assess the split, apply wood glue, secure it with clamps, let it dry, sand, and refinish.

Final Thoughts

So, this is how to fix split wood cabinet. I hope everything is clear to you now. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask me. 

If I repeat the 4 steps, these are preparing the area, applying wood glue, securing with a clamp, and sanding and refinishing.

It may seem a lot from the things I mentioned in the process. But, it is because I also mentioned all the pro tips to help you get better results.

So, don’t worry. Gear up and go for it.

All the best!

Richard Journey

Written by

Richard Journey

Meet Richard Journey, the Antique Furniture Maestro. With a Fine Arts degree in Furniture Restoration and Conservation, he’s a guardian of historical craftsmanship. His accolades include the Golden Chisel Award, and he’s your guide to discovering and restoring antique treasures.

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