Might Be In Over My Head…Maybe?

So once my cabinets were painted there was only one obvious next step…the hardware. When I first started, I wasn’t really concerned with time so I had this idea on how to deal with the hardware. BUT as my cabinets rapidly started taking vast more amount of time than I planned, my idea, which was work intensive, started to wear on me fast. SO I came up with a different solution. So now I needed to decide between Option 1: Refinish and Option 2: Replace.

Option 1 in Cabinet Hardware Upgrade

Old Hardware of Hardware Upgrade

So ever the fan of the amazing varieties of spray paints these days, I had this great idea of refinishing my old hardware. I had done something similar with a metal cabinet I once owned and it came out like a completely different metal and no one knew my little secret. But this was a little different. These babies were going to be used, screwed in and abused. So off I headed to my local neighborhood Lowes…told yea, there are multiple times during a project.

I was advised that based on the wear I was planning, that first I needed to prime, then once it had cured, I could paint, and again letting it cure, and finally apply a protective coat…which to my delight came in Satin! This was however sounding like a lot of work…for something so little. So Option 2 came to life.


Option 2 in Cabinet Hardware Upgrade

new hardware outsideReplace…I mean really how expensive could these little guys be! So it was time for a little investigation. Coincidentally, I was able to find the exact hinges; just in polished chrome. What this meant was no sealing screw holes and re-drilling, no extra work. All these required was to put them in the EXACT spot as the previous ones. And since I wasn’t trying to do a major kitchen overhaul…more of a much needed facelift…these would look awesome and work perfectly. And at right around $2 a pair after the Lowe’s discount, they were approximately $40 to replace. My time was so worth more than $40!

So when added to my hardware score on handles and knobs, my whole hardware upgrade was costing me around $80! I know that typically handles are used on doors and knobs on drawers but I had an abundance of doors and only a few drawers. So I splurged on handles that made a statement for the drawers, especially since they were above the doors and in my mind more visible, and coordinating, less expensive knobs for the doors.


To me it is important that you gather everything you need and then start the project. Here are the tools that I recommend:

  • Screwdriver – I always have a flat and a Phillips with me
  • Drill and Drill Bits
  • Pencil
  • Small Level – to help find center on your drawers
  • Ruler and Mini Tape Measure – see above
  • Cardboard for Drawer Template
  • Door and Drawer Guides for Drilling (see photo)
  • Ladder for Upper Cabinets
  • Someone to Help – extremely important and more fun!
Templates for Hardware Upgrade

Drawer Template (Left) and Door Template (Right)

When starting, I put the doors on first. I did this by first applying the hinges to the doors. In my case because I was just matching existing holes to doors, this went pretty fast. If not, then I suggest laying the hinge against the door frame interior and trace the holes of the hinges onto the door. Remove the hinge and drill small pilot holes. Put the hinge back on and screw in place.

Once the hinges were on the doors, then it was time to hang them. This is where the “Someone to Help” comes in handy. (I did try this on my own and highly DON’T recommend it.)  If like me, your holes already exist, line them up and screw in place while the other party is holding the door in place. If not, then repeat the procedure from above. Either way, once the doors are in place, adjust the tightness of the screws to level the doors.

This process is a little time consuming but if you know where your doors go, it should go pretty smoothly. If you will remember, my well-meaning husband accidentally messed up my order for my doors. If you find yourself in this situation, just be prepared to put doors up and take them down as you try to make sure they get to their right home. Trust me, when screw holes don’t line up, you will know what I am talking about.

Installing the new knobs on the doors was actually pretty easy. The L-shaped tool shown in the picture above is designed to making drilling holes in doors easy and foolproof. You simply place the template/guide on the corner flush and snug to the door. Knobs are easy because they are one hole.

Position the knob where you would want it. Determine what hole coordinates. Remember it because you will need it for all the knobs. Mark it with a pencil. Drill the appropriate size hole. Then screw in your knob. The only difference with a handle is you will have two holes you will have to align and remember but the process is the same. The handles on the doors are a little more work. I suggest making a cardboard template of your drawer front. Make sure you mark vertical and horizontal center. Use the drawer template to determine where the handle holes correspond with the holes on the template. Remember. Decide where you want the handle – most often centered. Align the horizontal template line with your horizontal center line on your template. Do the same for the vertical. Mark the corresponding holes that matched your handle. Punch them through the template. Use your new template by aligning it with the frame of the drawer and marking the holes. Drill the holes and screw on the handles.Admire your work! Always an important step. Even in my own kitchen, I took a step back and realized just that little change made such a difference.

Finished Doors and Drawers

Finished Doors and Drawers

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