Home Repair: How to Fix Kitchen Cabinets

Quick solutions to the most common cabinet problems

Kitchen cabinets work hard, and all that opening and closing creates a variety of problems. Most are inexpensive and easy to fix, so take a day and plow through them—it'll be like having a new kitchen.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Build a shelf that won't sag

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Replace worn-out drawer slides

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Adjust Euro hinges

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Silence banging doors with bumpers

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Fill in stripped screw holes

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Beef up wimpy drawer bottoms

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Glue loose knobs

Once knobs fall off your cabinets, twisting them back on won't solve the problem. They'll just keep coming loose. Use a dab of thread adhesive to keep them in place (Loctite 242, blue, is one brand that will hold the knob in place without gluing it permanently; it's sold at hardware stores and home centers). Apply the adhesive to the screw, then attach the knob. If you decide to replace the knob later, don't worry. You can remove it with a screwdriver. (If you buy a different brand, look for a removable type.)

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Renew the shine

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Repair busted drawers

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Add back plates to cover worn areas

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Replace bad latches

Older cabinets sometimes have “roller catches” that hold the doors closed. If you have these and your door won't close or stay closed, loosen the screws to slide the catch forward or backward on the cabinet frame. Or replace it if it's broken. The catches are available at home centers.

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Fill in scratches

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Lubricate sticking drawers

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Pull doors shut with magnets

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Circular saw
  • Clamps
  • Cordless drill
  • Level
  • Miter saw
  • Rags
  • Utility knife
  • Wood glue

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • 3/4-in. plywood
  • 1x2
  • Brad nails
  • Drawer slides
  • Door bumpers
  • Toothpicks
  • 1/4-in. plywood
  • Removable thread adhesive
  • Wood cleaner
  • Back plates for knobs
  • Roller catches
  • Wood fill stick
  • Dry lubricant
  • Magnet catch