How To Fix A Swollen Dartboard: Bulging Reason of dart board 

If you’re an avid darts player, you know the exhilaration of hitting the bullseye. However, over time, the board may start bulging or swelling, causing the need for a fix. A common issue that can dampen your dartboard experience is swelling. Swelling in dartboards is usually caused by excessive moisture, which leads to the fibers expanding and distorting the board’s surface. 

We will provide you with simple yet effective tips like rotating the dartboard, revere the swelling, use of sandpaper, sealant, and wood filler, and a step-by-step process on how to fix a swollen dartboard, so you can resume your dart-throwing adventures in no time. By following the advice in this article, you can save yourself the hassle and expense of having to replace the entire board. Let’s dive right in!

What is a Swollen Dartboard

A swollen dartboard can occur when the board’s surface becomes wet, either due to exposure to moisture or leaving darts in the board and getting it soaked. This temporary condition can cause the board’s fibers to swell and create a raised surface, making accurate dart throws challenging and leading to darts bouncing off. Thankfully, it’s not permanent, and the board usually returns to normal when it dries out. However, prolonged exposure to moisture may lead to mildew or mold. To avoid this, store your dartboard in a dry place away from direct sunlight.

Why Do Dartboards Bulge

Frequent Use

Dartboards are very often used leading to continuous wear and tear. The more they are used, the more likely they are to show signs of damage.

Material Quality

Dartboards are typically made of sisal fibers or cork. If a dartboard is made from lower-quality materials, it may wear out faster and show signs of damage sooner.

Impact of Darts

Repeated impacts from sharp darts can cause the fibers to compress or break down, leading to visible holes and divots on the dartboard’s surface.

Moisture and Humidity

Dartboards should be kept in a dry environment. Exposure to moisture and high humidity levels can cause the fibers to expand and contract, potentially affecting the board’s shape and appearance.

Lake of Maintenance

Regular maintenance, such as rotating the dartboard to distribute wear evenly, can help prolong its life. However, if maintenance is neglected, the dartboard is more likely to exhibit signs of wear.

How to Fix a Swollen Dartboard

After the sisal fibers have swollen and lost their ability to revert to their initial form, you can implement the following measures to minimize the protruding impact on the dartboard. 

Step 1: Assess the Swelling Before you begin fixing your dartboard, it’s essential to assess the extent of the swelling. Examine the surface carefully to identify the affected areas. Is the swelling limited to a small section, or has it spread across the board? Understanding the scope of the damage will help you determine the best course of action.

Step 2: Remove the Dartboard Carefully detach the Dartboard from the surrounding frame. This step is crucial to ensure you have unobstructed access to the affected areas. Gently pull out any darts that may be lodged in the board to prevent any additional damage.

Step 3: Dry the Dartboard To remedy the swelling, you need to eliminate the moisture trapped inside the fibers. Find a dry and well-ventilated area to lay your dartboard flat. Direct exposure to sunlight is beneficial, as the sun’s warmth will aid in drying out the board. Alternatively, you can use a fan or a dehumidifier to speed up the process.

Step 4: Reverse the Swelling Once your dartboard is completely dry, it’s time to reverse the swelling. Take a damp cloth and gently moisten the surface of the affected areas. Avoid soaking the board; a light dampness will suffice. Now, use a heavy object like a book or a weight to apply pressure on the dampened regions. This process will help the fibers contract back to their original shape.

Step 5: Let it Settle After reversing the swelling, allow the dartboard to rest for a day or two. This resting period will give the fibers ample time to settle and stabilize. Avoid rushing to reinstall the board; patience is key to achieving the best results.

Step 6: Reinstall the Dartboard Once the dartboard has undergone the necessary treatment, it’s time to reassemble and reinstall it. Carefully place the board back into its frame, ensuring a snug fit. Take a moment to appreciate your revitalized dartboard, ready to witness your dart-throwing prowess once again!

Other Methods for Fixing the Swollen Dartboard

Cork Dartboard Treatment Against Bulging

An alternate approach would be to immerse it in water for a few hours. This method will aid in the cork’s softening and facilitate easier handling. Once saturation occurs, a sharp knife can be utilized to trim off any surplus cork resulting in dart expansion.

To prevent the bulging of a swollen dartboard, it is essential to treat the cork material effectively. One way is to regularly rotate the dartboard to distribute the pressure evenly. Ensuring appropriate humidity levels in the playing area can help control the expansion and contraction of the cork. Proper maintenance and care of the dartboard will not only prolong its lifespan but also maintain its integrity for accurate gameplay. 

