How to replace hardware on DIY furiture?

Replacing cabinet hardware can be a tedious and arduous task. There are plenty of challenges when trying to reuse old hardware from a vintage piece that you're trying to refurbish or reconfigure entirely. Let's walk through the process, step-by-step, to make it as smooth as possible.

Starting with the Basics: Preparation

One of the first challenges you face is sanding and refinishing. You need to remove all of the drawers and doors, and then take off all of the hardware. This is essential to address any repairs on cracked doors, blown-out drawer bottoms, stripped screw holes, or other issues if the entire cabinet is just plain falling apart.

After addressing these issues, you still have the challenge of reattaching the hardware in its original placement. Often, the holes are stripped. A handy trick to fix this is by drilling a larger hole than the original, filling it with wood glue and a dowel, and letting it dry. Then, use a Japanese pull saw or an electric sander to level it with the surface of the wood. This creates a sturdy base for the screws as if they were going directly into the cabinet itself.

Sanding and Finishing

Once all repairs are made, sand the entire cabinet before staining or painting it. This includes all the doors and drawer fronts. Sanding ensures a smooth finish and helps the stain or paint adhere better to the surface.

Choosing the Right Hardware

Now that your cabinet is ready, it's time to choose the hardware. You have a few options:

  1. Max Out with Premium Hardware: For a high-end finish, consider Blum branded soft-closing drawer slides and hinges. These provide a smooth, quiet operation and a luxurious feel. Nice handles in brass or bronze can add a touch of elegance. If you are painting the cabinet, you can fill the existing handle holes with Bondo or wood filler. This allows you to use different-sized handles on the doors and drawer fronts.

  2. Stick with Vintage-Style Hardware: Another option is to use hardware similar to what was originally on the piece. This maintains the vintage look while ensuring functionality. The two most common types of hardware on vintage furniture are epoxy drawer slides and Blum compact hinges.

Epoxy Drawer Slides

Epoxy drawer slides are a popular choice for both modern and vintage furniture due to their durability and ease of use. Commonly used in low-cost furniture from stores like IKEA, these slides offer exceptional quality and longevity. They come in various lengths: 14 3/4", 16 3/4", 18 3/4", 20 3/4", and 22 3/4", making them versatile for different drawer sizes.

  • Action: Self-closing mechanism ensures that drawers close softly and securely without slamming.
  • Extension: 3/4 extension provides easy access to drawer contents while maintaining stability.
  • Finish: A clean white finish complements any furniture style.
  • Handing: Suitable for both right and left-hand mounting.
  • Mounting: Bottom mounting design ensures a stable and sturdy drawer fit.
  • Weight Rating: Can support up to 55 lbs, making them perfect for a variety of drawer contents.


Blum Compact Hinges

Blum compact hinges are another excellent choice, known for their reliability and smooth operation. These hinges are designed to be durable and are a staple in both contemporary and vintage furniture refurbishments. They allow for precise alignment and smooth, quiet closing of cabinet doors.

  • Compact Design: Perfect for cabinets with face frames.
  • Soft-Close Feature: Prevents doors from slamming shut, adding a touch of luxury.
  • Easy Installation: Designed for quick and straightforward mounting.

Final Steps

Once you’ve chosen your hardware, fill any remaining holes from the old hardware using wood filler. After it dries, sand it smooth to ensure a perfect surface for your new hardware. Attach your new drawer slides and hinges, ensuring everything is aligned and operates smoothly.

By following these steps and choosing the right hardware, you'll have a strong and sturdy piece of furniture that looks fantastic and functions beautifully. Whether you go for premium options like Blum or stick with classic choices like epoxy drawer slides, your refurbished cabinet will be a standout feature in your home.

How to replace hardware on DIY furiture?
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