How to Install Drawer Slides on Old Kitchen Cabinets: Want to give your kitchen an instant makeover? Installing drawer slides on old kitchen cabinets can do the trick, and they’re pretty easy to install.
Not interested in forking over the dough for new cabinets or counters? If you’re keen on giving your kitchen a fresh, new look without spending a lot of money, this tutorial has all the info you need to get the job done quickly and easily!
By the end of this step-by-step guide, you’ll have completely new cabinets with sleek sliding drawers that will look and function like brand new!
Research your cabinet
Many people mistakenly think that drawer slides are just for new cabinets. This is far from the truth! In fact, installing new drawer slides can give your old kitchen a complete makeover.
A little online research will help you identify the type of cabinet and find a kit containing the appropriate components for installation.
Prepare your kitchen
Before you begin installing new drawer slides, it is important to prepare your kitchen for work. Collecting tools such as tape measure, clamps, drill driver, hammer drill bits in various sizes, screwdriver and more will allow you to get started without running back and forth between tasks.
Measure your drawer
Before you can install the drawer slides, you’ll need to measure your drawer. First, find the length of your slide’s two mounting brackets. Most slides will be either 2 or 3.
Next they will be either 1/2 or 1 apart, measured center-to-center. Then measure the width of your drawer’s side, front and back using a straight edge ruler or a table saw. Lastly, draw a rectangle that is as wide as your measurements minus 1/2 inch (or 1 cm).
The length should be 6 inches longer than the height of the longest bracket measurement you found in step one.
Buy your hardware
You’ll need to purchase the hardware before starting your project. There are a variety of options that are readily available at hardware stores, which you can find by using the keyword drawer slides in the search bar of any major retailer.
Price-wise, drawer slides range from inexpensive aluminum models to more expensive metal ones, but they can still be purchased for under $10 each.
Buy two sets – one for your side-by-side drawers and one for your bottom slide-out shelves – as there’s no need to reattach either in the event of a move.
Remove the drawers
Remove the drawers. In order to get the necessary measurements for the new drawer slides, you’ll need to remove the existing drawers. To do this, start by unscrewing the hinge pins with a screwdriver or nut driver, depending on your cabinet style.
Next, simply pull out the drawer (or gently lift it upwards) while removing any items that might be within. The old drawer slides will typically stay in place if they were installed correctly in the first place and are salvageable enough to work with again.
So, remove them with a screwdriver and then use a plastic razor knife or similar tool (with caution!) to cut away any excess adhesive left behind by the slide so that you can reuse them for installation onto your new drawers!
Install your new hardware
- In order to install drawer slides, you’ll need to remove the existing hardware. There are several ways you can do this but it may take some muscle – in some cases removing the old slide requires chiseling or sanding away part of the cabinet door surface.
- Start by using a chisel or utility knife on any obstructions that might be in your way – such as nails, staples, or glued-on veneers (which are applied over raw wood).
- You’ll find that removing the old slides involves removing at least one of the cabinet’s front doors completely, so make sure you know where your hand tools are before you get started!
Replace your drawers back in the cabinet
If you’re not sure about how to install drawer slides, or if it seems too complicated, try this DIY drawer slide installation using brackets. You don’t need any skills or expensive tools. In fact, you can replace old kitchen cabinets with new ones by installing the drawer slides you removed.
It’s a very easy way to give your kitchen an instant makeover and get your cabinet back in business. For more detailed instructions visit this blog post.
Optional Steps 7, 8 & 9
- If you’re having a hard time tightening the screws or just want a better look, consider using wax on the screws for a clean, streamlined finish.
- Slide your cabinet drawer all the way in so that you can mark where your screw holes are on the bottom of the cabinet and use a ruler to find those same spots on your drawer slide before drilling them into place.
- Install one side of the slides by screwing it onto your cabinet by hand without pre-drilling any holes and make sure they’re as tight as possible with no gaps, then install the other side of each slide by screwing it in with pre-drilled pilot holes.