Have you noticed lately that your cabinet door doesn’t shut all the way or stay closed? After regular use over time, it’s not uncommon for your custom cabinet doors to feel a little loose. It’s a frustrating issue, but one that is simple to solve at home once you can identify why the door isn’t flush to the cabinet. 

 

Hinges are the most likely culprit, but older cabinets may have warped overtime and are the most common reason why cabinet doors won't stay closed.

 

Fixing the Hinges

 

You might notice your cabinet door has loose screws or has come out alignment. It’s generally pretty easy to spot a hinge problem just by taking a close look at them when opening and closing the cabinet doors.

 

Tightening the Hinge Screws

 

Opening and closing the same cabinet door over and over is likely to make the hinges a bit loose from the strain. This is especially common when the cabinet is placed in a spot that isn’t as easily accessible, which is one reason why it’s important to determine kitchen door swing placement in your design. 

 

If you are able to lift the cabinet door up and down a little bit, it’s time to tighten up the screws. Be sure to hold the door in its correct position before going in with a screwdriver.

 

If your holes for the screws have been stripped, you have a couple of options. You can drill a new hole, or you can fill-in the stripped hole with wood glue and then allow it to dry before replacing the screw.

 

Adjusting the Hinge Position

 

In some instances, the hinge’s alignment needs adjusting. For doors that are too close to their partner door or are just askew, you can adjust hinges to move the door left and right with the screw that is closest to the cabinet door. 

 

For doors with a slight gap, you can use the screw closest to the cabinet base to move the door forwards or back. You can also adjust the hinge to move the door vertically up and down to get it back into alignment. 

 

Replacing the Hinge

 

If the hinge is broken or worn beyond repair, sometimes, the best solution is to go ahead and replace it.

 

Assessing the Cabinet Doors

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It’s possible the reason your cabinet doors aren’t shutting properly is because the doors themselves are the problem. Over time, and with exposure to water, humidity, or heat, some door materials may warp or become damaged. 

 

Warped doors are not likely fixable, and while damaged doors may be able to undergo some refinishing, both issues may require you to replace the cabinet doors altogether. 

 

Replacing the doors might be the best option if your cabinetry is on the older side and is in need of a refresh. Luckily, replacing cabinet doors does not require replacing the cabinet base and is something you may be able to install yourself.

 

The Takeaway


There’s a lot of work that goes into cabinetry, from selecting the wood, installation, and choosing the best paint for kitchen cabinet doors. Fixing small issues as they arise will ensure your cabinets can stand the test of time!