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In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva updates some kitchen cabinet drawers and drawer slides.

If you’re having trouble fully extending your old drawers it’s time to replace them. In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva updates kitchen cabinet drawers with new runners so they glide smoother and have a nice soft close finish. Follow along as he shares tips and tricks to make the installation process easier.

What Is The Easiest Way to Install Drawer Slides?

The easiest way to install new drawer slides is to replace the old hardware with full ball bearing hardware. Usually, it takes too much work to modify the existing drawer boxes. Instead, you’ll want to order new drawer boxes. As shown in the video, you’ll be able to keep and re-install your original drawer fronts onto your new boxes, so that your kitchen still has a uniform look.

Drawer Slide Installation in 11 Steps

  1. Remove old drawers and drawer slides from inside the cabinet.
  2. Screw the metal drawer-slide brackets to the inside, rear of the cabinet.
  3. Set the retention clips in place against underside of drawer. Drill screw-pilot holes, then screw the clips to the drawer.
  4. Insert the drawer slides into the metal brackets at the back of the cabinet; screw the front end of the slides to the cabinet face frame.
  5. Push the drawers into the cabinet until the drawer slides click into the retention clips.
  6. Hold a drawer face against a drawer, then use your fist to pound on the face to leave screw-head impressions on drawer front.
  7. Drill two shallow ½-inch-diameter holes at each screw-head impression.
  8. Measure in about 4 inches from each side of the drawer and drill a 3/16-inch-diameter hole through the drawer front.
  9. Apply a dab of hot-melt glue to each screw head on the back of the drawer face, then immediately press the face against the drawer front.
  10. Wait about 30 seconds for the glue to harden, then gently pull open the drawer.
  11. Fasten the drawer face to the drawer front with two screws and washers. Be sure the screws aren't too long or they'll break through the drawer face.

Tools You’ll Need