Can Pegboard Get Wet?

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Pegboard is a great way to organize tools and other items in various workspaces. Some variation of pegboard is almost considered a must-have in workshops, garages, and sheds but there may be some drawbacks to using it. Depending on the type of pegboard you are using, it may not do so well under various conditions. One of those conditions is high humidity or locations where it might get wet. Does water damage pegboard?

Masonite pegboard does not do well in applications where it might get wet. Water can cause the fibers to swell and come apart from each other. This will result in pegboard with less visual appeal, strength, and overall performance. Plastic pegboard is a great alternative for damp locations.

Pegboard with tools hanging on it

With that being said, most masonite pegboard does come with a small level of protection. One side is usually covered in a finish that offers a level of protection against dents, stains, and moisture. However, if moisture penetrates through the holes and onto the area that is not finished, the pegboard could become less than desirable over time.

A little water here and there probably won’t hurt anything as long as it’s in a position where it can dry. However, constant water presented to masonite pegboard is not a good idea.

Masonite pegboard is essentially wood fibers that have been pressure-molded together very tightly. When it gets wet, these fibers are likely to swell and pull apart from each other. This won’t bode well for the longevity of the product and there are better solutions or precautions you can take if you are using it in areas prone to getting wet.

As you can see from the picture below, I tested a piece of standard pegboard, purchased at my local Home Depot, by pouring a small amount of water on it. I left the water for a few minutes before wiping it off. The water penetrated into the holes and the unfinished areas of the pegboard. This caused the area around the holes to swell.

Pegboard with water damage
Water damage on a sample piece of masonite pegboard

Not only does this damage take away from the look of the pegboard but it also compromises its strength. Since these areas are now swollen and not as tightly bound together, they will not hold as much weight.

While this might seem like minor damage, if left in a damp location for a long period of time, you can expect premature aging of the product on a larger scale. My findings suggest that if you are using masonite pegboard, it’s best to keep it away from water.

Why Would Pegboard Get Wet?

While my test was just that, it’s hard to imagine a real-life situation that would duplicate my experiment. However, there are plenty of times when your pegboard could see a higher amount of moisture than it is designed for. Let’s look at a few of them below.

High Humidity

If you live in an area where humidity is prevalent, your masonite pegboard might not have the longevity that you would want. The continuous moisture from the humidity levels is going to wreak havoc on the overall performance of the product. You would be better off opting for another type of material that won’t sustain damage from this condition.

While it will probably be fine in most situations that aren’t directly in the path of water, you’ll have to judge this based on your specific circumstance.


Many people place pegboards in areas that might be prone to weather conditions. Such areas might include carports and open garages. With pegboard installed in areas like this, wind could blow mist and rain into the area, causing the pegboard to receive moisture. If this happens regularly, it might take too much moisture and could cause it to warp or come apart over time.


Pegboard gets dirty just like the rest of your workshop and even more so since there are cracks and crevices for dust to settle in. A good cleaning is needed occasionally if you want to keep your workshop looking great and dust off your tools. If you hang your pegboard with the finished side facing front, you will be safe to clean it with a damp rag.

However, if hung to where the unfinished side of the pegboard is facing the front, a damp rag could damage the product over time. It will also be more difficult to clean since it is more porous than the finished side.

If you insist on hanging the unfinished side facing the front, you can finish it with a water-resistant finish to help it last longer and make it easier to clean.


Spills are going to happen in a workshop and while pegboard may be up out of the way, it may also be installed on the back of workbenches and could be affected by spilled liquids. You may be cleaning a small paintbrush and knock your cup of water over and the water heads straight for the back of the bench, onto the pegboard. The area that gets wet may end up noticeably damaged from the moisture.

Whether it’s a container of water, varnish, or some other chemical, spills have a way of getting into areas we don’t want them to.

Best Pegboard for Damp Locations

If you are going to install pegboard in an area prone to damp weather conditions or in an area that might be splashed with water or other liquids, it’s best to use a more water-resistant product. The following options will be more suitable for these applications.

Plastic Pegboard

Plastic pegboard with water on it

Plastic pegboard is by far the best option to use when installing it in a damp location or an area that could see splashes of water or other liquids. You won’t have to worry about the liquid penetrating the plastic and causing damage. This makes it a great option for using in humid areas and even outdoors, as long as it’s not in direct sunlight.

I use plastic pegboard in my shed to hang garden tools on. It has worked well for me in my current shed for over 10 years now and still looks great. My shed gets hot during the day and can see high humidity levels during the summer months but the plastic pegboard has held up well.

It’s easy to wipe off with a damp cloth when dirty. Even a water sprayer will work just fine for cleaning it off if installed in an area where water spray is suitable. Plastic solves this problem well and allows you to enjoy your pegboard organization no matter what the conditions are.

This Plastic Pegboard makes a great option for using in damp areas.

Stainless Steel Pegboard

Metal pegboard is a great option that won’t be bothered with water. As long as you use a rust-resistant metal like stainless steel, there will be no issues. Some metal pegboard is inferior and may rust over time so be sure you do your research as to which type you purchase.

Stainless steel will be more expensive than plastic but it’s sturdier and won’t warp over time under the weight of tools hanging off of it (unless you hang WAY too much weight on it). It’s also heavier and harder to work with than plastic. However, it does look great and will stand the test of time if treated properly.

This Galvanized Steel Pegboard is a great option if you are installing it in an area prone to water spray.

Bottom Line

Not all pegboard is the same but if you choose the most popular option–masonite–then you can expect problems if water gets onto it. While a little here and there won’t completely damage it, constant damp conditions over time can eventually render it useless.

If you have a work area where water spills are possible, it’s best to use plastic or stainless steel. It’ll be easier to clean up and once dry, you’ll never know anything happened. With masonite pegboard, the damage will be noticeable even with small amounts of moisture.