How to Replace a Kitchen Drawer


Matching the face of a kitchen drawer is the key when replacing a single drawer for existing kitchen cabinetry. Drawer slides and the inner drawer box can be replaced if necessary, but the drawer face and drawer pull should be matched to the kitchen design for the rest of the set. Home improvement centers and cabinet installation contractors can provide replacement drawer parts of the same style and size if the needed parts cannot be salvaged.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Large slotted screwdriver
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Measuring tape
  • C-clamps
  • Remove the drawer face from the old drawer for use on the new drawer if it's intact. Remove any screws present that attach the drawer box to the face of the drawer with the appropriate type of screwdriver. Some drawer pulls are secured by screws that go through the face and the box. Pry the drawer face off of the drawer box with a large slotted screwdriver to break the glue seal. Sand the back of the drawer face to remove hardened glue and splintered wood.

  • Remove the drawer slides from the sides of the drawer box with a Phillips screwdriver and save the slides and screws for the new drawer if the sliding action of the drawer is working properly. Remove the drawer slides from the inside of the cabinet and the drawer if the drawer does not slide in and out correctly. Discard drawer slides that are not performing properly.

  • Affix the drawer pull to the drawer face with the attachment screw, or screws provided. Spread wood glue on the drawer face and the side of the drawer box the where face attaches. Press the drawer face against the drawer box side and align the face squarely with the box side by measuring two spots on each side with a measuring tape to see that the top and bottom edges of the drawer face are equally as far from the edge of the drawer box at the top and bottom, and that the side edges of the face are equidistant from the sides of the box. Secure glued drawer face with C-clamps when it's properly squared. Allow four to six hours drying time.

  • Attach the salvaged drawer slides to the sides of the drawer box if available. Attach new drawer slides to the sides if necessary. Align the bottom rails of the drawer slide flush with the bottom edges of the drawer box sides and allow the wheels on the slide to extend past the back of the drawer box. Secure the slides with the attachment screws. Replace the inner slides on the cabinet frame if necessary by aligning the front edges of the slides with the bottom of the opening for the drawer. The front will be clearly marked on the slide. Secure the inner slides with the attachment screws provided.

  • Slip the wheels of the drawer slides protruding out from the back of the drawer box over the wheels on the inner slides and push the drawer into the opening. Test the sliding action by opening and closing the drawer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some cabinetry is manufactured and matching drawer faces can be purchased as parts, but other cabinets are custom-built and a matching drawer face must be created by a cabinet maker.
  • Hire a cabinet maker or home improvement center to assemble the new drawer for you if you're not confident about your work. Assembly will cost a little more than the parts of the drawer, but the job will be professionally done.

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  • Photo Credit kitchen drawer image by Christopher Hall from
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