How to restore and improve a wardrobe with your own hands. Part 1

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After several years of service, some models of wardrobes manufactured at the factory, for a number of reasons, cease to suit their owners. As a result, the question arises of purchasing new furniture to order, which is associated with the need to spend a considerable amount of money. Is it really necessary to do this or can this problem be solved in some other way?

How to restore and improve a wardrobe with your own hands

  • How to restore and improve a wardrobe with your own hands. Part 2
  • How to restore and improve a wardrobe with your own hands. Part 3
  • How to restore and improve a wardrobe with your own hands. Part 4

Our article will help you, saving at least 6,000 rubles, to become the owner of a completely updated wardrobe, which will be completely different from the original model, both in quality characteristics and externally.

Most often, buyers of such furniture are faced with problems associated with the operation of the sliding system. In cases of mass production of furniture, manufacturers try to minimize material costs so that their products can compete in the market due to their availability to the mass consumer. Naturally, because of such measures, the quality of furniture very often suffers. While it is new, everything works more or less tolerably, but after a few months its functional characteristics no longer suit the owners.

The main malfunctions in the case of a wardrobe are considered to be difficulties in adjusting the gaps, the lack of smooth movement of the door leaves, as well as the loss of facades from the guide profiles.

In addition, the ends of the laminated chipboard parts of this furniture are pasted over mainly with melamine edging. After a while, it can peel off and break off in some places. This is especially noticeable on the front of the side struts, as well as on the bottom and roof. Inside the case, we pay less attention to such flaws. Also, the absence of adjustable legs affects the characteristics of this furniture in a negative way, thanks to which the cabinet can be easily level in all planes. In this case, we put small flat objects under the wardrobe in the old fashioned way, allowing you to somehow align it. However, this cannot be achieved in all cases, and for the operation of the sliding system it is very important that the cabinet does not have distortions.

Serial production negatively affects the interior of the wardrobe. Designers choose the best option for the location of shelves and bars for clothes, which, in their opinion, meets the needs of most buyers. In fact, many begin to experience some inconvenience as soon as they begin to place their things in the wardrobe. The only thing they can do is change the distance between the shelves, but such rearrangements inside the case are not able to completely relieve us of various inconveniences. The lack of effective lighting (there is little use from the lamps built into the visor of the cabinet), the filling of the old model, the lack of functional devices – all this negatively affects the quality characteristics of such furniture. All the shortcomings are fully manifested after comparing this furniture with a custom-made wardrobe.


Such improvements do not require any special professional skills of the furniture maker. If you are able to independently screw the self-tapping screw into the chipboard body, measure the correct distance with a tape measure and a metal corner, and also constantly perform simple repair work at home, then this business will not be too difficult for you. You just need to know the correct sequence of actions, a list of necessary materials and tools and be able to rationally plan the interior space of the updated wardrobe.

Since the basis of this furniture is its body, consisting of parts cut from chipboard and pasted over at the ends with an edge, then we already have almost everything that we need. You do not need to make any complex calculations, fearing to make mistakes, and perform many other actions associated with the manufacture of a wardrobe from scratch. It is enough to update the case by gluing the edge again and making it more stable, screw on the adjustable legs, install a pantograph and retractable nets inside the case, make lighting and equip the improved case with a new high-quality sliding system with beautiful door leaves.

As noted above, to perform this type of work, you will need the following tool:

  • electric drill or screwdriver;
  • industrial hair dryer or old iron;
  • a set of drills for wood and metal;
  • magnetic nozzle holder;
  • nozzles for confirmations and self-tapping screws;
  • a set of locksmith tools;
  • rubber hammer;
  • confirmation drill.

As you can see from the list, no professional tool is required. Most often, every owner has such a set, if even something from the list is missing, then the purchase will not be ruinous. Moreover, all these accessories must be in the household..

Where to start work on the restoration of the wardrobe

First of all, it is necessary to remove the door leaves from the opening. This is done in different ways depending on the type of sliding system. In some cases, the facades can be easily removed from the guides, it is enough to just slightly raise them and pull them towards you. Sometimes you need a screwdriver and patience. This applies to mechanisms that have a supporting carriage moving inside the upper U-shaped profile. In such cases, laminated chipboard or MDF canvases are used as facades, which are screwed with self-tapping screws through the mounting plate to the roller mechanism. To carry out these dismantling work, it is better to involve an assistant, since it will be very inconvenient for one to unscrew the screws from the inside of the wardrobe and at the same time hold the door leaf so that it does not break.

