How to Replace Cabinet Hardware

Want to go from a knob to a pull? Or attach new handles in a different spot on your cabinets? We'll show you how to cover up any evidence of old hardware and install new knobs and pulls on existing cabinet doors.

You want to install new cabinet hardware, but aren't sure where to begin? Start here and see how to prepare your cabinets for a quick and easy makeover.

Fill and Camouflage Screw Holes

First, remove the existing hardware by loosening the screw on the back of the door while holding the old hardware in place. Find a shade of wood-filling putty that best matches your cabinet.

To cover holes on wood grain, plan to buy three shades of putty—one that matches the lightest and darkest wood grains as well as one halfway between them.

Mix a pinch of each of the three shades together until you have a hue that's as close as possible to your original cabinet.

Editor's Tip: Let some of the putty mixture dry beforehand to see if the color changes. Make adjustments as needed.

Here's the easiest way to clean your cabinets.

Use your finger to apply a pinch of putty to the cabinet where the hole is located. Push the putty into the hole to fill it completely.

See how easy it is to paint your cabinets.

Use a putty knife to compact the putty, and scrape the flat edge of the knife across the hole to create a smooth surface.

Make a statement with these low-cost cabinet makeovers.

Use a damp cloth to remove excess putty.

Allow the putty to dry completely. Add more if needed.

If the patched hole color is still not close enough to the cabinet finish, try stain markers and putty pencils to help camouflage the repair.

Attach New Hardware

Place a template from a hardware-installation kit against the edge of the cabinet, and make a pencil mark in the template's holes that correspond with your handles.

Editor's Tip: You can make your own cabinet hardware installation template with a piece of scrap wood. Make sure it's square, then mark and drill pilot holes that match the placement of your cabinet hardware.

Not sure how to pick cabinet hardware? Here's how to narrow it down.

Attach a drill bit that corresponds with the size of your handle's screws.

Carefully drill into the pencil marks, making sure you don't slip and damage the cabinet.

Editor's Tip: When determining the size drill bit to use for your pilot hole, select a bit that matches the inner diameter of the screw you'll use to attach the hardware. If your pilot hole is as wide as your screw is with the threads, the screw won't be secure.

Place the handle on the door front, lining up the holes in the door with the attachment points on the handle.

Insert the screws through the back of the door. Use a screwdriver to tighten the screws into the handle.

Repeat this process for each handle until they are all attached. Enjoy your new kitchen cabinet hardware!

1 Comment

  1. What about the hinges? You may have to update those as well and then it becomes a bigger project.

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.