How to Install New Hinges on Old Cabinet Doors

Shelly McRae

Installing new hinges on your old cabinet doors can freshen the look of your cabinetry. Before purchasing new hinges or removing the old ones, note what type of hinge is needed for the door to operate properly. If your cabinetry doesn't have frames, you need hinges that are hidden; that is, they are installed on the interior of the door and cabinet. For framed cabinetry, hidden, partially hidden or exposed hinges may be used, depending on the type of door you have.

  1. Start at one end of the bank of cabinetry. You will complete one door at a time. This will better enable you to line up the hinges along the cabinetry.

  2. Unscrew the hinges from the cabinet frame or cabinet interior. Have someone hold the door in place while doing this so the door does not fall when the hinges are removed. Remove the hinges from the door and set the hardware aside.

  3. Use wood putty to fill in the holes on the cabinetry and the door. Choose a wood putty color that closely matches the cabinet stain. Allow the putty to dry and sand lightly to level.

  4. Position one of the new hinges on the door and mark where the holes for the screws are. Position the hinge again; this will be for the second hinge on the door. Mark the holes.

  5. Drill pilot holes for the screws, taking care not to drill through the door. Position the hinges, and screw the hinges to the door.

  6. Position the door along the cabinet. Have someone hold the door in place while you mark the holes for the screws. Take away the door and drill pilot holes. Reposition the door, lining up the hinges with the pilot holes. Screw the door to the cabinet.

  7. Check to make sure the hinges are secure. Open and close the door several times. Look around the edge of the door to ensure it hangs straight.

  8. Repeat the process for the rest of the cabinet doors. Use a laser level to ensure your hinges are installed at the same height all across your cabinetry.