How to replace kitchen cabinet doors & drawers

Written by jessica reed
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How to replace kitchen cabinet doors & drawers
Give your kitchen a cheap makeover by replacing the cabinet doors and drawers. (Modern elegant kitchen image by MAXFX from

Home remodelling projects can run up a high bill, but you can cut costs by choosing small remodelling projects that transform the entire atmosphere of your kitchen. Instead of having a professional build and install new cabinetry and drawers, simply replace the existing cabinet doors and drawers. The kitchen will take on a new look and no one will ever realise the same cabinets were used.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Screw hole filler material
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Wood screw hole cover
  • Ruler
  • Draw slides

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  1. 1

    Locate the hinges on your cabinet doors. Depending on the style, they will be either inside the cabinet and hidden from sight or on the outside and visible at all times. European style hinges are located inside the cabinet doors and are slightly easier to remove.

  2. 2

    Unscrew all screws holding the cabinet doors in place. Typically you'll find two screws per hinge. Leave the screws attaching the hinge to the cabinet itself in place for quick installation of your new cabinet doors. If you plan to use a different hinges for your new cabinet doors, remove the hinges along with the doors.

  3. 3

    Position new cabinet doors, and hinges if necessary, and mark the location of the screw holes on the doors and on the cabinet if you are drilling holes for new hinges. Ensure a snug fit that still allows you to open the doors without sticking. Ask a friend for help holding the cabinet doors while you ensure a proper fit.

  4. 4

    Drill the holes at your marks and attach new hinges, if desired. Drill holes in the cabinet doors if they are not pre-drilled. Position the hinge over the holes and insert the screws. Ensure the screws are tight and that the cabinet doors swing open and closed without hitting the rest of the cabinet.

  5. 5

    Fill in any visible screw holes you are not using with a screw hole filler material. Sand down the material afterward and paint over it to match the existing colour of the cabinets or wall. Use a wood screw hole cover instead when working with wooden surfaces.

  1. 1

    Remove the existing drawer and choose your new drawers. Measure to ensure they fit inside the empty space left from your previous drawers. Locate the slides on the drawers (the tracks on either side that allow the drawer to pull in and out) and determine if the new drawer slides will line up with the existing tracks still inside the cabinet from the previous drawer. If not, remove the tracks inside the cabinet for repositioning.

  2. 2

    Measure the height to the bottom of the drawer slides on your new kitchen drawers. Measure this height inside the space from the previous drawer and mark it. Attach the tracks with screws along this line and test the drawer. The set of slides on the sides of the drawer should slip into the tracks and it should slide into place. If the drawer is too low or too high, remove the drawer and reposition the tracks.

  3. 3

    Consider replacing only the front of your drawers instead of the entire drawer. The process is simpler and less costly. Remove your kitchen drawers and check for screws that hold the front in place. Remove the screws and pull off the front of the drawer. Position the new drawer front and replace the screws or drill new holes and screw the drawer front into place. Slide the drawer back into the cabinet.

Tips and warnings

  • In "Good Green Kitchens," Jennifer Roberts suggests replacing the material in the centre of frame-style, above-counter cabinets with glass or other decorative material instead of wood to create a light and airy feeling.

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