When it comes to home remodeling, not every project you invest your hard-earned money will recoup the cost of investment when it comes to selling your home. But because the kitchen is the heart of your home, you may want to consider simple ideas that will get you the biggest bang for your buck, like fixing warped cabinet doors.
You fix a warped cabinet door by adjusting the hinges. However, this solution won’t reverse the effects of warping. Remove the affected door, sand and seal it with polyurethane or primer on the top and bottom edges, lay a heavyweight on the warped area, and leave it until the warp is gone.
There are other techniques that you can use to fix your warped cabinet doors. If you would want to explore more on this topic, keep reading this guide.
What You Need to Fix a Warped Cabinet Door
- Two sawhorses
- A large blanket or heavy towels
- 50-lb (23 kg) sandbag or something with an equal weight
How to Fix a Warped Cabinet Door
Remove the Door
After gathering all the required supplies, repairing the warped cabinet door is simple. Start by placing the two sawhorses four to five feet apart. Use your screwdriver to unscrew the hinges on the jamb of the door and place it across both sawhorses. Ensure that the warped side faces up.
If the warp leaves a gap, flip the door so that it is in the center. In case the top of the door is warped, and a gap is left at the top of the door, sanding won’t help. Use the sandpaper to sand the top part of the door, where it comes into contact with the doorstop.
Move the sandpaper back and forth across the grain of the door to narrow it down slightly. After sanding the top part of the door, check your progress. By now, the gap should be getting smaller as you continue to remove wood from the top edge. The door will fit much better, but sanding won’t completely remove the warp.
Fix the Jambs
If the door won’t fit after sanding or it’s severely bowed to continue sanding, you may want to fix the jambs. Move the doorstop further on the jambs to accommodate the door. Use your screwdriver to pry the door stop away from the jamb. Now close the door and reinstall the frames. This technique will help bend your slightly bowed cabinet door.
Flatten the Bowed Wooden Cabinet Door
If the door won’t open and close freely even after sanding and fixing the jambs, assess the level of damage to your door. If the door is slightly warped, lay the sandbag or any other object of similar weight on the warped area. Leave the heavyweight there until the warp goes away completely.
In case your cabinet door is badly bowed, wet the large blanket or heavy towels and lay them on the warped area. Rewet the blanket every day and add 5 to 10lbs (2.3 to 5kgs) of weight on the door until it is straight again.
Regardless of the method you use to flatten the bowed cabinet door, you will have to wait until the door is completely dry and apply a new coat of seal and varnish on the whole door to prevent the warp from appearing again. Don’t forget to seal the door frame. When you seal the cabinet door and leave the frame, it may later expand and cause your door to stick. After the paint dries up, you can reinstall the cabinet door.
Replace the Door
Sometimes it can be difficult to fix a bowing door, and the only solution is to replace it. But are there cabinet doors that won’t warp? The answer to your question is yes. There are a variety of products and cabinet door options that won’t warp. A standard door can be manufactured in a way that it won’t warp.
The ideal door should have vertical rails made using different pieces of wood. The two pieces of wood are laminated with their grains running in opposite directions. Aluminum, steel, and fiberglass cabinet doors won’t warp, and you can consider replacing your wooden doors with them.
What Causes Cabinet Doors to Warp
A warped cabinet door that catches on the jambs when opening them can be pretty annoying. But is there a reason why your cabinet doors are warped? Below are some of the common causes of warped cabinet doors:
Excess moisture causes wooden cabinet doors to swell. This is a common issue in most homes, and if you’re remodeling your home, the builder may require you to leave your air conditioner running to honor the warranty.
Too much heat inside your home can cause your cabinet doors to expand because of moisture imbalance between the interior and exterior. Sudden changes in temperature can cause a dramatic expansion of your cabinet doors and even lead to wood cracking or splitting.
Screws hold your door together, and if stripped, the door may start to catch on the jambs as you open or close it. Remove the stripped screws and replace them with new ones.
Only One Side Is Finished
After cabinet doors are painted, they’re often glazed with a clear finish to increase the wood’s durability. In other cases, homeowners may choose a different finish to give their cabinets a new look. If the finish is only done on one side, or the doors have a different finish on both sides, it may cause the cabinet doors to warp.
A Misaligned Latch
If the latch is off by just a few measurements, the door may not catch as you open or close it. If this is the case, avoid forcing the door shut, as the door may stick to the door jamb, which means that you won’t be able to open it easily.
An Improper or Incomplete Seal
If your cabinet door is warped, removing and just sealing it won’t reverse the effects of warping. After you repair or replace the door with a new one, ensure that you completely seal all six sides.
If you don’t seal all sides of your cabinet doors, the seller or manufacturer may void the warranty. Additionally, if you want to install your cabinet doors later, ensure that you store them in a dry place to prevent warping. Here is a video on how to fully seal your wooden cabinet doors:
How to Prevent Warping of Cabinet Doors
Wood makes great cabinet doors, but sometimes they’re prone to warping. Naturally, wood expands and contracts due to changes in air humidity and temperature, resulting in cracking and warping. To prevent such occurrences, you may want to protect your cabinet doors. To protect your cabinet doors from cracking and warping, do the following:
Remove the Doors
When the weather is warm outside, remove the cabinet doors from their frames using a screwdriver. Place the doors between two sawhorses and blow off the dust.
Remove the Paint
If the cabinet doors are painted, use a paint remover and a heat gun to remove it. Once the raw wood is visible, smoothen it and fill any cracks. Sand your doors if they are coated to remove the coating or varnish.
Seal the Wood
Use Varathane or polyurethane sealant to coat all sides of your cabinet doors and wait for them to dry. The exact drying period will be printed on the sealant you use. Once the doors are dry, add another coat and repeat after drying. Ensure that you don’t miss any spots on the doors, and confirm that you have sealed the hinge areas, top, and bottom of the doors. Once the sealant is completely dry, you can repaint the doors.
Rehang the Doors
Once the paint is fully dry, rehang them onto their frames. Sometimes, the doors may stick because of the sealant, but you can fix this by adjusting the door jambs and sill until the door opens and closes freely. Remember to seal the wooden frame to prevent it from expanding and causing the door to stick.
Control the Moisture Content in Your Home
Because moisture is one of the causes of wood warping, use a dehumidifier to control the moisture content inside your home.
Wooden cabinets are a beautiful addition to any home, and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. However, like most things in your home, cabinet doors can sometimes develop problems. They can twist, crack, and warp due to improper or incomplete sealing, and excessive moisture and heat.
A warped cabinet door can be annoying to open or close, especially if it catches the jambs. Fortunately, you can easily fix a warped cabinet door using locally available tools. This can save you money, time, and the hassle of having to replace them.
With a little bit of patience, you can fix your bowed wooden cabinet door in no time. Although fixing a warped door isn’t difficult, you can protect your wooden cabinet doors from warping by simply sealing them, repainting, and with proper installation.