How to Repair Cracked Particleboard Furniture
Particleboard furniture is affordable, but it is made from sawdust and glue that can also be easily damaged. Rather than throw away damaged pieces, take the time to repair the furniture and restore it back to new condition. Most cracks form around the holes that are drilled for the screws. If the screw holes have widened, making it harder for the furniture to stay connected, follow the steps below to repair it.
Torn Screw Holes
Glue several toothpicks into the original hole. Once the glue has thoroughly dried, use a pair of scissors to cut them flush with the particle board and replace the screws. The toothpicks will help to bring the hole back to its original size and give the screws a place to bite onto again. Use a steel or aluminum washer when you replace the screw into the hole. This will keep the problem from recurring later.
Large Torn Screw Holes
If the holes are too big for toothpicks you can make filler from sawdust and wood glue. The hardware store may have sawdust you can use for this if you ask. Mix the sawdust in a disposable cup with just enough glue to make a paste. Then refill the holes with the paste and wait 24 hours for it to dry before resetting the screws. You may need to use a toothpick to force the glue paste into the holes. This paste is the basic substance of what particleboard is therefore it can also be used to fill some cracks as well.
If you have a long crack in the particle board you may be able to reinforce it. To do this purchase a reinforcement bracket from the hardware store. These brackets come in many shapes and sizes. You need the flat ones. They are long thin pieces of metal with precut holes in them. Use wood glue to affix the bracket first and small screws to hold it in place. You will need to use 2 or 3 brackets to keep the crack from getting worse. Place them cross ways to the crack to reinforce it.
Particleboard can be painted or stained just like real wood. You may even be able to find a sticky shelf paper in the right color and texture of the particle board furniture you are fixing.