Particleboard is a low-density form of fiberboard that is constructed from scraps of wood, sawdust, and paper products with a binder added. This mixture is then pressed into a form and particleboard is the finished result.
Years ago, this material was flimsy and broke easily. However, new manufacturing techniques and added products have made it much stronger, and now it can be used for wall coverings, flooring, or furniture. Despite the particleboard being stronger, it can still chip or break. There is no reason to replace it, as it can be fixed with simple materials and a little time. This article will show you how.
Assess the Damage
The type of damage done to the particleboard will determine the correct route to repairing it. If there is any broken piece still attached due to the veneer, then do not remove it. Leaving the piece hanging will allow you to fit it in place easier than if it is taken apart.
If there is a full piece missing, then hold the largest piece up to the spot where it broke off from. Do your best to fit it in place. Gather up any surrounding chunks of particle board as well, but discard anything that is too small.
Affix the Broken Piece
If the piece is still attached to the particle board then dry fit it first to determine how well it will sit. Then, fill the glue injector with the wood glue and apply it where the piece broke off as well as on the piece itself.
Wait several minutes for the wood glue to get tacky and press the piece in place. Use tape to secure heavier chunks to the particleboard. This is especially important when trying to fix a desk or other type of furniture but not for fixing floors and walls. Finally, force the pieces together so they get the best fit and so the glue sets quickly.
Secure the Pieces to Dry
Wood glue takes a long time to set. Whatever the label indicates for the drying time, always double it to be safe. You can never control the humidity in the air or moisture in the particle board and this can greatly affect the drying time of the wood glue, so it is best to give the glue ample time. You will also want to wrap the particleboard and the broken piece with plastic wrap. This way, if any excess glue squeezes out of the gaps, it will not stick to anything while it is still wet.
Place the wooden block you have on top of the plastic wrap. Center it over the piece that broke and the main particleboard it broke from, and then clamp them together. This will keep the two pieces together long enough for the wood glue to cure and dry. If you are repairing a floor piece then place a piece of plastic wrap over the floor and brace a heavy block on top of the area instead.
Once your adhesive has sat long enough, unclamp the pieces and test the repair's strength. If the glue is still wet or the seam still feels weak, reinforce it again and leave it to dry again until you're satisfied.