This week, our Jill of All Trades, Jill Washburn, shows us how to tackle some problem hinges on cabinets around the house.
Cabinet hinges take a lot of wear and tear, says Jill, especially the ones on the "popular" cabinets like the pantry or under the sink. Over time, many of them will start to loosen or even break down.
Jill says, most likely, the problem will be screws that have loosened, and it’s probably the screws that attach the hinge to the cabinet (vs. the ones that attach the hinge to the cabinet door). When those are loose, the door won’t close right or will hang funny, or will smack another door as it closes.
Just checking all the screws and tightening them will go a long way toward having your cabinet doors look better and function as they should. That’s the easiest fix.
Sometimes, screws will fall out entirely. If you can replace them, that should solve your problem. If you can’t and the hinge is falling apart, you’ll need to replace it. It’s easy to do.
You just have to make sure you get the right replacement, says Jill.
Jill recommends taking out the broken hinge and taking it with you to the hardware store or the "big box" building store. There will most likely be lots of options there. You just have to find the one that matches what you have. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, says Jill. The people who work that department or aisle can most likely identify and find what you need way faster than you can.
Another problem with hinges could be that the hinge is intact, but the screws have stripped out of the cabinet entirely. If there is nothing wrong with the hinge itself, Jill says you can use one of her old stand-by fixes, which is taking some wooden toothpicks, coating them with household glue or wood glue, and lining the sides of the enlarged hole with them. Once that dries, you may have to trim them back a bit.
Sometimes, screws will fall out entirely. If you can replace them, that should solve your problem. If you can’t and the hinge is falling apart, you’ll need to replace it. Both are easy to do.
A razor knife or even a heavy-duty pair of scissors will do the trick. With fresh wood for the screw to bite into, you should be able to remount the hinge.
The hinges should be able to hold tightly again and, Jill says, if they ever did come loose again in the future, you could re-do the same repair and it would fix the problem again.
No need to be unhinged, says Jill. The fixes are within your reach.
PROJECT RATING: Easy to Medium (depending on the issue that your hinges have)
To watch Jill take you through the processes, just click on the video player above.