Update your Kitchen Hardware in 5 Easy Steps

September 20, 2012

Update your kitchen hardware in 5 easy steps
Changing door hardware is one of the easiest ways to update a kitchen, or a piece of furniture. If you’re lucky your new hardware will be the same size as your old, so there will be no extra work involved, but on occasion your new pulls or handles may require you to break out your drill.

When I recently updated my kitchen hardware I needed to use my drill and I thought I’d share what worked for me in case you’d love to update yours, but have been a little scared to try given you have to drill holes in your kitchen cabinets!

Tools you’ll need:
  • Drill
  • Drill bit that is the size of your screw
  • Drill template (I used one from Ikea, but Home Depot, etc will carry them)
  • Masking tape
  • Sharpie
  1. Determine where you want your handles to go on your cabinets, and match that location to the holes on the drill template. Mark the holes you'll use for your new handles on the template  - I used a marker, but tape would work as well.
    Update your kitchen hardware in 5 easy steps - step 1
  2. My cabinets are glossy and I worried that the drill bit would be prone to sliding on the slick cabinet surface once I started drilling. To combat this I stuck a strip of masking tape to the cabinet where I was going to drill. This helped slow any lateral movement, and also made it easily visible if the bit was shifting so I could stop and correct it before I went too far.
    Update your kitchen hardware in 5 easy steps - step 2
  3. Use the drill template to mark where your holes will go. I used a sharpie as I was marking the masking tape I applied in the earlier step. You could also use a pencil if you aren’t using the tape and didn’t want to risk a permanent mark.
    Update your kitchen hardware in 5 easy steps - step 3
  4. Start drilling. I’ll be honest – this part was scary. I started on the cabinet that is the least noticeable in case I goofed. Start slowly and make sure the bit doesn’t drift off your mark. Once the hole has gotten started you can speed up a bit.
    Update your kitchen hardware in 5 easy steps - step 4
  5. Remove the making tape and attach your new hardware.
    Update your kitchen hardware in 5 easy steps - step 5
I did one door from start to finish at a time. I did this in case there was a problem it would mean I’d only ruined one door. The process for drawers is a little different, but the steps above will work – you’ll need to find the center of the drawer (measure twice to make sure) and mark your drill holes accordingly.

Have you ever drilled holes in your kitchen cabinets? Were you as scared as I was to try it?

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  1. Oh, man, I wish I'd had this walk through a year and a half ago... I attempted to put the door hardware on our cabinets in the basement kitchen and, well... it didn't go so well. After I ruined one door, I gave up and let the husband take over. :S

  2. I love the new handles! They look really good. Nice tute as well. :-)

  3. I was SO scared I was going to ruin a door. Luckily nothing too catastrophic happened ;)

  4. Drill template?? Now that would have made my life easier! Never knew they existed before - thanks for that!

  5. great tutorial... question - what about the whole in the cabinet from the previous handle? can you see it from the side?

  6. Great tips! I also did not know that there was such a thing as a drill template. Do many projects would have got better had I known this. And the new hardware looks great.

  7. Walter Newman @ Rim DoorSeptember 25, 2012 7:45 am

    Thanks for the tips! Funny how a tip as simple as masking tape amazes me. As a man, of course my instinct solution is to use brute force to keep the drill in place.

  8. Thank you, specially for the tip about the masking tape. I should be a big girl and learn how to use the drill.

    I found you through Polish the Stars linky party.

  9. Great tips--I need this as I have new hardware to install.

  10. Hi Ashley,
    The handle I bought actually has a bar across the bottom so it looks like an oval (there's a picture here: http://sweetsuite10.com/2012/06/getting-a-handle-on-it/) so no you can't see the hole. You can see the extra hole when you open the cabinet doors though. One day when I'm not feeling lazy I'll fill the holes with wood filler or something.


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