Sometimes all your cabinets need to give your kitchen a whole new look is a bit of basic repair or a few minor improvements. Changing your pulls, for example, can completely alter the look of cabinet as can refacing or repainting them.
If your cabinet doors droop or shut poorly, repair or change the hinges. First, try tightening the screws. If a screw won’t tighten, remove it, squirt a little white glue and insert some broken-up toothpicks into the hole to fill it up (wipe off any excess glue). After the glue dries, cut the toothpicks flush with the surface using a utility knife, and drive the screw into the refurbished hole (you may have to drill a small pilot hole first).
Exposed decorative hinges can also add a new design element to your cabinets. Hinges can be found in virtually every style and size. You’re sure to find replacements that will both fit your cabinets and perk up their appearance.
Self-closing hinges—If it seems that your cabinet doors are perpetually hanging open, you may want to switch to self-closing hinges, which do not require a separate catch to keep the door closed.
If you have European frameless-style cabinets and the doors are out of adjustment, you may simply need to adjust the hinges. Most of the hinges that attach doors to these types of cabinets can be adjusted with only the turn of a screw to bring the door into line. These hinges are usually mounted directly to the interior cabinet side and are hidden when the door is closed. They do not require a catch since they are self-closing.
Another common, and easily accomplished, repair is adjusting drawers that don’t close easily or well. This problem can usually be solved by re-attaching or replacing the drawer’s glides. For the smoothest, most trouble-free drawer opening and closing, purchase prefabricated metal ball-bearing glide sets that attach to the drawer bottom or sides, depending on your drawer’s construction and current type of glide. The manufacturer’s instructions should detail proper installation.
If you want to use side glides in a faceframe cabinet, you’ll need to bring the mounting surface flush with the edge of the faceframe stiles by gluing and screwing filler strips to the inside of the cabinet’s sides.