How to Tighten Loose Hinges on a Cabinet Door

  • 1-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-25
What You'll Need
Some type of araldite, adhesive to use on the hinges
Screw driver
Paper towels for polishing
Metal polish

A good time to tighten or check for a loose cabinet door is when you are doing other projects with the cabinets. This way you can kill two birds with one stone and make the cabinets look new. Having loose hanging cabinet doors can make even the best new cabinet treatment still appear worn out or old.

Step 1 - Determine What Needs to be Done

While working on another project take a few minutes to check out the doors. Do they swing into place well or do they seem to have slack? Also look to see if they squeak or do not completely meet in the middle well any more. If they are crooked they give the entire kitchen an off kilter, or worn look. If this is the case they need to be readjusted or tightened. Look to see if the hinge screws are too small for a regular screw driver or drill bit. If this is the case and tightening the screws would be problematic then use adhesive only.

Start at the bottom of the cabinet and work your way up. It is also a good idea to start with the bottom most cabinet and work up to the top. As you remove each hinge take a moment to polish them a little to give them a ‘like new’ appearance. Any type of metal polish will usually work fine.

Step 2 - Work the Hinges

If they need to be completely readjusted then take them off and look the hinge over for a bend or other problems. If there is no obvious problem then using the araldite, adhesive or other method of holding them in place while you screw them back in carefully. Work each hinge one at a time and make sure as you work that the door is staying level and that it closes completely.

Work thoroughly and carefully so that you don’t strip the screws or bend the frame of the hinge.

Step 3 - Level the Doors

Work through all the cabinets one at a time each hinge at a time. Step back occasionally to gain perspective that the doors are remaining level. If the glue or adhesive runs or clots then take a few seconds to clean this before it dries and becomes more difficult to clean. Use a cloth to clean up the glue or adhesive as paper towels can turn into a gummy mess under these circumstances.

When you are done take a few minutes to polish each cabinet door. Of all the parts of the kitchen next to the kitchen doors these get the biggest work out of being open and closed the most often. If you find that you have to readjust or tighten cabinet doors frequently then you might want to consider putting in heavier, sturdier hinges. This can increase the life of the cabinets and spare the expense of having to replace the doors or the entire cabinet over time.