Replacing kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts can be a simple task. Replacing door and drawer fronts can be done in just one day if you plan carefully, have all the right tools, and are ready to work efficiently. It is important that when replacing doors and fronts that you do not discard your cabinet carcasses.
- How to Replacing kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts
- FAQs about replacing kitchen cabinet doors
- How do I remove the hinges?
- How do I remove doors with ancient hinges?
- How do I apply wood glue?
- How do I hang the doors back up?
- How do I fill those ugly holes?
- How can I make it look new?
- How should I apply primer and paint?
- How should I apply polyurethane?
- How should I clean the door before applying polyurethane?
- How should I clean the door after applying polyurethane?
- How should I sand between coats?
Cabinet carcasses are what provide the support for your kitchen cabinets — without them, there would be nothing to hold onto, and they wouldn’t work. Maintaining a harmonious balance between the older cabinets in the room (which can add charm and character) and the new ones you are putting in is important. Make sure that your new fronts have the same measurements, style, and color as your existing ones. If you do not already own a table saw, make sure that you consider all these measurements when at the store buying doors.
There are two types of cabinet door styles: face frame style and frameless style. Face-frame cabinets typically consist of four pieces — two end panels and two doors. On the other hand, Frameless cabinets are made up of three pieces: the side panel and the cabinet face (the front doors). If you have a frameless style cabinet carcass, double your measurements for each door. Now, let’s get started!
How to Replacing kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts
- STEP ONE: Get Ready
You will want to make sure that the area you are working in is clean and free from any clutter. Shut off power to your cabinets at the circuit breaker (most likely in the basement). If you have a standard countertop height of 36 inches or more, remove it before you begin.
- STEP TWO: Remove Doors and Drawer Fronts
Step two is all about removing the doors and drawer fronts from your existing carcasses. Doing this step before you measure your new doors will ensure more accuracy in those measurements since it allows for any discrepancies between door widths (which must remain identical) to even out. You will want to remove each door and drawer front by removing the screws underneath the hinges.
- STEP THREE: Measure Your Doors and Fronts
Measure your doors and drawers to have an idea of what size new ones you will need for replacement. If you measure in inches, don’t forget to allow for a quarter-inch gap between the doors (to allow them room to open). Here are some common size measurements:
Cabinet Door Size Chart For Standard “face-frame” cabinets, use these widths and heights. For Frameless cabinets, double your height measurement for each door.
Height Width Door Height 30″ 15″ 33-1/2″ 1-1/8 ” 27 43-5/8 ” 28 44-3/4 ” 29 45″ 30 Now that you know what size doors and drawer 8″ 36″ 21″ 39-1/2″ 24″ 42
- STEP FOUR: Order Your Doors and Fronts
Before you begin to replace your doors, order the necessary new ones. Having them on hand will ensure that they fit properly when installing them, and you don’t have to hold up progress. When ordering, make sure that you double-check measurements (the same way you made sure of them before removing old doors) — there’s nothing worse than having to re-order (and pay for!) a door after you have already removed the old one.
- STEP FIVE: Sand and Prepare Wood
Once your new doors arrive, take them out of their cartons and lay them flat on a work table or floor. The number one thing you will want to do is to sand your new cabinet fronts. This will remove any protective coating, glue, or splinters and give you a finished look — it also makes for a much smoother surface to work with. If there are multiple doors, make sure that all the edging is sanded evenly so that none of them have jagged edges.
Next, measure where your old cabinets were screwed into place. Measure from the inside of your cabinet frame (noting any holes used for screws) to where you want to install your new doors. You must mark on the door where it needs to be leveled and use a level as a guide when screwing in a strip of wood (known as “crown molding”) around the door (this will hide the old screw holes, giving you a clean-finished appearance).
- STEP SIX: Install Your Doors and Fronts
Before you do anything else, turn off the circuit breaker that powers your cabinets, then unscrew the hinges holding your old doors in place. Place an old towel or drop cloth on the floor below where you are working, just in case any screws fall.
Now, place your doors face down on the floor or table (you may want to fold a blanket over them for extra protection). Line up and screw each door into line with the strip of molding that you added in step five. If it is a multi-door unit, start by working your way from the top to the bottom of the cabinet.
