How to repair a kitchen cabinet that is pushing out on the side?


The shelf came down inside, and I thought the shelf brackets just broke, but new brackets won’t work because the real issue is the cabinet side pushed out from the back. There is another cabinet next to it, which it the one above the fridge. There is gap between the cabinets, but you can’t see it from the front. Any ideas how I can fix this?

q how to repair a kitchen cabinet that is pushing out on the side
  10 answers
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 08, 2021

    I have read and reread you question at least 5 times, thank you for the picture. I was not sure what you were asking at first, please correct me if I misunderstand your problem.

    It looks like the left side panel of the cupboard came out of the joint it forms with the back panel. The side panel came forward into where you are facing it.

    First, make sure nothing is in the joint where the sides meet, use a flat headed screwdriver and be careful to not scratch anything.

    Can you take some wood glue and glue it back into position. You'll need something to hold it in place until the glue sets. Or apply the glue and let it set until it starts to harden, then re-insert the side panel. Wipe away any excess.

    • See 1 previous
    • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 08, 2021

      Hi Grace,

      That certainly is an option-taking the cabinet down, gluing,and clamping. I was trying to spare you that step. Best to you.

  • William William on Mar 08, 2021

    Removing the cabinet is the best solution. It looks like the side has separated from the back. The back panel is thin and fits into a groove in the side, top, and bottom of the cabinet.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Mar 08, 2021

    My mom had this problem in one of her cabinets and the easiest way for us to fix it was just to add new larger L shaped shelf brackets and screw them in place. Worked like a charm!

  • Betsy Betsy on Mar 08, 2021

    Hi John: Do you think you can use some finish nails to secure that strip back in?

  • Betsy Betsy on Mar 09, 2021

    If he uses a tack hammer, they're specialized hammers, it's possible to get right up to the back of the cabinet. You put a piece of cardboard between the hammer and cabinet back to avoid scratching. Anyway, it's up to John to see if this is doable.

  • Annie Annie on Mar 09, 2021

    Upper cabinets arent that hard to take down, usually just a few screws. I would take it down. You may need to use some glue and screws and perhaps a couple of "L" brackets in a spot that cannot be seen. Good Luck

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 12, 2021


    It my be possible to knock this back in with a rubber hammer and a piece of timber from the front!

  • John John on Mar 13, 2021

    So I am going to try and get the side back in place 1st while it is hanging. The cabinet next to it is smaller. (The above the fridge Cabinet.) so that gives me some access to the side. If I can get the bottom corner back in, I am thinking I can slowly wedge a piece of wood just the right width between the cabinets. If that works I will use brackets to secure it in place. I think I will mount the wood at the top and bottom, short enough it doesn’t show for extra support.

    If that fails I will have to take it down. I am trying to avoid that but if I have to do it I will. Thanks for the advice. When I first saw it, I was completely stumped but now I realized this can fixed. I can let you all know how it goes and take pictures if you want.