How To Replace Kitchen Drawers

How to replace kitchen drawers? Can I replace a kitchen drawer without any professional help? If you are asking any of the questions, you are on the right page.

Kitchen accidents do happen, furniture does get old, hence the need for replacement.

Kitchen drawers are one of the pieces of furniture that when it goes weak or old can be frustrating to use; it can be in form of the presence of open gaps that are irritating to look at and loss of storage space.

Some homemakers do use a quick approach like glue or nail to hold the drawer in place but this has proved to be ineffective as it cannot last for a good prolonged amount of time.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Kitchen Drawer?

The average amount of money to replace a typical kitchen drawer is around $25 to $40 per drawer. However, it can be less or more depending on factors like:

  • Labour cost
  • Nature of the drawer (custom made or designer)
  • Size and number of the drawers
  • Degree of difficulty of replacing the drawer

What Are the Procedures To Replace A Kitchen Drawer

Below is the step to step procedure for replacing a kitchen drawer

  1. Measure The Drawer To Be Replaced

The first thing you have to do is to measure the drawers you want to replace. The measurement should include the height, width, and depth of the opening for the drawer to be replaced.  While measuring, take off an inch from the height and width measurements and a half-inch from the depth to allow for easy fitting and drawer slides.

  1. Get A Replacement Drawer

You can either buy or build the replacement drawer. The former is cost-effective as building one can be expensive. Normally, drawer boxes are custom built for each kitchen as you can get them from local furniture stores and online shops.
Custom made replacement drawers can be made in your choice of material, using an either dowel or dovetails joints, and exactly in the size you need.

  1. Purchase Matching Drawer Slides

After purchasing the drawer, the next thing to do is to purchase matching drawer slides that will fit perfectly into the box depth. You can go with roller slides that are cost-effective or ball bearing slides that are soft with smooth opening features, but expensive.

For the DIY approach, you can go for the mount style drawer slides as they do come with a piece that helps to ease up the installation process. Sometimes, the old slides hardware will still be strong and intact and can be reused, but for safety sake, it is preferred you use fresh drawer slides when replacing the cabinet drawers.

  1. Clearing Off the Surface Areas

The clearing off the surface area depends on factors like the reason why the drawer broke and how urgent and dirty the is, will it require a lot of work or not. The answer to these questions will determine the next step to follow.

If the drawer hardware gets broken, it can be removed and replaced using glue as a band-aid to hold the drawer front together. Also, you can try heating it up with an adhesive using a blow dryer. Scrapers work wonders in removing the glue and preparing it for sand & repainting.

  1. Installing The New Drawers

You begin installation once your drawers arrive. Firstly, you will attach the drawer front before installing the drawer box and gradually slide back and forth correctly.  To save effort and time, try using double-sided tape to tack. Before installation, do ensure that the gaps on the top, bottom, and sides are all equal. Once you have installed the box correctly, you can use at least 2 screws to tighten up the drawer front to the drawer box, from the inside out.

DIY Approach To Replace Drawers

  1. Remove the drawer to be replaced out of the cabinetry and place it somewhere safe.  Using screws, take the drawer front off, which hold it in place.
  2. Turn the drawer over and remove the metal runners entrench on both sides of the drawer.  In the case, where the bottom of the drawer is completely out, you can dispose of it.
  3. Separate the drawer into 5 sections; that is, the 2 sides, front, back, and bottom.
  4. Next is to measure accurately the five sections of your drawer and use a table saw to cut off the areas that are damaged or broken. Do ensure that the lengths, widths match correctly with all the sections.  For the drawer to fit incorrectly, the front, back, sides, and bottom need to be exact in measurement.
  5. It is essential you prepare your saw by setting the bland fence to 1/4 inch.  Run the saw through the front, back, and sides to create a channel in each of the pieces.
  6. Set together with the four sides of your sections together.  The side pieces should rest above the sides of the front and back sections.  The channel from step 5 should all sit at the bottom of the drawer at the same height.  Next, measure the inside of the width and length of the drawer and add a recommended amount of 1/2 inch to each measurement.  Cut a section of 1/4 plywood to the measurement and attach them to the bottom of the drawers.
  7. Using some wood glue, run a bead at the drawer bottom to hole it together.  Next, set the bottom into the channel you made for it.  Then use clamps to hold all the sections together.  After that, wipe off any excess glue either on the wood or the floor. Next, attach the front back to the drawer box using screws that are 1 1/4″  Reattach the metal runners on the drawer and screw them into the lace using 3/4 screws.

When you are done, you can set back your DIY drawer into the cabinetry and you’re done.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Put New Drawers In Old Cabinets?

Yes, you can. In the case where you want to replace drawer boxes without remodelling the whole room, you can put new drawers in old cabinets. This also goes for drawers that have broken or fallen apart and the cabinet is still intact.

Where Can I Get Replacement Drawers?

You can easily find replacement drawers from either local furniture or from big online stores like Walmart. Before getting a replacement drawer, first measure the height, width and depth of the opening. Subtract a maximum of an inch from the width and height and at most half an inch from the depth to allow the drawer slides to fit into the drawer easily.

Can You Buy Only Drawers?

Yes, you can buy new kitchen drawers to replace existing ones. This is possible because the base cabinets in your kitchen may probably be built using standardized sizing. These standardized sizings are universal sizing that enables you to easily get custom-made drawers to easily fit in.

How Can You Remove Old Kitchen Drawers?

To remove old kitchen drawers, grab their handle with both hands, one on each side of the drawer. Pull the drawer out as far as possible. Do ensure you pull it out all the way until the drawer hit its built-in point

What Are The Different Types Of Drawer Slides?

There are 6 types of Drawer slides, and they are:

  • Roller Slides
  • Ball Bearing Drawer Slides.
  • Soft-close Ball Bearing Drawer Slides.
  • Center Mount Drawer Slides.
  • Side Mount Drawer Slides
  • Under-mount Drawer Slides.

How Do You Remove A Drawer Without A Lever?

To remove a drawer without a lever, first press the disconnect tabs. They are located at the back of the metal tracks, on both sides. Press down both tabs at the same time. Do press it fully inward until the drawer gets removed.

How Do I Know What Size Of Drawer Slide I Need?

To know the size of the drawer slide you need, first Measure the box, not the drawer front. Measure the drawer box from the back to the front without including the face of the drawer. Once you have gotten the length, round the number down. For instance, if the drawer is 18 ½ inches long you will need to purchase 19-inch drawer slides


I hope you loved and found this article interesting. For more kitchen nuggets, do check out the posts below.  

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