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How to Fix Kitchen Drawers: The Ultimate DIY Guide

Open drawers at modern white kitchen furniture
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kitchen drawers see regular use so while it's unsurprising that they sometimes need special maintenance, learning how to fix kitchen drawers can actually be straightforward for most DIYers. 

There's a number of fixes a kitchen drawer can require, but most homeowners will be able to take on these repairs, which can save you spending money on a handyperson and help you to once again fully appreciate your kitchen design.

Here’s a step-by-step guide covering everything you need to know about fixing a kitchen drawer.

How to Fix Kitchen Drawers: Tools List

Follow these tools and materials you'll need to fix a kitchen drawer:

Tools

  • Screwdriver
  • Drill

Materials

  • Wood glue
  • Drawer slides
  • While lithium grease

The build of a drawer can vary slightly, depending on the manufacturer, but all have the same core components: drawer sides and back, face including a handle, and a base and runners at either side - which allows the drawer to slide in and out of its base unit. 

A kitchen drawer laid on the floor

(Image credit: Emma Downer)

How do Your Fix a Loose Drawer Front?

Ensure the drawer is empty and extend it out as far as it will go, then tip it upwards to release it from the mechanism and pull it out completely. 

The drawer face will be held on by screws which can loosen over time, so simply tighten these screws as this should secure it. 

tightening screws on a kitchen drawer

(Image credit: Emma Downer)

If the screws turn without tightening then remove the drawer face and insert a tooth pick with some wood glue into the holes. Wait for this to dry and secure the front using the same holes.

inserting a tooth pick into a kitchen drawer with some wood glue into the holes

(Image credit: Emma Downer)

How do You Fix a Broken Drawer Slide?

The most common reason that a drawer slide requires fixing is that the screws have become loose, so tighten the screws if possible and, where needed, secure the slide using a different mounting hole. There are normally numbers down the length of a slide to help you pick the right hole. 

If the drawer becomes stiff, use a rag to add some white lithium grease (opens in new tab) on the moving parts, which should get it running smoothly again. If the slides are broken or worn then you may wish to replace them via the manufacturer.

Broken kitchen drawer slide

(Image credit: Emma Downer)

How do You Fix a Drawer Bottom That Has Fallen Out?

The plyboard used for a drawer bottom sits in a shallow groove near the base of the drawer, or it can be attached directly to the base. A drawer bottom may fall out if it is overloaded with heavy items, causing it to sag and eventually pop out.

You can fix a sagging bottom using a fixing kit (opens in new tab). The small plastic pieces screw into the bottom and the drawer sides to strengthen it.  

If the drawer is unsalvageable it can often be replaced; many manufactures sell replacement drawer bodies. Retain the drawer front as this can be swapped out onto the new drawer body.

How do You Fix a Drawer That Sticks Out on One Side?

Most modern drawer systems will allow you to make adjustments with a screwdriver to the height and width so that they sit flush. 

Making adjustments to a kitchen drawer with a screwdriver

(Image credit: Emma Downer)

The trick is to make incremental minor adjustments and judge by eye when they are sitting flush.

Kitchen drawer sitting flush

(Image credit: Emma Downer)

What’s The Best Kind of Drill to Use For This Job?

Pick up a small handheld drill like the Bosch cordless screwdriver (opens in new tab) for jobs like this. It offers ease of use over a handheld screwdriver and is much lighter and smaller than a regular drill so you are able to hold it at awkward angles and in small spaces for long periods.

Emma is a UK-based DIY educator and director of the social media brand ''DIY With Emma'' whose primary mission is to help more people get into DIY through sharing DIY Hacks, How-to's, and Follow-Along projects.