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All about butterfly hinges

As the name suggests a butterfly hinge has a butterfly-like shape and decorative finish that makes it good to look at but also functions as a hinge should. Due to its design the butterfly hinge is most often used when the hinge can be seen – on doors, furniture etc. Designs will vary but all will have a central pin.

There are many ‘period’ style designs of butterfly designs that provide the perfect finishing touch when restoring antique or vintage furniture or to give a period touch to a more modern item. However there are many contemporary designs too for contemporary furniture or upcycling projects. Scrolled or embossed finishes are also not uncommon. Butterfly hinges are very easy to find today – most online DIY or hardware stores will have an extensive range and in a variety of finishes to suit pocket and design: ‘antique’ style black, electro brass, zinc plated, self-colour and polished brass. Salvage yards sometimes have genuine antique pieces. The screws are finished to match so they will be less visible, and sit flush inside the screw holes, which are typically bevelled.

Replacement hinges and screws are generally available through hardware and home supply stores for projects like refurbishing old trunks or hanging new cabinet doors. It may also be possible to find them at salvage companies, for cases where people want to use historic hardware if possible.

Uses of a butterfly hinge

Butterfly hinges can be useful for a range of furniture projects. Boxes, cabinets, and other projects with hinged doors, panels, and similar features may require ornamental hardware to provide a suitable look and finish. Depending on design, a butterfly hinge could be visible when a project is closed or opened, and can contribute to the overall appearance.

As when choosing all hinges, when selecting a butterfly hinge pay attention to weight rating and screw depths. These hinges will come in a variety of sizes but choosing the wrong size will have an effect on the functioning of the hinge as it will not hold up weight as it opens and closes. This will cause a door or lid to fall out of plumb. Screw depth can also be important, as long screws may penetrate all the way through or could create cracks in the surface material.

Find the perfect hinge every time with out Hinges Fact File blog