How to repair a broken cabinet door?


I picked up this gorgeous cabinet at my local 'thrift' store but, somewhere between purchase and delivery, one of the doors was broken off at the hinge . The existing hinges (loose pin) are beyond repair and I'm having trouble finding exact replacements. My question is: Do they have to be loose pin? If I buy fixed pin hinges, do they have to be 'recessed' into the wood (not sure if I'm explaining myself well here) or do they just sit on top of the wood as the existing hinges do? I don't think I need the 'functionality' of a loose pin hinge (i.e. I don't need to be 'lifting' the door off), but really don't want to be taking a hammer and chisel to the wood (knowing my level of - ahem - 'skill' )Can anyone advise me please?

q how to mend my cabinet
  8 answers
  • Natalie Natalie on Oct 14, 2019

    Most hinges have to sit in some recessed area or else your door won't open and close properly. Hopefully there is no damage to the wood! This piece is gorgeous!

    • Trish Sykes Trish Sykes on Oct 15, 2019

      Thank you Natalie - on closer inspection, I see that one side of the hinge is, in fact, recessed. I can't see any new damage to the wood where the hinges are, although there is a piece of 'moulding/beading' missing from the bottom of one of the doors. I'll probably be able to replace that at some point but, for now, getting the door back on is priority!

  • Gk Gk on Oct 14, 2019

    Take a picture with your phone of this cabinet and a few pictures of the hinges. Take the pictures to a local hardware store or home improvement store and see if you can find a substitute. You should be able to find a substitute that you can't see from the outside! Great find! Gorgeous!

  • GeorgiaBulldogsFan GeorgiaBulldogsFan on Oct 14, 2019

    Wow, I don’t blame you for being furious! I would have come unhinged! No pun intended. The piece is gorgeous and I hope you find suitable replacements. I would have asked for, at the very least, a partial refund since “they” caused the damage. Please keep us updated.

    • Trish Sykes Trish Sykes on Oct 15, 2019

      Thanks Georgia - but unfortunately I don't know whether it was the thrift store when they loaded the item onto van, or the removal firm when they UNloaded it! I'm pretty gutted, but reckon it's repairable...

  • Rosy Rosy on Oct 15, 2019

    If you can't locate the correct hinge at a place like Home depot try one of the woodworking shops. They are places that sell exotic woods, fine woodcrafting materials, speciality hardware. Think craftsman that make fine items such as hand made jewelery boxes. A store of this type may be able to help you.

    • Trish Sykes Trish Sykes on Oct 15, 2019

      Thanks Rosy - although the craftsman-type woodcrafting shops may be a little hard to find here (South-Wales valleys)! I will try shopping around though...

  • William William on Oct 15, 2019

    Find hinges that look similar. Doesn't matter if they are loose pin or not. Mount them the same way as the other hinges are.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Oct 15, 2019

    For the part of the missing molding you can make a mold of that trim from the existing using layers of hot glue over it. Let cool and peel off. Fill the mold with Bondo and let dry. Pop out of the mold and it will match/fit in the missing part.

    • Trish Sykes Trish Sykes on Oct 15, 2019

      Wow! Brilliant! Although I’ll need to find out what ‘Bondo’ is here in the uk?! Should I smear Vaseline before putting the hot glue on so that I can remove it?

  • Dfm Dfm on Oct 16, 2019

    bondo is an automotive product, used to fill in small dents etc.

    • Rosy Rosy on Oct 16, 2019

      Bondo is for automotive use but there is an all purpose Bondo that is great for repairing furniture, flooring etc. It can be painted but dont thing it would stain well but dont know.

  • Trish Sykes Trish Sykes on Oct 17, 2019

    Thanks, both! I'll need to look into it more...but should I put Vaseline/grease on the moulding before using the hot glue, so that I can peel it off? I would have thought that the glue would stick?!