How to Fix Particle Board Cheaply

Particle board falling apart
Particle board falling apart.

Particle or chipboard shelves are very useful but typically the material is not that sturdy. You probably have over tightened a screw in one and stripped out the hole leaving a loose screw that has no bite in the wood. Or use a shelf long enough and the boards start disintegrating leaving a constant dusting of sawdust on the floor. Instead of repairing it, most folk end up just junking the whole thing, creating waste and clogging landfills. Well, it turns out there’s a very simple way to fix particle board cheaply!

Tools and Materials

Super glue
Super glue. Just as useful as duct tape!

What you’ll need is a big bottle of super glue (cyanoacrylate), the liquid type not the gel stuff, and some clamps and scrap wood. I used a 50 ml bottle of super glue and was able to fix two planks of particle board with it. You’ll also need to be able to place the piece you’re working on in a vertical position so the glue will soak into the wood and not run down the sides, so make sure you have a big enough workspace.

Clamp the Board

Clamp the particle board

I didn’t want to take apart the shelf I was working on, so I just laid it flat facing forward on the ground. Again, you want to be able to pour the glue so that it soaks down directly into the wood. Next, I attached some C-clamps to the compress the particle board back into shape. Use the scrap wood to protect the sides of the board. I had problems with the scrap wood coming off the sides, so using some paper in between the scrap wood and board might have helped in separation.

Dribble in Superglue! (But Not Too Much!)

Dribble in the super glue!

Next, generously dribble the super glue into the particle board. It should just soak right on in and bind the loose sawdust together into a nice, hard matrix. You want to use enough glue to ensure a good bond, but apparently if you use too much things can start to overheat. After dumping about 30 ml of glue in, white fumes started coming out that was very irritating to the nose and the board got hot, VERY HOT to the touch! For a while there, I was afraid the thing was going to spontaneously combust. Luckily, though, I didn’t have to bust out the fire extinguisher.

See the Smoke!

If you’re just fixing a stripped hole, squirt in a liberal amount of glue into the hole.


Letting the super glue cure

Super glue in small amounts usually sets in a matter of seconds. For larger quantities, you’ll have to be patient. I waited 10-15 minutes after the fuming stopped before removing the clamps and protective scrap wood. As mentioned earlier, the huge amount of glue bonded one of the scrap wood pieces to one side of the board. But it was all good, since it ended up reinforcing the board in question. If you’re mending a much smaller area, you wouldn’t have to wait so long.

Particle Board Good as New!

Particle board all fixed!

Once the glue has cured, put the board back in place and you’re all set to enjoy using your good-as-new particle/chipboard furniture! There you have it, a way to fix particle board cheaply and quickly! You save money, and there’s less waste. A win-win all around!