After the facades have been removed and the guide profiles of the sliding system have been unscrewed, it is not necessary to immediately start dismantling the case. First, you need to make a drawing of this option, and on another sheet draw up a project for an improved wardrobe, in which the location of the pantograph, pull-out grids and shelves should be noted. In addition, it is recommended to number with a marker all the parts that make up the body and transfer the numbering to the drawing. By doing so, you will insure yourself against possible mistakes when you drill side racks and shelves in new places..

Repair of wardrobe

When planning how best to place the new filling in the case, you need to know one important detail: if the cabinet is three-door, then neither pantograph nor nets should be installed in the middle opening – facades may interfere with their advance. However, such interference is not possible in all cases, but it is better to keep this probability in mind. We will consider this issue in more detail in the section on the selection and ordering of a new sliding system and door panels..

The principle of the arrangement of these accessories inside the cabinet is as follows: these devices should provide you with maximum comfort when using this furniture. Therefore, retractable linen nets and shoe baskets are recommended to be placed at the very bottom of the compartments – this will eliminate the need to bend over every time and with inconvenience remove things located on the first shelves. Everyone knows that pantographs are mounted at the very top, you just need to decide on their number.

Dismantling the case begins from the back wall, which is most often made of fiberboard, less often chipboard 10 mm thick is used, but this material is used extremely rarely for factory furniture. It is also recommended to perform this procedure together, since alone you can damage the material, especially if it is nailed to the conscience. This is done like this: one person gently presses on the fiberboard from the inside in the place from where the carnations are currently being extracted, and the other, prying them, pulls out with pliers. When this seemingly simple action is performed in a hurry, in 80% of cases the back wall breaks in several places. Therefore, so much attention was paid to this stage of disassembling the wardrobe – buying a new sheet of fiberboard can cost you 450-600 rubles.

In the next stage of disassembling the case, a new obstacle may arise. The fact is that almost all factory furniture is assembled not only with the help of confirmations, but also using wooden or plastic dowels. By themselves, they cannot create any interference during dismantling, but PVA glue, which is pre-poured into the holes, very tightly connects the parts to each other. Usually, experienced furniture assemblers ignore it, thereby giving the owners the opportunity to disassemble their furniture without problems. But beginners pour the emulsion without regretting, so at this stage you can expect a “surprise”.

Restoration of wardrobe

If, after all, you are unlucky and the cabinet is glued, you do not need to use brute force. Everything can be done carefully enough without damaging the chipboard. To do this, after all the confirmations have been unscrewed, taking a rubber hammer, lightly hit it several times at the junction of the two parts. Most often, as a result of the actions taken, a small gap of several millimeters wide is formed. There is no need to continue to break the cabinet further – now we need a canvas, even for wood, even for metal. With its help, you can quickly saw through wooden or plastic rods. If you decide to ignore this advice and continue to break the body, rejoicing that you are lucky and everything is “going well”, then be ready to face a new problem soon – a piece of chipboard torn from the body. Therefore, rush at this stage is absolutely inappropriate, it is better to spend only one hour more, but do everything as it should.

Pasting with a new edge on the ends of the wardrobe

Method number 1

This option provides for pasting the ends of chipboard parts with melamine edge at home. To complete this task you will need:

  • old iron or industrial hair dryer;
  • glued melamine edge;
  • a piece of felt;
  • fine-grained sandpaper;
  • solvent and rags.

Since few people have extensive experience in pasting chipboard parts with a paper edge, it is advisable to do this work together, one more pair of hands will not hurt you. Although the list indicates that you can paste over the ends with both an iron and an industrial hair dryer, it will be more convenient and faster to work with the first electrical appliance. If you don’t have an old iron, then you can borrow a new one from your wife for a while, but you will need to give weighty arguments and provide guarantees for its safety so that she can give it to you. In fact, nothing will happen to this household appliance, you just need to periodically let it cool down and immediately remove the glue particles from the sole if they get on it..

