Repairing pulled-out cabinet hinges in large MDF door

15 Feb 2016
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United Kingdom
Been asked to mend an MDF wardrobe door in my daughter's house; the hinges have pulled out.

It's a great big door, almost 2m in height and about 500mm wide. It's made of 15mm MDF and then has some strips of something (probably thin MDF) on the front to give a panelled effect, so it's pretty heavy. It's hinged by four cabinet-type hinges, secured in the usual way with Euro screws into plastic plugs (at least I think they're all like that; I wasn't there when they pulled out and they don't all seem to have plugs now). Photographs at

The question is: how to mend it? I've thought of:

(1) Drilling the existing holes out and gluing in "proper" wood plugs, to screw into. Not sure this would be strong enough: gluing into MDF isn't wonderful.

(2) Hinge repair plates, like and a number of other patterns. Never used these; do they really work or are they just a bodge?

(3) Moving all four hinges away from their current locations and re-doing them in the same way as at present. I've not fixed this pattern of hinge before and I don't fancy learning on the job (and I'd need to buy the requisite drill). I'd be inclined to put five hinges in if I could.

Advice on how to do this would be gratefully received.
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a quick'ish and dirty fix would be to drip a bit of thin superglue into the ripped out holes to soak into the MDF and stabilise it (use some activator spray to speed up curing) then put some epoxy in the holes and insert new plugs, let it cure then screw back in.
Thank you for these encouraging replies. I like the idea of "dripping" adhesive into the holes but suspect it would be hard to get it right into the hold with the carcase of the wardrobe in place vertically, as it has to be. So I've asked them to take relevant measurements of the hinges, to make sure the plates will fit, and I'll try those. I'll report back here, for completeness, when I've done.
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Drill in from the EDGE of the door and insert dowelling plugs, then your hinge fixing screws will go 'sideways' into the dowelling and you won't rely on the pull-out resistance of the screw threads in MDF.
the repair plates do work, I fit them as standard now when building MDF wardrobes, not sure they will work with the screws in your hinges, they don't look like euro screws. Euro screws are fatter and have a flat end. just swap the hinge plate or the whole hinge.
I'm vastly more informed after all this discussion. I think I'll press ahead with plates (and get some Euro screws if need be); then if that doesn't work for some reason I'll do the dowels-in-from-the-edge trick (never thought of that; automatically visualised plugs going in from the surface of the MDF). Thanks all.
i would take a few spare hinges with you as theres a fair chance some hinges will be bent or twisted

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