Step by step for installing drawer pulls on your kitchen cabinets.
The final touches on a cabinet refinishing or cabinet refacing project almost always involve installing new hardware. The hardware is not only a functional element of your cabinets, but also a great way to showcase your new kitchen with a complimentary design. There are a lot of devices on the market, Kreg makes a great jig. However, with all the different sizes of pulls on the market, sometimes it's simplest just to start from scratch. I'll show you the way we install pulls on drawer fronts, that will give you accurate results and will work for any size or sizes that you may be working with.
Let's get started with a list of items you'll need to get this done.
1-2" wide painter's tape
Level or straight edge
Philips screw driver or drill bit
1/8" wood drill bit
Step #1 - Decide on the location of your cabinet pulls
In most cases you're going to want to center the pull or handle from top to bottom on the drawer front and left to right. Some drawer sizes and locations may either function better with a pull closer towards the top and also you may want to offset the pull or handle just a bit on lower cabinets so that visually they look more centered.
Here's a helpful video from the team at "This Old House" that can also help if you are installing cabinet doors and drawer fronts yourself and gives some good tips on placement.
Step #2 - Measure the drawer front and apply your painters tape
Hold your tape measure on the top of the drawer front and measure the overall height of the cabinet drawer - Tip: Keep a scrap piece of paper on hand to write down your measurements.
Once you've located the middle, place a piece of painters tape across the face of the cabinet, at least twice as wide as the cabinet pull you are working with. This is what you will be making your marks on for pull location and it also protects the cabinet front from the drill bit.
Step#3 - Find your pull locations and mark them on the drawer front
Find the height of your door and divide by 2 to find the middle. In this instance we are going to install the pull directly in the middle, so for this 6" tall drawer front we are placing a mark at the 3" down from the top point at both the left and right side of the tape. Next, grab your level or straight edge and trace a straight line between the two marks. Note that your tape is not necessarily going to be level, so try to ignore the angles that this creates as it's not relevant to the pull location itself.
Measure the overall width of your drawer front and place a mark on the tape directly in the middle. On this example we have a 16" wide drawer front, so we are placing a mark on our center line at the 8" mark.
Mark the location of the screws for the drawer pull. In this example, we are using a 3" pull. So going of our center mark at 8" we are placing a mark 1.5" to the left and to the right of our center mark at 8 inches. Tip: Circle these tow marks as they are the only positions that will be drilled for the pull.
Always best to measure twice! Check your circled marks with your pull by holding the pull up to the circled marks and making sure the screw holes line up, this will ensure you haven't measured incorrectly for the new pull.
Step #4 - Drill for the pull
Install your 1/8" drill bit onto your drill and drill through the face of the drawer front directly on your circled marks. Tip: Always use a sharp wood drill bit and drive the bit slowly to avoid splintering out the back side of the cabinet drawer, let the drill do the work, don't push too hard.
Step#5 - Install the new pulls
Push the screws into the new holes from the back of the cabinet drawer and tighten with the Philips screwdriver or the Philips bit on your drill. If using a drill avoid overtightening by adjusting the torque on the drill chuck or finishing the process with the screwdriver.
Admire your work!
Step back and take a look at your pulls. They should all be level and line up from side to side. Depending on the type of pull you have you can make small adjustments to their position by loosening the set screw, shifting the pull in the adjustment direction and re-tightening the set screw. Thanks for reading this post about installing new cabinet hardware, you should have all the information you need to tackle this project on your own, but if you live in Columbus, Ohio and are looking for a cabinet refinishing and painting company that can take care of cabinet hardware installation as well, then click the button below to fill out our information request form, or visit our cabinet modification page to learn more, Cabinet Modifications | Rocket Finish