- STEP SEVEN: Put Everything Back Together
Reinstall all cabinets (remember that you will need to reinsert the shelves) and restore power. If your doors are metal or glass, make sure they have no sharp edges before putting them back into service. Now you are ready to enjoy your new cabinets!
If you would like assistance from a professional or your cabinet project is too big for you to handle, hire our team of expert carpenters at The Home Depot’s local store in Lorton today. We’re happy to help make your home more beautiful!
FAQs about replacing kitchen cabinet doors
How do I remove the hinges?
Answer: First, you have to unscrew them from both sides. Then, you need pliers to pull them out. It’s possible that the screw stays stuck in the wood and that it breaks off, so be careful. You can use a nail set and hammer slowly on the pin around the screw sticking out of the cabinet. Be careful not to crack the wood. You can also drill a small hole in the screw and use pliers, but you must be careful when drilling not to damage the broken-off pin stuck in the door and cabinet.
How do I remove doors with ancient hinges?
Answer: If your hinges are ancient, you might not be able to unscrew them. You can try drilling a hole at the end of each pin sticking out of the door and cabinet with a small drill bit or Dremel. Then use pliers to pull them out.
How do I apply wood glue?
Answer: First, clean off any old glue from the door and cabinet. You can use a Dremel drill and wire wheel to remove it faster. Put wood glue on both surfaces that you want to join together using a small paintbrush when you are done. After that, clamp or screw them together (for harder woods like oak). Then, let the glue dry for 30 minutes before you start to re-hang the door.
How do I hang the doors back up?
Answer: First, you need a drill and 11/32 inch bit. Drill pilot holes in the edge of the door that will go in first where the hinges screw into. Also, drill pilot holes on both sides of the frame inside the cabinet where you removed the pins. Make sure to place a piece of tape on your drill bit so that it doesn’t drill all the way through and into your cabinet (this happens more often than not). When you are done, screw in the hinges on both sides tightly.
How do I fill those ugly holes?
Answer: You can use caulk or wood filler. If you are not a fan of caulking, you can also use toothpicks and sand them down. You can also buy little wooden dowels to fill in the holes. Just drill pilot holes into the cabinet with your 11/32 bit, then glue those wooden dowels into the hole. You can also use a wooden dowel cut in half and sand the sharp ends down.
How can I make it look new?
Answer: If you want your new doors to look new, you should go over them lightly with 220-grit sandpaper and clean off the dust with a tack cloth (you can also use the same Dremel drill and wire wheel you used to remove old glue). Then, use a 220-grit sanding block with little or no water (if you do this with wet paper, it will gum up your cabinet, so don’t get any on the wood) over all the surfaces to remove any other marks and raise the grain. When you are done, use a tack cloth or lint-free rag to clean the cabinet and make sure there is no dust left over before applying your first coat of paint.
How should I apply primer and paint?
Answer: You can use a brush or roller. First, stir it up well and then pour some into a small can and apply it. If you roll the primer, make sure to move quickly with smooth strokes, leaving no marks behind. You don’t want to put on too much because it’s easy to sand off. When it’s time for your first coat of paint, make sure not to spray too far away from the doors to avoid runs.
How should I apply polyurethane?
Answer: Stir it up good and then pour some into a small can and use that for applying it. Using your paintbrush or roller, apply thin coats of polyurethane (let the primer dry completely before you do this). When it’s time for your second coat, use the same technique you used with the first coat of paint.
How should I clean the door before applying polyurethane?
Answer: Use a tack cloth or lint-free rag to ensure no dust leftover from sanding and any other marks. Make sure to tape off the edges with blue painter’s tape because you don’t want your polyurethane to get on your cabinet.
How should I clean the door after applying polyurethane?
Answer: Let the first coat dry completely (follow the drying times on the can) and then sand it lightly with 220-grit sandpaper to remove any rough spots or imperfections in the finish. Then, you can use a tack cloth to clean the door and ensure no dust is left over. Let it dry first for an hour before applying your second coat of polyurethane.
How should I sand between coats?
Answer: Use 220-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the door with long, steady strokes in the direction of the grain. You must wait until the previous coat is completely drained before sanding again (follow the drying times on the can). You Don’t Need to get too carried away with the sanding because you don’t want to eliminate all your polyurethane, just enough to lightly even out any rough spots or imperfections in your finish.