Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How-To Install Cabinet Hardware

We recently moved into a brand new home and as first time home buyers there were many expenses we didn't think about before signing the dotted line. What...we need blinds? Hold up, there is no hardware on the kitchen cabinets?

We splurged on our plantation shutters to take care of the blind situation, but when it came to the cabinets we decided to take on a little DIY project and install the knobs ourselves.

Before and After

After scouring the Internet for helpful tips, we settled on these simple instructions on by Lee Wallender:

Step One:
Choose your Hardware
Determine what look you are going for in your kitchen/bathroom. Do you have white cabinets and want a cottage-y feel? Do you have a sleek black cabinets and need modern hardware?

We have dark cabinets and stainless steel appliances so we went for silver knobs and pulls that we found at Lowes. This is where the cost adds up, so make sure you count how many you need! We needed 52 so at $3.99 each it can get pretty spendy.

Step Two: Find the Correct Size Drill Bit
One of the scariest things I can think of would be to drill into a cabinet and discover that your hole is too big. Make sure that the drill bit fits snuggly into the holes on the back of the hardware you choose. That way when you attach the knob and pulls you will have a secure hold.

Step Three: Find your Horizontals and Verticals
From Lee's instructions,
"If you are dealing with a long stretch of doors or drawers, mark the holes on the extreme points first (left to right, or top to bottom). Draw a line between the two extreme points either with a straight edge or chalk snap line. For a row - obtain the vertical measurement, halve it, then mark that spot. Do this twice, one on each end. For a column - obtain the horizontal measurement, halve it, then mark that spot. Do this twice, one on each end."

Step Four: Find your Center
Most of the tutorials you will find online tell you to create a chalk line to line up all of your hardware. However, those chalk lines aren't the easiest to clean up and some even leave a slight greasy residue. We made a template from the first cabinet and drawer we did out of a piece of cardboard and then used that template for the rest. That way we knew they would all be in the same place without the messy clean up.

Step Five: Making Tape to Prevent Damage

We didn't do this step and if the knobs and pulls didn't cover the hole, you would see a mess. The tape provides clean removal of excess wood and prevents chipping on the area around the hole.
Step Six: Drill the Holes
Go for it and good luck!
Hope my tips have been helpful, but check out Lee's page for pictures and his explanations! Happy Drilling!


  1. Your cabinets are SO CUTE! Congrats.

  2. Very cute! But at my stage of mommyhood, all I can think is "she's going to regret those pretty fancy knobs when her little one gets old enough to pull them open now more easily":) Is it sad that I think of home decor in terms of what my toddler could destroy?

  3. Congrats on moving. I made your window pelmets a while ago and love them. When we moved into our house I did the cabinet knobs too. Even spray painted the new ones in the bathrooms to match our newly painted cabinets! Thanks for the pelmet idea!

    Love your blog and I am thoroughly jealous of your ability to sew...

  4. Great kitchen! We are in the middle of a renovation. Do you know the color of the stain on your cabinets? It's exactly the color I want! We will be tackling knobs too.

  5. Hiler-

    Thanks! I don't know the color of stain! I apologize. However, it looks very similar to my dining room table which I stained a Minwax Walnut-2716. hope that helps!


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