My first project in my Fix-It-Up series is fixing my kitchen drawers. One corridor had completely disappeared without anyone admitting the fact, and the other rails were not keeping in their way. This caused us to push and pull and pull over the months until the entire front of a drawer came loose from the drawer itself. My husband fixed that problem, but the root of the problem remained: drawers not sliding.
I purposely chose a fairly easy project for my first project in the series for two reasons: one, to try and succeed on my first project (the vanity of it all), and two, because I had just finished putting away all my Christmas stuff for the week. before and was tired!
My trip to Home Depot for a replacement drawer runner was successful only thanks to a very helpful gentleman who couldn’t help but hear Geri and me talking to a pleasant, if clueless, employee at Home Depot. This gracious viewer turned out to be a cabinet builder, luckily for us, and he filled our heads with all kinds of tips and advice on drawer problems. I will share them with you as we go along.
Here are the steps I took with explanations so that you can master this task yourself.
* The first is the first; empty the drawers. Here’s a photo of my totally disorganized mess. One drawer with Tupperware and so on, the other with small appliances and kitchen tools.
* Take your good drawer: Or an example of what you need to the hardware store with you. This is invaluable. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will be able to choose what you need from the overwhelming mass of products. Trust me, everything will look the same after you get there.
* Clean the area first: After taking out the drawers, clean the empty cabinet of old dust and dirt. It will facilitate the work on your project.
* Mount the hardware in the cabinet: This was pretty easy by following the instructions that came with the railings and also following the example of the intact drawer.
* Drill pilot holes: It is always best to drill small pilot holes before sinking the screw, especially in the particle board. The particle board will split and crumble (happened to me with this project even with a pilot hole. Nothing a little wood glue can’t fix).
* Adjust the back bracket: The brackets that attach to the back of the cabinet were intact, but over the years they had been moved so that the drawer would fall off the rail when I pushed it in. Each rear bracket has two screw holes, one that slides in and one that anchors the bracket.
– Unscrew and remove the anchor screw but leave the screw on the slide; loosen slightly.
– Slide both brackets as far as possible towards the center of the cabinet. In other words, until the end of the slide.
– Carefully place the drawer back on the railing and slowly push it all the way.
– Remove drawer.
– The rear rails are now exactly where they need to be to hold the drawer, as the drawer itself moved the rear supports to the exact location. Tighten the sliding screw and add a screw in the anchor slot after drilling a pilot hole. Most of the time, the rear supports are parallel to each other.
* Fix any problems with the drawer:
My drawer (and this was the good one!) Was starting to separate (see photo). The bottom of my drawer was only being held together with small staples, so I added some wood glue and put the staples back in place. I completely bent a staple trying to nail it, so I replaced it with a screw with a pilot hole drilled first.
* Clean the drawers and surrounding woodwork – this is your chance for a deep cleaning. I like mild soap and water, followed by Liquid Gold.
* Replace shelf liner: Mine was discolored, dirty, and cracked … it should be, I was 15 years old! But being the rat of the pack that I am, I still had the original roll and had a long way to go to replace it. Ahhh, fresh and new.
* Organize: I proudly dispose of at least 25-50% of things. The rest, I carefully placed in containers and storage buckets. As you do so, fix the other drawers as well.
* Admire your work – it’s okay to be proud of yourself.