How Do You Repair Particle Board Furniture? (Really, how?)

How do you repair particle board furniture? Spoiler: you don’t. Watch this video to see how we decide to deal with particle board furniture. In this video, we look at a three-year-old buffet table and ask, how do we fix this?

Our particle board furniture story

How do you repair particle board furniture? (We’re asking for a friend.)

When the veneer scratches, swells with moisture, and starts to disintegrate, we have to ask—seriously—how do you repair THAT?

We give up. The mistake has been made. At this point, it goes in the trash. Or, maybe we throw it off the balcony instead.

Get it right the first time. Have your furniture built to last. Buy solid wood furniture from DutchCrafters.

Manufactured wood furniture

Manufactured wood furniture is a booming business. But is it worth it? Is it worth the cost to the environment, our wallets, and our sanity when it goes bad within three years?

Types of manufactured wood paneling:

  • Particle board (aka particleboard or particle-board)
  • Fiberboard
  • Low-density fiberboard (LDF)
  • Medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
  • Chipboard
  • Oriented strand board (OSB)
  • Plywood
  • Pressed wood

All of these manufactured wood types have their differences, but they share the characteristics that they are made of wood by-products (ranging from shreds of wood to particles) that are glued together into panels or sheets. In fact, the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Woodworking Hazards states, “Composition board, for example, particle board, is made by gluing wood dust, chips, etc. together with urea-formaldehyde resins. The materials can emit unreacted formaldehyde for some years after manufacture, with composition board emitting more formaldehyde.”

When crafted into furniture, they are often covered by a veneer to protect the wood from moisture and beautify the product. These veneers often replicate painted or stained wood. However, when they sustain damage, it becomes very clear that they’re not the real thing.

Benefits of particle board furniture

Particle board furniture’s benefits include:

  • Less expensive purchase price
  • The lighter weight makes it cheaper to ship long distances and easier to move around the house
  • Hard paneling does not dent easily

Problems with particle board furniture

Any manufactured product you buy will have some benefits and some pros and some cons, but particle board furniture creates far more problems than solid wood furniture. These range from manufacturer health risks to customer health risks to rapid deterioration and breakdown. Read more in the next sections about damage and the health risks caused by formaldehyde.

Types of particle board furniture damage

Particle board furniture is particularly susceptible to the following damage:

  • Scratched veneers
  • Broken corners and edges
  • Loosening screws and fasteners over time
  • Crumbling wood fragments
  • Extreme swelling when exposed to water

Formaldehyde in Particle Board Furniture

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health Environmental Health Formaldehyde Fact Sheet, Formaldehyde is used in many types of pressed wood products, including particle board. Some people are more sensitive than others to the respiratory effects of formaldehyde gas from the furniture. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has declared that Formaldehyde is a probable carcinogen.

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