The old edge must be removed first. To do this, use the same method of heating the adhesive base to a certain temperature, after which the paper strips easily lag behind the pressed sawdust. You just need to lift the edge of the edge with a linoleum knife. In the case of the old edge, it is recommended to put a protective layer of paper on top so as not to stain the sole of the iron once again. It is also recommended to perform these actions slowly, giving the glue time to completely melt, otherwise the edge will break every now and then. It is not necessary to remove the remnants of the sticky mass – this will greatly delay the terms of work, and will not bring much benefit.

When all the old edge has been removed, and you have time to get used to this type of work a little, you can start pasting the parts with new decor. It is better to start this business from the short invisible sides of the components in order to be able to practice and “fill your hand”. By the way, it is recommended to glue the edge around the perimeter of the parts, except for those sides that will be tightly pulled to the laminate of the neighboring component during assembly. This is due to the fact that in this way you can reduce the emission of formaldehydes contained in the chipboard. In general, products in this form should come to us from furniture factories, but due to total savings, these requirements are ignored by manufacturers.

Pasting with a new edge on the ends of the wardrobe

The process of gluing melamine edging on an adhesive basis at home is extremely simple. It is necessary to tear off a piece of this tape 5-6 cm longer than the side of the workpiece from the coil and attach it to the end of the plate so that 2-3 mm protrudes on each side – the width of the edge is usually 21-23 mm, and the thickness of the chipboard is equal 16-18 mm. In principle, it is better for a novice craftsman to use a decor released in wider skeins, which is intended for pasting tabletops. Although it costs more, the likelihood that it will “go away” in this case is zero, therefore, by paying a little more money, in the end you will win, saving a lot of your time and avoiding marriage.

The sequence of your actions and the assistant’s actions should be as follows: one of you applies an edge to the end and holds it, and the second person passes the entire length several times with an iron, and then, setting it aside, quickly, until the glue has cooled down, presses the strip with a piece of felt by running them back and forth along the edge. After a few minutes, when the glue mass hardens, you should remove excess edges protruding beyond the dimensions of the furniture blank, and carefully clean the edges with fine-grained sandpaper, removing the remaining glue with a napkin dipped in solvent. So that waiting for the glue to harden does not take much time and does not stop the whole process, it is recommended to apply the melamine decor to several parts at once, and only then remove the excess edgebands and clean them in turn.

When pasting with the edge of the side racks of the wardrobe and internal vertical partitions, due to their large length, this process should be carried out in stages, since while you go out with the iron to the end of the part, the glue will already harden at the very beginning and the decor will not adhere well to such areas. Surplus trimming and stripping are performed in exactly the same sequence as on small and medium-sized parts..

Method number 2

Pasting the components of the wardrobe with melamine edge with your own hands is, of course, exciting and will allow you to save a decent amount, but you can do a little differently. To make the cabinet aesthetically more attractive and to avoid damage to the decor at the ends of the parts during further use, it is recommended to apply a shockproof PVC edge 2 mm thick to the open part of this furniture.

Pasting with a new edge on the ends of the wardrobe

This can be done only in factory conditions on special equipment. Naturally, this will require transportation to the processing site of two side racks, the bottom and the roof of the wardrobe. This can be done in your car, as parts with such dimensions will fit perfectly on the roof rack..

If you wish, you can take all the other parts. They can be pasted over with a cheaper PVC edge, which has a thickness of 0.5 mm. These services are rendered to the population by almost all firms involved in the sale and manufacture of furniture components. The average cost of such a service will be approximately 900-1050 rubles. If the edge is applied only to the front part, then the price will be approximately 450 rubles. From all the material that you will take to the furniture company, you must remove the old edge yourself, since only in this form will you accept these parts.

How else to improve the wardrobe

In most cases, a wardrobe is installed in one of the corners of a room, be it an entrance hall, a bedroom, or any other room. When this furniture is made according to an individual project, it is not uncommon to order in addition to the cabinet a corner rounded console with shelves, which is twisted from one of the side racks with furniture ties. Factory models are mostly sold without this item. Therefore, if there is a desire and need, then you can supplement your renovated and improved cabinet with a corner end. This is not as difficult as it might seem at first..

How else to improve the wardrobe

You already know the place where you can order parts of the required dimensions – this is a company that sells and manufactures components for the manufacture of furniture. According to your measurements, from the material you have chosen, they will cut and glue with an edge all the blanks necessary for making a rounded console. All you need is a list of parts and from 2,400 to 3,000 rubles to pay for material and services.

