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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    7

    Cool Replacing hinges on mid-century kitchen cabinets

    All of our kitchen cabinet hinges are in cruddy, crumbling, disgusting condition. Most of the doors don't stay shut properly. When we bought our house as a foreclosure, serious fixer-upper, we planned on replacing the kitchen when budget allowed. Well, now we've looked at the cabinets with new light. They are pretty unique, custom mid-century modern, very danish modern like with a teak veneer, and they are back in style. It just might be possible to give them a new veneer and stain and update the rest of the kitchen, but I need to know what I'm getting into.

    They are face frame hinges. I would post a photo, but TOH won't let me based on my limited posting capabilities. I've seen similar types on-line, but wonder if I'd have to have the exact hinge style? If I can find one very similar would it not be impossible for a contractor to help us retro-fit them?

    Thanks for your help! Message me for photos.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,481

    Default Re: Replacing hinges on mid-century kitchen cabinets

    The easiest thing to do is replace like for like, then there's no holes to fill or alignment issues, but you can replace the hinges with just about anything you want depending on the current style. That is to say, surface mounted doors will require surface mounted hardware and flush doors will require butt hinges or euro hinges.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    7

    Default Re: Replacing hinges on mid-century kitchen cabinets

    The closest thing I could find doing a quick search...are these hinges here: Salice Excen-Three Self-Closing Face Frame hinges rockler.com/product.cfm?page=21311&rrt=1

    If the hole is not exact though, would that involve a lot of extra work to make them fit? I was considering taking the hinges off one of my doors and trying to fit a new one in, but this could be like one in a million, I'm not sure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    5,081

    Default Re: Replacing hinges on mid-century kitchen cabinets

    If your new hinge is slightly bigger than the old one, it would be rather easy to fit it in.

    But if you get a smaller hinge, it won't look so nice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    99

    Default Re: Replacing hinges on mid-century kitchen cabinets

    Quote Originally Posted by revival_house View Post
    Well, now we've looked at the cabinets with new light. They are pretty unique, custom mid-century modern, very danish modern like with a teak veneer, and they are back in style. It just might be possible to give them a new veneer and stain and update the rest of the kitchen, but I need to know what I'm getting into.

    They are face frame hinges. I would post a photo, but TOH won't let me based on my limited posting capabilities. I've seen similar types on-line, but wonder if I'd have to have the exact hinge style?
    Hello revival house, our former house was a mid-centrury contemporary 1973 tract house in Silicon Valley, and it just oozed with a lot of uniqueness. These are known as "Eichlers" which numbered about 11,000. There is the eichlernetwork.com with many afficiados who want to preserve their contemporary houses but they tend to be a bit more affulent because they have to be to live in high-cost Silicon Valley even though those houses sold for $35,000 new in 1973.
    On to your questions . . . . I don't know about restaining the teak veneer; there are tons of ads for resurfcaing & restaining kitchen cabinets for a "fraction of new cabinets". If you are certain it can be restained, then it is relevant to my idea.

    I think you may be free to select any new frame mounted hinge because the old holes can be filled with woods bits and putty over -- normal wood putty is a lighter shade than teak but I think you can color match the teak, either available from the big box stores, then paint stores, then suppliers to furniture refinishers (you should be able to get a good color match). With luck, you may then have new surfaces to install any new hinge, whether or not the screw holes match the old ones.

    The wood material is flat tooth picks dipped in wood glue. Insert a tooth pick into the screw hole, then pull it out and snip it just shorter so it will below below the surface line. Add some wood glue, and re-insert the toothpick(s). Wipe with a damp towel to get rid of excess glue around the screw hole, and it'll dry in half a day and you can putty over it. This is the same repair technique for filling in an oversized screw hole to fit a screw. Here, you are filling a hole so you can start a new hole either near or next to the old hole.

    If you do this in combination with restaining the teak veneer, I think you won't be able to see any patching.

    Our cabinets were wood grain laminate and we needed to "refresh" them to make the house more marketable. Painting laminate required sanding and a particular process with painting (and an experienced painter with great roller material knowledge, proper oil paint additive to the right flow, hand control, etc.) Our regret was that we didn't change-out hinges and they still looked more traditional (the classic oval shape).
    If we did what I'm suggesting to you, the new hinges would look like they were original to the cabinets because we would be able to sand down the screw hole fills (like repairing dry wall).

    Mind you, there are a lot of screw holds to fill, but it can be done of you develop a rhythm.
    Last edited by Brookworld; 07-26-2011 at 10:05 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,096

    Default Re: Replacing hinges on mid-century kitchen cabinets

    The easiest solution it to remove one hinge and take it to the oldest hardware store in town. Chances are they won't have it but they will probably know who does. You won't get such mental generosity from 'big-box' stores but the "This Old House" Advice forum comes mighty durn close. If you can't find an exact replacement get a pair of what you think will work and see what it will take to fit them. There's got to be enough wood for the screws to hold, but often it's easier to fill in a gap than to make an existing blind hole larger, and with you wanting to save the doors as-is even I would be very hesitant to risk reboring, even with clamps and a drill press. Worst case scenario have a cabinet maker (not just an installer) drop by and give you a quote on the work. Act stupid and ask a lot of questions about the process then you'll know what to do after you say goodbye.

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