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How to Replace Kitchen Drawers

Last modified: 2022-08-01 | Approximate reading time 3 mins

Your kitchen drawers hold the essential elements for you to create a delicious meal, and clean up afterwards. As they’re used numerous times throughout the day, sliding in and out of place, it is evident that they may break. However, a broken drawer can be replaced using basic carpentry skills and even the most novice of homeowners can complete this DIY job.

Most drawers are not built to take on everything, and if mistreated they can easily break. Broken drawers can be glued back together, but if the dado is broken at the bottom, it will need to be replaced. If you’re giving your kitchen a mini makeover or if you’re looking to have everything in working order, you can rebuild those drawers and maybe incorporate some new hardware!

Here's how to replace a broken kitchen drawer!

Prepare for the Repairs!

To start off, collect the tools and materials you will need to complete this job, these include: screwdriver, hammer, table saw, various hardwood plywood, measuring tape, ¼ inch dado blade, glue, pin nailer, pin nails, a drill or screw gun, a drill bit and screws. Safety glasses are also recommended when completing this job.

Remove and Dismantle Broken Drawer 

Begin by removing the drawer that is broken from the cabinet and placing it on a worktable. Using a screwdriver, loosen the two screws that hold the front of the drawer in place on the drawer box. Remove the front of the drawer and set it aside. To dismantle the rest of the drawer, turn it upside down and use a screwdriver to remove the steel runners from both sides of the drawer. Next, tap on the drawer on each of the four sides, you should have 5 pieces: two pieces for the front and back, two for the sides and a thick piece of plywood that makes up the bottom.

If you do not have an old drawer to work with, as it has been misplaced or destroyed for whatever reason, it is still possible for you to find a replacement drawer. First measure the height, width and depth of the opening where your drawer will eventually sit.

Now, subtract from those measurements an inch from the width and height and at least half an inch from the depth, allowing for enough space for the drawer to slide easily in and out. It is critical to measure the width correctly, as depth and height are not as important. You can build the drawer yourself using these measurements, or you can take a trip to your local hardware store where the drawer can be custom built.

Measure & Create New Drawers 

Tools to fix

Measure the width of the front and back piece of your drawer. Using a table saw, measure and cut a strip of ¾ inch plywood that is long enough to for both pieces. Next, measure side pieces and again use the table saw to cut a strip of ½ inch plywood to the width, then measure the length of the sides and back and cut them to this length using a mitre saw.

Now, install a ¼ inch dado blade onto the table saw. A dado blade is a circular saw blade, used with a table saw or radial arm saw and is used to cut dadoes or grooves when working with wood. Raising the blade to ¼-inch and setting the fence to 1/4 -inch, turn on the saw and run the sides, front and back over the blade to create a ¼ inch dado that sits ¼ inch from one edge on all four pieces. Next, place these four pieces together as if the drawer were assembled.

The front and back should be between the side pieces and the dado should be at the bottom. Measure the length and width on the inside of the drawer and add a ½ inch, use the table saw to cut the 1/4 -inch plywood to that measurement.

Secure and Finalize Drawer Placement

Run glue on the dado on all 4 pieces, also adding some glue onto the ends of the front and back. Place the plywood in the dado on the side pieces, and place the front and back on to fit the dado over the edge. Now, bring all 4 pieces together at the same time, locking the plywood into the dado. Use a nail gun or hammer to lock four nails through each corner.

Finish by drilling two 3/16-inch holes through the front of your newly constructed drawer. Grab your screw gun, and screw the drawer front onto the new drawer. Place the steel runners back onto the bottom side of the drawer, screwing them on using ¾-inch screws. Now, place the new drawer back neatly back into the cabinet.  

Get 3 renovation quotes for your kitchen drawer repairs can help you get quotes for your drawer repair project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals. 

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