A kitchen cabinet door just fell off when opening it. The hinge had rusted, so I think that it required much more force to open, hence pulling out the screws.

I don't wish to replace the door right now and wish to repair it. Although the hinges are going to be replaced.

The problem is that the screw holes are now too big and so will not hold the appropriate sized screw. The door has limited thickness and the original screw already used most of it, hence I can't use a longer screw.

What can I do to repair this with the least amount of work?

I am inclined to just fill the screw holes with matchsticks and wood glue. This might work, but I am unsure if it will last since the screws will be under stress whenever the door is opened. The door is made from MDF.

  • drill all way through ... use a machine bolt and nut
    – jsotola
    Oct 15, 2022 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


Rust means damp. Damp is usually fatal to MDF. I doubt any repair will work or last long.

With the right tools/templates you could reposition the hinges to avoid the damaged area.

You might try drilling out the screwholes, glueing in a dowel, cutting flush and drilling pilot holes for screws.

For a temporary fix disregarding aesthetics (that door looks ugly anyway) I'd maybe try bolts all the way through with large washers ("repair washers") or repair plates on the outside. That might be less likely to fall on someone's foot and cause a hospital visit.

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