How to Install Cabinet Hardware

A quick way to update a kitchen is to switch out the hardware. Though drawers and pulls tend to be small, they make a significant impact on the overall appearance of the room. Installing new hardware isn’t complicated. Use ordinary tools and materials to create an extraordinary new look.

Reusing Old Holes

If you purchase new hardware that matches the holes of the existing pulls and knobs, the replacement process takes minutes.

  • Start by using a screwdriver to remove screws on the inside of the doors and drawers.
  • Line up each new piece of hardware with its holes, and put in the screws.
  • Tighten the screws well, and you’re done.

Some old-style pieces of hardware might have nuts and washers holding them on.

  • Loosen and remove the nut, slip off the washer and pull off the knob or pull.
  • If the new hardware has the same fastening system, insert the bolt through the original hole.
  • Slide the washer all the way up, then twist the nut on tightly.

Creating New Holes

Sometimes the hardware you really want doesn’t match the existing holes. That’s not a problem — it just takes a few extra steps.

  • After removing old hardware, determine the spots for the new holes. Many hardware and home improvement stores sell templates that guide you to properly position new holes so they’re both functional and pleasing to the eye. Using a template, mark the spots for your new holes and drill them out.
  • It’s easier to camouflage the old holes before you put up the new hardware. You have far better access for filling and covering holes up.
  • Use wood putty to fill them completely.
  • Remove any excess filler with a putty knife.
  • Let the putty dry. Depending upon the size of your hole, this can take a few hours or the entire day.
  • Lightly sand the area with 150-grit paper to make sure it’s smooth.
  • If the hole is gone, prime the area and then cover with paint or finish.
  • If you can still see the hole, repeat the wood putty application process.
  • When the paint or finish has dried, screw your beautiful new hardware into the new holes you made.

Replacing cabinet hardware can make a dramatic difference. With minimal work and expense, you’ve refreshed and updated the room’s appearance.

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