How to Repair a Cracked Wood Storage Cabinet

What You'll Need
Wood Filler
Wood glue
Putty knife
Handful of sawdust
Pair of tweezers
Small soft bristle brush
Hammer or screwdriver
Nails or screws

Finding a crack in your wood storage cabinet can be frustrating, and this crack can compromise the safety of the items you are storing. To prevent the risk of it becoming more severe, follow the steps below to rectify cracks as soon as you discover them.

Step 1 – Inspect

Begin the process of repairing a crack in wood by undertaking a thorough inspection of it. This will allow you to work out the cause of the crack as well as how extensive it is. Depending on the location of the crack, press the sides of the cabinet together to determine whether you are able to close the gap by applying pressure. This is unlikely to be the case in the event that the cabinet has cracked because of expansion or shrinkage of the wood.

Examining the crack will also allow you to check whether it has affected the integrity of the cabinet. If the cabinet has been weakened by the crack, remove the items from within it to reduce the risk of the crack worsening before you have a chance to repair it.  

Step 2 – Clean

If the crack in the wood has caused splinters and chips of wood have come loose, remove them to ensure that you have a clean base so that the repair work takes properly. Use a pair of tweezers to remove any splinters and slivers of wood in the gap before gently brushing it to get rid of any sawdust and other loose particles.  

Step 3 – Glue

If your cabinet has been affected by a straight crack that has not been caused by distortion of the wood, it may be repairable by sticking the sides of gap together. Apply some wood glue using a putty knife so that you can insert it into the crack as far as possible. After coating the entire inner surface of the gap, press the sides of the cabinet together to compress the wood and hold it until the glue dries. Wood clamps can be used if an effective fit can be established. Wipe away any excess glue from the external surface of the cabinet with a rag dampened with water.

Step 4 – Filler

If the crack has not affected the stability of your wood storage cabinet but the wood is warped, repair it by filling it. Hardware stores will have a range of wood fillers available so that you can find one to match the color of your cabinet. Alternatively, create a wood filler by mixing wood glue and sawdust from the same wood that the cabinet is made from. Gather some filler on a putty knife and apply it into the crack until it is completely filled. Smooth the surface by running a scraper over it to remove the excess. Allow to completely dry.

Step 5 – Fasteners

If the location of the crack allows, repair it by inserting nails or screws to close the gap the crack has created. This method is effective for cracks that develop at joins in the construction of the cabinet.