Is there anything specific I can buy… such as a shield of some type to put on my kitchen cabinets above the stove to prevent steam damage? – WYSK Reader Robin

NV: Thank you for this great question Robin! It’s a common issue that many will relate to. There are a few things you can do and these are my top 3 ways to protect your kitchen cabinets from steam and heat damage:

1. Ventilation, Ventilation, Ventilation

stove_steamA proper range hood with regularly maintained filters is by far your best line of defense to protect your cabinets. There’s no substitute for directing heat and steam away from the wood surfaces.

2. Protect The Finish

  • Dry off wet surfaces immediately and don’t let wet rags/towels lay on wood surfaces.
  • For cleaning use a mild soap like Murphy Oil Soap and water on a soft rag.
  • Don’t use abrasive products like scouring pads, powder cleansers or petroleum solvent based products to clean.
  • Never let oven cleaner touch any wood surface.

3. Install Heat Shields

These products, as the name implies, help deflect heat and steam coming from a stove, oven, dishwasher, toaster oven, etc. Manufacturers such as KraftMaid® Cabinetry, Maple Craft USA, and Toaster Shield offer various types of heat shield sheets and fillers and can be found at local retailers, or for Toaster Shield, ordered on-line.

If your cabinets already have minor damage… 

The topcoat has likely been compromised and should to be resealed. My very talented cousin, Chris Wood (master carpenter and craftsman), who runs the specialty shop Clearly Custom, in New Paltz, NY, says an outdoor water-based sealer will do the trick, but warns “… drying efforts should be made first; you obviously don’t want to seal the moisture inside.”

My final tip is to contact your cabinet manufacturer for clean and care recommendations. KraftMaid® Cabinetry, a fine and respected cabinetry brand, offers touch-up pens, sprays, and kits, as well as helpful and informative customer service representatives that you can reach on their toll-free number.

Steam is unavoidable in the kitchen, but the damage it may cause can certainly be kept at bay with these tips. Thanks again for your question!

Norma sig

Got A DIY Question? Ask-The-Expert!

If you have a DIY home repair, maintenance or improvement question for Norma, now is your chance to ask-the-expert and have her answer. Your burning question may just be the “star” of an upcoming Fix-It Friday column.

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Fix-It Friday is an exclusive Women You Should Know® editorial series authored by seasoned veteran of home improvement, Norma Vally, the former host of Discovery Home Channel’s series “Toolbelt Diva” and a show on Sirius Satellite Radio by the same name. The weekly column is designed to inspire women – weekend warriors, aspiring handywomen, and even seasoned DIYers – to take on home repairs and maintenance projects with confidence and gusto.