How To Repair Doors On Kitchen Cabinets

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Nothing is meant to last forever and even the highest-quality kitchen cabinets are prone to wear and tear due to everyday use. Since it can be costly to do a complete makeover of the kitchen, it’s nice to have knowledge on how to fix common damages to the cabinet door so you can do it by yourself.

So how do you repair broken or damaged doors on kitchen cabinets? There are different approaches to repairing cabinet doors depending on the specific problem that you have. If you have cabinet peeling due to moisture issues, you can either apply a wood veneer or repaint the damaged area. For squeaky or loose doors, you should check the hinges and adjust and tighten the screws.

6 Common Signs of Damage to Kitchen Cabinet Doors and How To Fix Them

The kitchen cabinet is one of the important fixtures that you always access whenever you’re cooking or dining. It’s also commonly exposed to water damage, grease, and oil buildup due to daily activities in the kitchen. For this reason, it’s not unusual to find some signs of damage on the body, paint, hinges, and screws of your cabinet door.

Before you panic and call for a total overhaul of your kitchen, you should know that there are some cabinet door problems that you can repair on your own. Here are some usual signs of wear and tear on kitchen cabinets and how you can restore them to their good condition:

1. Loose Doors

Squeaky, sagging, or misaligned doors can be a result of loose hinges and stripped screw holes. It usually happens due to the old age of the cabinet doors or from overuse because of constant opening and closing. When this happens, you should inspect the door hinge inside the cabinet and check its tension and alignment.

For loose cabinet door hinges, here are the steps that you should follow to fix them:

  • Get a screwdriver and adjust the hinges on the side.
  • Tighten the screws until the cabinet hinge is no longer loose and can be closed properly.

If you notice there are stripped screw holes on the cabinet door, take note of these steps:

  • Prepare a screwdriver and a stripped screw hole repair kit.
  • Remove the door from the cabinet frame and you’ll be able to see the stripped holes on the side.
  • In the repair kit, take out the metal sheet that matches the size of your stripped screw hole.
  • Align the sheet into the hole, insert the screw, and you can re-attach the cabinet door.
  • Another option is to use a plastic wood filler in the stripped screw hole. You can insert a generous amount of filler and once it’s dry, you can re-attach the cupboard door in its place.

2. Loose Drawer Knobs and Pulls

Knobs and pulls are important hardware that’s mounted to the cabinet drawer front. Thanks to this kitchen hardware, you have something to grab on to easily open and close the cabinet door. However, constantly pulling on the knobs and pulls can quickly loosen the cabinet hardware.

To fix stripped or wobbly cabinet knobs and pulls, here are the easy steps that you can follow:

  • Open the door to view the screws that are holding the knob or pull on the cabinet face.
  • Use a screwdriver to tighten the loose screws and bolts on the hardware.
  • You can also apply a coating of any fast-acting or wood glue to help secure the screw head and the knobs in place.

3. Cabinet Peeling and Scratches

No matter how careful you are not to damage the surface of the cabinet door, it’s inevitable to have some peeling due to moisture, water damage, or light nicks or scratches. Fortunately, it’s relatively simple to fix issues of cabinet door peeling and scratches.

Here's how you can repair peeling surfaces on kitchen cabinet doors:

  • Remove the door and peel the laminate from the cabinet face if you have laminated kitchen cabinets.
  • Apply a thin layer of waterproof adhesive to the exposed surface and the underside of the laminate.
  • Keep the surfaces separated as you let the adhesive set for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Press the laminate back onto the surface carefully afterward. You can use a clamp to put more force and secure the glue.
  • Remove the clamp and scrape any excess glue from the laminate using a utility knife.

For visible scratches on the cabinet door, follow these simple steps:

  • Repair minor cabinet scratches by wiping over the surface using a wet sponge.
  • Wipe the scratched area with steel wool dubbed in olive oil. You can also use toothpaste to remove shallow nicks and scratches.
  • Additionally, you can use a touch-up marker, clear coat, or body filler to cover the scratches on the kitchen cabinet door.

