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Replacing kitchen cabinet handles

Are you aware that by giving your cabinet hardware a makeover, you can transform the look of your kitchen? That's right, updating your cabinet door handles can majorly improve your kitchen aesthetics and it's one of the most cost-effective routes, too.

Replacing cabinet knobs and handles just takes a little know-how

In fact, renewing your cabinet handles is also one of the easiest ways to add value to your kitchen, and while it will require a little DIY know-how, we aim to provide that for you in this article. Let's start by looking at the tools you'll need.

Equipment Needed to Replace Cabinet Hardware


Ok, so as any good tradesperson will tell you, you're only ever as good as the tools you have, so it's important you get the right tools arranged before you start. Generally speaking, when changing handles on kitchen cabinets, you'll need:

  • A power drill & drill bit

  • A tape measure, installation jig, or template for kitchen cabinet handles

  • 3 bits of scrap wood if making your own jig

  • A damp cloth

  • A putty knife

  • A pencil

  • Some wood putty

Before you get to installing hardware for your kitchen cabinets, you'll need to have chosen the ideal style and finish for your replacement handles or cabinet door knobs. Head to the Hiatt online store and you'll see there's a dazzling array available.

A Wide Variety of Choice

variety of cabinet handles and knobs

Whether talking about your cabinet doors or the accompanying drawer fronts, there's a staggering amount of choice both in terms of finishes and designs. Let's take a look at a selection of what's available for your kitchen enhancement plans.

Styles include:

  • The Pull Handle - cabinet pulls offer a subtle yet effective look that's unique among cabinet handles

  • The T Bar handle - T bar handles provide more than a modicum of modern style and these cabinet handles are ideal when replacing drawer handles & cupboards.

  • The Bow Handle - delivers all the same benefits as T-bar handles, with these cabinet handles coming in a distinctly classic look ideal for traditional decor.

  • The D Handle - another interesting option is the D Handle for your cabinets, with these great cabinet handles offering an uber-modern aesthetic.

  • The Cabinet Knob - as a traditional option, cabinet knobs offer a simple, yet effective solution that's available in a variety of designs and materials.

Finishes include:

different finishes

  • Satin brass & satin nickel - whether choosing satin brass T-bar cabinet hardware or satin nickel cabinet knobs, you get a subtle yet striking look.

  • Matt black - cabinet pulls, handles, and cabinet knobs in matte black provide a super modern aesthetic that also offers a contrast to your main colour scheme.

  • Antique brass - another wonderfully classic look for country-style kitchens is antique brass knobs and handles. Polished brass looks great too!

  • Polished chrome - if you're looking for an easy-maintenance option that looks fantastic, polished chrome cabinet handles and knobs are a popular choice.

  • Ceramic - limited to cabinet and drawer knobs, these ceramic options offer a wonderful look that's available in a variety of colours.

How to Install New Hardware to Your Cabinet Doors

So, the first part of updating your cabinet hardware involves removing your old hardware. Doing so is relatively easy and involves loosening the screws on the back of your cabinet door with a screwdriver.

creating a blank canvas for your new drawer handles

In the event that you have unsightly screw holes that need covering up, use a well-chosen shade of wood putty that matches the colour of your cabinets.

Apply a pinch of the stuff to each screw hole and keep pushing it in until the hold is filled. Once it is, use your knife to scrape away excess putty and leave a smooth finish.

Marking Your New Screw Holes for Cabinet Handles

marking where to put up kitchen handles

You'll now need to mark the correct positioning of your new cabinet hardware, which can either be done with your jig or a simple tape measure.

To get the right place for your fixing holes, you'll need to split the door up (not literally of course) into three equal sections length-wise.

Position your cabinet hardware in the central third

Handles on cabinet doors can then be positioned correctly by situating yours in the middle third and adjusting your cabinet hardware until it's in a central position.

Measuring in from the cabinet door's leading edge will give you the exact location for every handle.

So, What about measuring up your drawer fronts?

unscrew existing cabinet handles

Kitchen drawer parts replacement is also needed to complete the picture. Again, you should unscrew the existing drawer handles or knobs and smooth over any unsightly holes with wood putty in the same would you did with each cabinet door.

After removing your old cabinet drawer handles, push putty into one hole and then the other, after which you smooth it over and allow it to dry. Then you'll be measuring in from each edge to ensure your handles are a) small enough, and b) centrally placed.

Drilling Your Pilot Holes

drilling holes

During the last section, you will have been marking the ideal location for each screw hole with your pencil. Now it's time to crack your drill bit and create pilot holes in your cabinet door.

The ideal size of drill bit will depend on the screw, so try a bit that's equal to the inner diameter of the screws you're about to install. Then, carefully drill your new holes through each pencil mark, making sure not to slip and damage your cabinet doors.

If it happens to be your first time using a drill, it's a good idea to practice on an old piece of scrap wood a few times first.

Fitting Kitchen Cabinet Handles - Snapping off Screws Video Guide

Installing Your New Cabinet Handles

installing new cabinet handles

Now that everything's marked out and your pilot holes are drilled, it's now time to get your new cabinet handles or knobs installed. All that's required is to line up your new hardware with the pilot holes - which should (if you've measured right) line up perfectly.

Push them into place and tighten the scews through the back of the door or drawer. Repeat this action for each of your cabinet doors and drawers and you're done. The perfect finishing touch has been added to your kitchen!

Your Great New Kitchen Look Is Closer Than You Think!

Now you know where to put handles on kitchen cabinets, and the incredible range of cabinet handles available, that new look for your kitchen is closer than you might think.

It's certainly affordable, as the cabinet door handles and replacement door knobs we've spoken about represent an option that fits most people's budgets.

So, before you start your project, be sure to check in at the Hiatt online store to see our complete range of products we have in store. It might just open your eyes up to the countless design possibilities that exist.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check back in with us soon for more from the home of premium quality door hardware.

Until next time!