True, such organizations most often do not help clients calculate the correct sizes. You will learn how to do it yourself here. As an example, a list of parts will be given that will be required to make a rounded end for a wardrobe with a depth of 600 mm and a height of 2300 mm – these are the most common standard dimensions of furniture manufactured at furniture enterprises.

This detailing is intended for ordering the parts necessary for the manufacture of the corner end having a height of 2300 mm, a depth of 620 mm and a width of 400 mm:

  • side end post 2300×620 mm – 1 piece;
  • back wall of the end 2300×384 mm – 1 piece;
  • rounded end shelves 382×602 – 8 pcs;
  • plinth for ending 80×650 mm – 1pc.

These dimensions are provided as a template. Of course, even factory furniture has different heights and depths, so you can calculate the values ​​you need by adding or subtracting the difference between the template indicators and the real dimensions that your furniture has. Let’s say you have a sliding wardrobe with a height of 2050 mm and a depth of 580 mm, and you also want to have a depth of the corner end not 400, but 350 mm. Then your detail will look like this:

  • side post of the end 2050×600 mm – 1 piece;
  • back wall of the end 2050×334 mm – 1 piece;
  • rounded end shelves 332×552 mm – 8 pcs;
  • end plinth 80×600 mm – 1 piece.

All these details can be cut from a sheet of laminated chipboard of 2750×1830 mm format, after cutting which small scraps will remain, from which you can make a shelf or another either for this cabinet or for other furniture. Chipboard is sawn on a panel saw according to the cutting map after you draw it up in the office with one of the employees, dictating all dimensions to him. On the same drawing, the places where the PVC edge is applied are marked and the parts whose edges need to be rounded are indicated.

Also here you can order to drill holes for confirmations in the ends of the shelves and the back wall of the corner end. This service is not too expensive, and you can save yourself from possible damage to parts – the thing is that when you drill into the chipboard with an electric drill, the drill can go out through the laminate. A similar nuisance happens to experienced craftsmen, not to mention beginners in the furniture business, so it is better to exclude the risk. In addition, on the machine, all holes will be made strictly at right angles and with an accuracy of a fraction of a millimeter, which will ensure easy and quick assembly..

What you need to buy in a furniture hardware store

When the time comes to pick up the cut-out and PVC-edged parts from the wardrobe, you will need to make some purchases at the furniture accessories store. It is better to do this with a pre-compiled list, since very often people forget to buy some small change. It is clear that everyone’s furniture is different and differs in size and number of compartments. We list all the necessary fittings needed to improve the performance of a 3-door wardrobe with a width of 2100 mm. The distance between the vertical posts of its internal openings is 678 mm, it is for these dimensions that pantographs and retractable nets for clothes, bed linen and shoes should be selected.

What you need to buy in a furniture hardware store

It was already noted earlier that, due to the specifics of the sliding system, in our case it will be possible to use such mechanisms only in the two extreme openings. Therefore, it will be enough to buy:

  • pantograph – 1 piece;
  • retractable linen nets – 3 pcs;
  • pull-out shoe baskets – 2 pcs;
  • oval tube for clothes – 1.5 m;
  • pipe holders – 4 pcs;
  • confirmations – 50 pieces;
  • self-tapping screws 3.5×15 – 100 pcs;
  • adjustable legs – 7 pcs;
  • furniture ties – 8 pcs;
  • stickers covering the caps of confirmations – 1 leaf.

In addition to this list of accessories, you may also like the fittings that make the wardrobe even more functional. For example, there are built-in ironing boards that are also permanently mounted inside the body. Their cost starts from 3000 rubles, depending on the model and the manufacturer, it can be much higher. Anything that costs less than the specified amount should not be purchased, since the quality of such products raises great doubts. But when buying any additional accessories, you should always remember that your wardrobe is not rubber.

An excess of fancy mechanisms is as bad for him as their absence, so everything should be in moderation. If you still want to buy a pull-out ironing board for a wardrobe, you will need to give up one mesh. And so in each individual case: choosing something new, we get rid of the old. Otherwise, a large number of shelves, fittings and accessories will make your wardrobe not functional furniture with excellent characteristics, but an exhibition exhibit that cannot be used in everyday life..

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