Help me find cabinet hinges.
November 17, 2016 3:12 PM   Subscribe

I want to do a little upgrade to the kitchen. The cabinets frame is solid wood (maple?) but the doors are plywood. My plan is to paint the doors white, then change the hinges and pulls.

I figured this would be a simple project, just do one set of doors per weekend, done by Christmas. I found the paint. The pulls or knobs are easy, I just fill the old holes, paint, and put the hardware wherever. The hinges are the problem. I hate them. The doors are half overlay, so I can use hinges that mount to the back of the door, and mount on the front of the frame (like these.) The only problem I'm having is finding hinges that will cover up the holes from the old hinge. The old hinges are big, 3.5" tall, 1" wide, 2.5" between screws.

Filling in the holes doesn't look great, and since the cabinets are about 40 years old, when you take the hinges off you can see the "ghost" of where the hinges were.

Anyone figure out a fix? Maybe a large hinge, maybe a plate the hinge would mount to, maybe a stencil under the new hinge? Thought about putting veneer over the horizontal stiles, but then I'd have to do the vertical, then the ends. All of a sudden I'm refacing, and writing a big check. I've never seen a hinge that would cover up the "ghost," except for a direct replacement... and I hate the current hinges.
posted by Marky to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Your plan is to paint the doors, but leave the boxes unpainted?

Paint the boxes, too. Short of that, sand and refinish the face frames. (Which, well that's a hard dirty job.)

What about keeping the hardware and having it painted or dipped in chrome or electroplated to change the appearance just enough to make it tolerable?
posted by notyou at 4:23 PM on November 17, 2016

Sand the ghosts away?
posted by amtho at 4:27 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

They sell stuff called wood filler that's supposed to be for this purpose... is that what you tried that leaves the ghost? Even after sanding?

good luck man, that's God's work you're doing right there. THOSE HINGES. Woof.
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:38 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Can you use the inside of the door as the outside?
posted by the webmistress at 7:46 PM on November 17, 2016

As you mentioned, one option is a larger hinge. Something along these lines might work if you have enough overlay.

Or....try using two simple, smaller hinges instead of one gigantic hinge. Maybe double up on the top and use a single larger hinge on the lower connection for balance? Bonus: adult gorillas could swing from your cabinet doors!

Or....if you like metalwork at all, either DIY or find an ironsmith to transform the dated shapes into something more modern. Take along those cabinet handles for additional raw material if they're the same stuff. I suspect you'll still "see" the hinges but it might be worth a shot.

Depending on your budget, an easier option than all of the above is paint. Break up the hinge by painting the front part to match your beautiful and newly painted door. The frame section is trickier to figure out on color. The trick to making it work will be making a visual break in the hinge so it looks like a semi-concealed hinge.

Good luck with your project!
posted by Kalatraz at 8:26 PM on November 17, 2016

Find a contractors cabinet outlet, this is for people who build. In Salt Lake, there is Louis and Sons, they have a hundreds of hinges, handles, fittings, and extras to make your cabinets look incredible. It is great to go in there, the inventory is so huge, and you can look it over it gives a lot of ideas. This is an example.
posted by Oyéah at 9:09 PM on November 17, 2016

I'm with notyou, paint the face frame and choose whatever hinges you want.

I understand the reluctance to cover nice wood, but given that just a relatively narrow strip is visible, it's not worth the effort to try to remove the ghost of the old hinge or to force you to accept a hinge you aren't crazy about.
posted by she's not there at 9:13 PM on November 17, 2016

Most hinges/handles have the same hole spacing. If you're not seeing ones locally that you like, look online...there's a lot of stuff out there. Remove doors Friday night. Sand/prep (palm/1/4 sheet sander) Saturday. Paint Sunday. Allow to dry all week! For sturdy paint! Reinstall the next Saturday. Sanding will remove hinge ghosts.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:13 PM on November 17, 2016

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