The space below the sink is a false front.

How to Make a Small Hinged Drawer at the Sink

by Wade Shaddy

You might have seen sinks with what appears to be a small drawer in front. It's actually a tilt-out drawer front. They're perfect for dishcloths, brushes or anything related to kitchen duties. The space below the sink is actually a false front, installed by the cabinetmaker for consistency to look as if there were a drawer behind it. But in actuality, there's no room for a drawer because of the sink, but there is room for a small tilt-out space containing a plastic bin.

Open the doors below the sink. Reach into the cabinet with a flashlight. Look up behind the front of the sink where the false fronts are attached. There are typically two false fronts. You can choose to take them both off to make drawers if desired, or only one.

Loosen two screws holding two sticks to the back of the face frame using a screwdriver. Twist the sticks parallel with the face frame to release the false front. Remove the false front from the front of the cabinet.

Place the false front face down on a flat surface. Center a 3/4-by-6-inch-long piano hinge on the bottom side of the false front, with one half of the hinge folded over the edge. Screw the hinge to the back of the false front using a drill/driver and 1/2-inch screws.

Center the false front tray above the hinge. Screw the tray to the back of the false front with 1/2-inch screws using the two drilled holes in the tray. Separate the two halves of the magnetic latch. Screw one half of the latch, centered, on the back of the false front at the top using the holes provided and 1/2-inch screws.

Center the false front over the cabinet opening. The false front should be lying flat. Place the loose half of the piano hinge on the edge of the cabinet opening. Screw it to the bottom of the opening using 1/2-inch screws in the holes in the hinge.

Screw the 4-inch-long chain to one side of the face frame. Screw the other end of the chain to the back of the false front so that when the false front is open, it's angled at 30 degrees. Use 1/2-inch screws and washers. Clip the slack end of the chain off if necessary with diagonal pliers.

Screw the other half of the magnetic catch, centered, on the bottom of the edge at the top of the cabinet opening using 1/2-inch screws.

Close the drawer by tilting it forward to engage the two halves of the magnetic latch. Some adjustment may be needed on the magnetic latch if it doesn't immediately grasp onto the false front. There are oval-shaped holes in it for this purpose. Loosen the screws, move the latch in the direction needed and tighten the screws.

Items you will need

  • Flashlight
  • Screwdriver
  • Piano hinge, 3/4 by 6 inches
  • Drill/driver
  • 1/2-inch screws
  • False front tray
  • Magnetic latch
  • 4-inch-long chain
  • Diagonal pliers (optional)


  • Depending on the cabinet design, there may be one long false front or two shorter ones. Choose a tray that fits. Purchase them at any home supply store in a kit that contains everything you need to install it.


  • Wear safety glasses when working with tools or wood.

About the Author

Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, “Dark Canyon,” in 2008.

Photo Credits

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