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Effective ways to repair damaged cabinets

Are your kitchen cabinets in need of a serious makeover? Whether they have water damage, loose hinges or broken knobs, cabinet repairs can be a costly expense. According to Home Advisor, most homeowners spent $369 to $547 on cabinet repairs, with the average reported cost at $458.

Kitchen cabinets

Here are simple and effective solutions that will help you repair your cabinets without hurting your bank account.


If the drawers are busted

Busted kitchen drawers can be a nuisance. Family Handyman recommends the following for repairing weak corners.

To fix the corner, remove the drawer front, and then remove any fasteners from the corner. Scrape away the old glue with a utility knife, and then re-glue the corner, tap the sides back together, and clamp the drawer until the glue dries.


If the drawer is stuck

Tired of struggling to get what you need out of the cabinet? Before you remove the cabinet drawer, which can cause more damage if not done properly, recommends this simple trick: Work the thin blade of a putty knife between the drawer and the runner, and then gently tap the drawer back in line. The drawer slide will pop into place and you can remove the drawer to put it back on the right track.


If you need to hide any scratches

Whether your dog is to blame for deep scratches or they’re just normal wear and tear, scratched and chipped cabinets can throw off the look of a voguish kitchen. Grab a wood-fill stick and your blow dryer to fill in and cover the scratches. Family Handyman recommends softening the stick with a hair dryer and then running the stick over the scratch. Finish by wiping away any excess with a cloth.

You can also conceal scratches on your wood cabinets by using nuts. Good Housekeeping recommends fresh walnuts or Brazil nuts due to their natural oils that darken the wood. All you need is a walnut or Brazil nut and a clean, soft cloth. Crack the nut open and rub the meat over the scratch in the direction of the wood’s grain. Next, gently rub with a clean, soft cloth. Continue to rub gently until the area blends in with the rest of the finish and the scratch begins to disappear.


If the knobs or handles need replacing

Switching out old knobs can give your cabinet a brand-new look. If you need to remove old knobs or handles and replace them, Home Depot suggests loosening the screw on the back of the door that holds the old hardware in place, and then removing the knob or handle. Mark and predrill your holes (check any home improvement store to find a template to guide you on lining up the holes properly). Attach the new handles with screws, and voila! You’ll have a revamped cabinet.


Home Depot also recommends filling any holes left by old hardware with wood putty and painting that area before putting your new handle in place. If you’re just not ready to give up your old knobs, use thread-locking adhesive to hold them in place.

More on DIY repairs

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Painting tips for your home

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