4. Broken or Worn Out Drawer Box

You may also notice worn-out finishing on the face of the cabinet box or drawer. An easy way to repair this is by using sandpaper to remove the chipped or damaged paint on the surface. After sanding, you can apply a thin layer of primer and paint to restore the finishing on the body of the kitchen cabinet.

Meanwhile, if you have broken drawer boxes, check the pieces and joints that are holding the cabinet together. If needed, you may have to remove the entire drawer front and replace the fasteners and screws. Re-align the drawer pieces and reinforce the joints with the use of glue. Make sure that all sides and corners are securely attached before returning the drawer box to its place.

5. Jammed Sliding Doors

If you’re having a hard time opening sliding drawers or they frequently get stuck, there may be a lubrication issue with the sliding mechanism of the cabinet. To smoothly open your sliding cabinet, you can apply a silicone-based lubricant to its tracks and rollers. This should help your drawer to easily glide in its tracks.

In the case of broken drawer glides, you can repair this by adjusting or replacing the screws. Sometimes, jammed doors are also a result of bent glides which can be fixed by realigning them with the help of pliers.

6. Sticking Cabinet Doors

Changes in humidity, grease and oil buildup, and deterioration of the latex pads may cause your cabinet doors to stick. To repair this problem, you should remove the existing pads and the adhesive that’s sticking to the door frame and replace them with new ones. You can also simply wash off the dirt and grease that’s accumulated on the cabinet door using oil soap mixed with water.

How To Know If You Should Replace Doors Instead Of Getting Them Repaired

While it’s easy to do DIY cabinet repair, there are some issues that aren’t salvageable and may require a complete door or drawer replacement. Here are some signs that you need to get a kitchen cabinet replacement:

  • Excessive water damage: Some cabinets may be beyond repair due to significant moisture problems and water damage. If you have a warped cabinet door or notice rotting, molding, and delamination, you may have to consider getting a cabinet refacing or replacement.
  • Poor function: Cabinet boxes or drawer slides not performing up to par may require a new replacement. There are some damaged cabinet boxes where you may not be able to drill new holes or fix their hinges and adjustment screws.
  • Soft cabinet doors or boxes: Check the sides of your cabinet drawer and if it feels soft to touch, it means it has accumulated too much moisture damage and may fall apart. Instead of spending too much on repairing them, it may be better to replace them with new kitchen cabinet doors.
  • Upgrading your entire kitchen: If you’re remodeling your home it’s better to get new cabinet doors to go along with the new theme and layout of your new kitchen.

Tips To Keep Your Kitchen Cabinet Doors In Good Condition

Like any other furniture, your kitchen cabinets also require daily maintenance to keep them in good condition. Here are some tips for taking care of your wooden cabinet doors and drawers:

  • Regularly clean your cabinets with a soft cotton cloth dampened with warm soapy water.
  • Avoid using abrasive cloth, steel wool, and detergent-based cleansers on the surface of your cabinet doors.
  • Immediately wipe water spills and remove any stain with a damp cloth or sponge.
  • Don’t use polishing waxes or sprays on the cabinet since it may damage your paint and finishing.
  • Perform deep cleaning on the interior and exterior surfaces of your kitchen cabinets at least twice a year.
  • Limit direct sun exposure to avoid fading or paint discoloration on the cabinets. If you have windows in the kitchen, put up curtains to block the light.

Get High-Quality and Custom Cabinets From Zothex

Without cabinets, your kitchen feels incomplete and it’s important to ensure that they are always in peak condition by preventing damage and immediately repairing any problem. At Zothex Flooring, we have a team of experts who can help you with your kitchen cabinet door concerns.

Whether you’re redesigning your cabinets or building a new kitchen from scratch, our team at Zothex can help you choose and install the best drawers, countertops, and flooring designs that match your home and lifestyle. Contact us now to inquire about our custom cabinet designs and stocks and know more about our installation services.

Read More: How To Install Kitchen Cabinets Crown Molding

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