How To Repair Kitchen Cabinets

best tools to fix cabinets

If there is something we all run into eventually, it’s an issue with your kitchen. From something as small as a stuck drawer to taking the time to restore cabinets, it will come up eventually. In addition, as a homeowner, you will need to be able to take care of these projects as they arise. Here, we attempt to show you how to repair kitchen cabinets by yourself.

Don’t worry, though! These jobs aren’t as hard as they sound once you understand what to do. In this article, we are going to give you some of our best tips to deal with these problems as they come up.

Broken Drawer Box

Many times, the problem that plagues broken drawer boxes starts with the corners. Since this is the case, you will usually start your repair there as well. First, you are going to want to remove any screws, staples, or glue holding your drawer’s corners together.

For glue, you are going need to scrape it off the drawer. The easiest tool to use for this is a utility knife.

Then, you are going to need to reassemble your drawer with fresh wood glue and nails. For the nails, you are going to want to pre-drill 1/16th inch holes for sets of 1-½ inch finish nails. Before that, though, you are going to need to glue the drawer corners. If the wood is coated, though, epoxy is more efficient than wood glue.

Adjust Hinges on Misaligned Doors

The first thing you are going to want to do is to unscrew the hinges on your door. Then, place your door so it is level and replace the hinge and adjust the height as well as depth screws until your door is perfectly aligned and against the cabinet.

The important part here is to do one at a time. Make sure the door you start on is perfect before you move to the second. This will keep you from adjusting back and forth all night.

Replace Worn-Out Drawer Sliders

First and foremost, try to get new sliders for your drawer that match or nearly match the old ones. This will allow you to replace the sliders without having to work with measurements that don’t quite match up.

Once you have the right sliders, though, replacing the old sliders is easy. All you need to do is unscrew the old sliders and screw the new ones on.

Here’s a video that may help:


Lubricate Sticking Drawers

What if your sliders aren’t the problem, though? What if your drawers are just sticking? Well, don’t worry! The fix for this problem is just as easy as replacing your sliders.

First, you are going to want to remove the drawer from its track completely. Then, clean the track, removing any dirt or particles that could be causing the drawer to stick. After that, you will want to spray a lubricant not only on the track but the rollers as well.

Fill Stripped Screw Holes

If a screw hole is stripped, its unable to be used from that point on. However, you shouldn’t just live with a useless hole in your cabinet and they’re relatively easy to deal with.

In the case that you are simply covering them and not replacing the screws that stripped them, you can simply use a particleboard plug. However, they don’t hold screws very well, so they don’t work if you need to screw something in there.

For this, try dipping toothpicks in glue and jamming as many into the screw hole as you can. If any glue drips, wipe it off and if any of your toothpicks stick out too far just cut or sand them.

Strengthen Weak Drawer Bottoms

Strengthening weak drawer bottoms is a problem that can have a couple of answers. The most common solution, though, is to replace the entire bottom of the drawer. For this method, you will have to take the drawer apart completely.

You should then measure a new bottom out of a stronger material – most people opt for a thicker slab of wood. During this process, you will need to be careful with measurements to make sure that you complete this job correctly.

Touching Up Small Scratches

No matter how careful you are with your cabinets, they are bound to get a couple nicks and scratches throughout their lifetime. This doesn’t mean you have to just accept them, though, and they are actually very easy to take care of.

The best and easiest way to handle these scratches is with a touch-up marker. These stain-filled lifesavers are usually in your local hardware store or online but remember to get a shade lighter than your cabinet’s finish. This is because the scratch will absorb extra stain, making it darker.

How to Restore Cabinets with Stain

Sometimes, though, the damage goes past a scratch. This is when you need to entirely restore and restain them. While this is one of the biggest projects that we have looked at on this list, don’t be intimidated by it because it actually isn’t any more than you can handle.

The first thing that you need to do is to clean your cabinets extremely well. Any dirt or particles trapped between the wood and finish will show. You should also sand the cabinets to rid them of any imperfections.

Finally, you can add the stain. You should take doors off and drawers out for this and make sure to let the stain dry completely.

How to Fix Slamming Doors

One thing that is almost as annoying as it is bad for your cabinets is when they constantly slam. On the bright side, you know the hinges are stuck or creaky but you are more likely to crack or damage your doors this way.

The best way to fix this is to apply bumpers on your cabinet doors. These are usually plastic or even a fabric piece that reduces the impact of the slam of the doors and the noise that it makes. However, make sure to use bumpers of the same thickness on all cabinet doors so they still appear even.


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