What Causes Wood and Laminate Cabinets to Bubble

If you are noticing bubbles in your wood or laminated kitchen cabinets, you have a problem. When these materials age, they are affected by changes in the temperature, humidity and act up if they’ve been damaged. These changes can cause the laminate to pull away from the wood base that it’s been glued to. The thing to keep in mind is that because veneer is actually pretty brittle and delicate, this can turn into a serious problem pretty quickly. So when the veneer is loose from the base, it can start to chip and split and your cabinets quickly becomes shoddy looking. These changes can also cause blistering, which are little bubbles underneath the surface of the laminate. These bubbles need to be fixed pretty quickly too before they begin to worsen. So how can you fix blistered or peeling cabinets? Below are some instructions you may find useful:

  • First get a razor blade and then along the length of the bubble cut a slit.
  • Take a toothpick and yellow carpenter’s glue and apply a bead to the toothpick. On the underside of the veneer where the bubble was pulling away from the underlying wood, spread the carpenter’s glue.
  • Next, gently and lightly press the veneer against the wood where the glue is applied. If any glue seeps up through the slit wipe it away with a cloth. Also put a piece of wax paper over the veneer on the area that you repaired.
  • To keep veneer tightly pressed against the wood until the wood dries, place something heavy against the spot. If the bubble is on the edge or close to the edge of the cabinet, get a clamp and a flat piece of wood. Place the piece of wood on the wax paper and then clamp it down firmly in place. This will also work if you can’t place something heavy directly on the patch. Let the patch dry overnight.
  • Next morning, remove the wood and wax paper from the patch and sand the area with fine grit sandpaper, lightly. Then apply either wood oil or varnish on the surface with a clean rag, let the first coat dry and then apply the second coat.

Repairing bubbles in your cabinets isn’t difficult; it just takes time and patience.

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