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Adjusting cupboard doors – how to adjust the hinges easily yourself

A hinge on a cupboard door is being adjusted with a screwdriver
Correctly adjusting cupboard doors is easier than you might think.

  • Difficulty
  • Cost
    none €
  • Duration
    15–30 minutes


Almost every cupboard door uses hinges for smooth opening and closing. But they often need readjusting if the cupboard door doesn’t close properly, is difficult to open, or if it opens by itself or just doesn’t hang straight. This is unsightly and can also damage the cupboard in the long run. No problem! It takes just a few simple steps to adjust your cupboard doors correctly. Cupboard doors that stick or don’t close properly quickly become a thing of the past.

You need
  • No materials needed
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter


Correctly adjusting the door hinges ensures that your cupboard doors open smoothly and close flush to the cupboard frame. Most cupboard doors today are fitted with concealed hinges (also called Euro hinges) – these are completely invisible when the cupboard doors are closed. Very old cupboards may have other types of hinges. Give it a try, but make sure you don’t damage the cupboard or the doors.

By the way: If you want to replace your cupboard doors for sliding doors, we have a tutorial for DIY sliding doors for you.

Which screw has what effect?

First of all, you should check the direction in which you have to correct your cupboard door in order to adjust it correctly. As already mentioned, most modern doors have concealed hinges, which makes the job much easier. There are three different screws for you to adjust the height, depth or lateral alignment.

Schematic diagram for adjusting cupboard doors
Here you can see which is the right screw for aligning cupboard doors.

Let’s get started – step-by-step instructions

First, think about which screw is relevant for you and then carry out the corresponding step. If you want to completely adjust your doors from scratch, simply proceed in order – first adjust the height, then the depth and finally the angle. Make sure from the very outset that your cupboard is level. Otherwise, you will not be able to adjust your cupboard doors correctly.

You don’t necessarily have to adjust the screws by hand. A cordless drill/driver can make the work much easier. 

Want to repaint your doors beforehand? Then take a look at our video tutorial on sanding and painting wooden doors. And while you’re at it, you might as well paint your old furniture. When painting wooden furniture, a paint spray system can also be helpful.

Our illustration shows you which screw affects which direction:

Step 1 3

Adjusting the height

Loosen the two upper screws on both door hinges (four in total) until the door can be moved. Lift the door up or down by hand to centre it over the cupboard door opening.

Get a friend to help you hold the door in the right position while you adjust the height. If the doors are at floor level you can do it on your own. In this case, it’s sufficient to put one foot under the door.
Step 2 3

Adjusting the depth

Loosen the centre screw shown on each door hinge (top and bottom) and push or pull the door into the correct position by hand. If the door is adjusted correctly, it should open and close easily without jamming or catching on the frame of the cupboard. Base the depth of the door on the depth of other doors or drawers. Ideally, all doors and drawers should be in alignment.

Step 3 3

Adjusting the lateral alignment

Tighten the screw clockwise to move the door away from the centre and loosen the screw anticlockwise to move the door towards the centre. This is a little difficult because the direction in which the door moves depends on which side of the door the hinges are on. To move a door with a hinge on the right-hand side to the right, turn the screw clockwise. To move it to the left, turn the screw anticlockwise. For a door with a hinge on the left-hand side, you have to do the opposite, i.e. turn the screw clockwise to move the door to the left and anticlockwise to move it to the right.

If the cupboard door isn’t hanging straight, you can first adjust the upper and then the lower hinge separately. The hinges may have to be aligned differently depending on the position of the cupboard.

Finally, tighten all the screws for correct alignment and voilà, your cupboard doors are correctly adjusted. The contents of your cupboard are now properly protected from dust.

If there’s one thing you can never have enough of, it’s storage space. If you’re short of places to store things at home, we have 10 tips to help you create more storage space. There’s also a lot of things to store in the kids room – with a DIY chest of drawers for kids it’s really fun.

DIY is all the rage – as is upcycling. We’ve got some great ideas for you on how to refurbish a boring chest of drawers or re-design a chair using fabric. You can find a large number of DIY upcycling videos on our YouTube channel.