Quick Adjustment guide

After replacing your Cabinet Doors and Drawer Fronts, you'll want to adjust them so that everything looks fantastic.

Our Quick Adjustment Guide will help you to just that.

Your new doors and drawer fronts are finally installed and look great, but some of them don't seem to line up JUST right.

we're going to show you how to adjust your new doors AND drawer fronts so your new kitchen shines!

Tools you will need

  • Tape measure

  • phillips screwdriver

  • Painters tape

  • Pencil

    WE RECOMMEND A SECOND PERSON TO HELP speed up the process

1. Check doors for level

Some doors may have a different "Reveal", from one to the other, making them look crooked.  "Reveal" is the amount of cabinet Face Frame behind the door and drawer front that is visible when the door or drawer front are closed.

You can check to see if your doors need to be adjusted by measuring the Reveal at the bottom of the door on the left and right sides, for wall cabinets, and the top of the door to the counter top for base cabinets, also on the left and right sides of the door.

    Not familiar with some of the terms you see here?

Visit the common cabinet terms section to learn more

2. adjust your doors

For this exercise, we're going to assume that you have Face Frame Cabinets with 1/2" Overlay Doors.

If you are not sure which kind of Cabinets, Hinges or Overlay you have, please refer to the proper Guide in our DIY Library

The type of Hinges you have will determine how you can adjust the Reveal.  For a better understanding of the different types of Hinges, check out the Types of Hinges section in our DIY Library.

Below is what typical Face Frame Hinges look like and where to find their adjustment screws.

DIY Cabinet Doors Hinge Adjustment Screws

(a) To properly adjust the doors, open the door and place two pieces of Painters Tape on the horizontal Face Frame of the cabinet (Rail) just above the door for base cabinets and below the door for wall cabinets, as in the example below.

We're going to use the same technique to adjust the Drawer Fronts, so you can also place Painters Tape on the drawer openings at this point, if you like.

DIY Cabinet Doors Door Adjustment Guide 

(b) Measure the from the inside edge of the horizontal rail and place a mark on the Painters Tape the same distance that your Overlay is.  In this example we are using 1/2" overlay, so we will place a mark 1/2" from the opening. 

(c) Repeat this for all door openings.

(d) Next, close the door and compare the marks with the actual door placement.  If you cannot see the marks, it means the door is covering the marks and needs to be moved. 

If both marks are visible but away from the marks, the entire doors needs to be moved closer.

To move the entire door, loosen screw #2 in all hinges.  
*For cabinets up to 36" tall, you should have 2 hinges.  For taller cabinets, you should have 3 hinges or more.

Slide the door up or down so that the marks are even with the edge of the door then secure screw #2 for all hinges.

*In some cases, the door may not line up with both marks, this is ok.  Line up the door with the mark that is closest to the hinge and we'll adjust it from there.

If both marks are now lined up with the edge of the door, we may proceed to step 2(f)
If both marks are NOT lined up with the edge of the door, proceed to the next step

Assuming the mark closest to the hinge is lined up with the edge of the door, adjust Screw #1 on the hinge furthest from the edge you are lining up. 
* For example, if you are working on a Wall Cabinet Door and trying to line up the bottom of the door, adjust Screw #1 in the  TOP HINGE of that door first.
** For doors with more than 2 hinges, you may have to adjust all of the hinges a little at a time in order to achieve the proper alignment.

This adjustment screw moves the door side to side, so adjusting the top hinge left or right (on a wall cabinet) will cause the bottom corner of the door opposite the hinges to go up or down. 

Adjust the hinge until both marks are lined up with the edge of the door.

**Note: On some cabinets with double doors, it may be necessary to adjust the gap between the doors.  If the door gap is > 1/8" or the doors are touching, adjust the let and right hinges so that you have the same reveal on the left and right doors while maintaining the 1/8" gap between the doors.
  Be sure to first adjust the reveal before adjusting the double door gap

(f) Screw #3 is used to slide the hinge forward and backward.  This may be necessary if your cabinets are racked from being installed on walls that are not perfectly plumb.  Over time, your doors may warp from being exposed to direct sunlight, this is common for real wood products and can be adjusted using this screw.

You can easily tell if Screw #3 needs to be adjusted by pressing each corner of the door opposite the hinges to see if they flex.  The doors should be tight to the Face Frame, so any movement can be adjusted by moving Screw #3 in or out slightly. 
*In some cases, it is necessary to adjust both hinges in order for the door to sit flush against the cabinet face frame.

3. adjust your drawer fronts

Most newer cabinets have Drawer boxes that utilize an Under-mount quick clip that locks the drawer box onto the Under-mount drawer glides, as in the image below.

DIY Cabinet Doors Drawer Quick Release brackets in Orange

Under-mount Drawer Glides vary but most offer the same abilities in adjustments.
There are 3 basic adjustments for Under-mount Drawer Glides; Side, Height and Depth.

DIY Cabinet Doors Under-mount Drawer Glide Adjustment

Side adjustments are typically controlled by the roller that you simply roll Left or Right.
This adjustment is used to move the drawer box, and subsequent Drawer Front, Left or Right.

Height adjustments are typically controlled by the sliding lever.
This adjustment is used to move the Left or Right side of the drawer box Up or Down.

Depth adjustments are typically controlled by a screw but sometimes also utilize a roller.
This adjustment is used if the drawer fully closes on one side but does not on the other.
It moves the drawer In or Out slightly on the adjusted side.

Most adjustments must be made on both sides simultaneously in order for the drawer box to move.

Older cabinets commonly utilize side mount drawer glides like those shown below.

Be sure to hold the Replacement Drawer Front in place as you begin attaching it with screws so that it does not move.

Do not tighten the screws all the way down until you are certain that the new drawer front is set perfectly in place.

Open and close the drawer to ensure that it opens and closes smoothly.  Once you are satisfied with the placement, tighten all screws and proceed to the next drawer front.