Use of Sandpaper for Swollen Dartboard

To address a swollen dartboard, sandpaper can be used to smooth out and even the surface. Begin by gently applying the sandpaper to the affected area, using smooth, circular motions. Continue sanding until the surface is even and any raised or uneven areas have been leveled. Remember to exert caution and take your time to prevent any further damage to the dartboard. 

Using of Wood Filler and Sealant for Swollen Dartboard

To address a swollen dartboard, it is essential to understand the various types of dartboards available such as bristle, cork, and electronic dartboards. Dartboard maintenance is crucial to ensure a long lifespan for your board. Leaving darts in the board or allowing them to bounce off the surface can cause the board to become swollen. To remedy this, wood fillers or Seatlant can be used to repair the bulging board. Remember to soak the dartboard in water before removing the darts, and be sure to rotate your dartboard regularly to prevent wear and tear on the surface. Keeping your dartboard indoors and investing in a high-quality board like Winmau can help maintain the quality and bounce of your darts.

Tips and Tricks to Fix A Swollen Dartboard

To fix a swollen bristle board, you can try removing the excess moisture by soaking the dartboard in water and then allowing it to dry thoroughly. It is also important to keep your dartboard in good condition by not leaving darts on the board for extended periods. Following these tips and tricks will help prolong the lifespan of your dartboard and keep it in good condition. 

  1. Always adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions when using any product to achieve the best possible outcomes.
  2. To prevent damage to the board’s surface, it is important to sand it lightly and avoid over-sanding.
  3. Select a suitable sealant designed for dartboards, offering protection against moisture and humidity, from the various available options

Prevention for Future Swelling And Maintaining Your Dartboard

Here are some tips to maintain your dartboard and prevent swelling or damage:

  1. Avoid hanging the board in damp or humid areas like basements or bathrooms.
  2. Keep the board away from direct sunlight to prevent the wood from drying out and cracking.
  3. Use a dehumidifier to maintain dry air in the room and reduce the risk of swelling.
  4. Rotate the board regularly to ensure even wear across different sections during play.
  5. Clean the board regularly with a soft, dry cloth to remove dirt, dust, or chalk buildup. Avoid using water or cleaning products that could cause swelling.
  6. Consider using a protective cover when the board is not in use to shield it from dust and moisture.
  7. Use darts that are not overly sharp or heavy to prevent damage to the board and minimize swelling.
  8. Avoid using wet darts, as moisture can cause the board to swell.
  9. Never soak the board in water or any liquids for cleaning, as it can lead to moisture absorption and swelling.

Final Thoughts

In the end, we hope that now you are well aware of how to fix a swollen dartboard. A swollen dartboard doesn’t have to spell the end of your dart-throwing fun. By following these steps, tips, and tricks you will be able to fix your swollen dartboard and get back to playing darts in no time. Remember to keep your dartboard away from damp environments and invest in proper storage to prevent future swelling issues. With the right care and attention, your dartboard will continue to be your faithful companion in countless dart-throwing adventures. 


If you’ve still got questions about how to fix a swollen dartboard, then these may help:

How do I prevent my dartboard from swelling in the future?

To prevent dartboard swelling, keep it away from areas with high humidity, such as basements or bathrooms. Additionally, invest in a dartboard cabinet that protects against moisture.

Can I use a hairdryer to dry the dartboard?

 It’s best to avoid using a hairdryer, as the direct heat may damage the fibers. Opt for natural drying methods like sunlight or a fan.

What type of dartboard is less prone to swelling?

Dartboards made from sisal fibers are less susceptible to swelling compared to cork or wooden boards. Sisal fibers are better at withstanding moisture.

How do I make my dart board soft again?

To make your dartboard soft again, rotate it regularly, and keep it in a dry place to prevent bulging.

What happens if a dartboard gets wet?

If a dartboard gets wet, the fibers may swell, causing bulging. Avoid soaking the board to extend its life.

What is the lifespan of a dartboard?

The lifespan of a dartboard depends on its quality and maintenance. A high-quality bristle dartboard can last years.

How do dart boards self-heal?

Bristle dartboards self-heal as the fibers close up after darts are removed, allowing for hours of fun play.

Should I spray my dart board with water?

Don’t spray your dartboard with water; it can cause bulging and damage the surface of the board.

Leave a Comment