How to install cabinet hardware the easy way {and see what I picked!} from Thrifty Decor Chick Leave a comment


Hello all! The massive built in entertainment center project is moving right along! I just finished up one of the “pretty” additions — the cabinet hardware. I love getting to this point — it means I’m near the finish line! Installing cabinet hardware used to be one of my least favorite DIY projects. 
** If you get my posts via email, you may have noticed the link hasn’t worked well lately. I’ve been told it is now fixed — please let me know if it doesn’t work for you! 

Installing cabinet pulls and knobs used to drive me NUTS. It was hard to get the knobs in the exact same spot on every cabinet, and pulls were the woooorst. It seemed even though I measured the holes perfectly, they never went on just right. 

I can build a wall of built ins no problem, but installing the hardware was always the hardest part. Makes total sense. 🙂 No more my friends! Years ago I found a solution that makes this process much easier. 

This hardware template will prevent a LOT of frustration: 

plastic guide for installing hardware

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. 

I’ve had mine for years and now they are updated a bit — more on that in a minute. 

You just hold it up to your door or drawer and figure out where you want to put your holes. It has tons of different widths for pulls and different heights for knobs: 

template for cabinet hardware installation

Mark with a marker or a pencil — nothing permanent in case you need to make adjustment. I measured the width of the spot I wanted to install on, and placed my dot there. These are clear, so you can see where you’ve marked something underneath. 

Your cat will be very helpful: 

Colby cat

Use a drill bit to drill a hole first — the screws are flat at the end so they will not go in on their own: 

drilling hole for cabinet hardware

If I’m adding numerous knobs, I’ll mark my spot on the template as well: 

cabinet hardware template

The hardware will come with screws in two lengths. Usually the shorter one will work for cabinet doors and the longer one is for drawers: 

screws for cabinet hardware

I LOVE the hardware I picked out! The brass looks so good against the dark gray (Westchester Gray): 

gray bench with brass hardware

That’s a speaker wire by the way, not electrical. 🙂 

brass knobs on gray cabinets

When I went to install the pulls I realized my templates were a little out of date — the hardware holes were five inches apart and the template only goes to four inches. So I had to do those the old fashioned way. 

I used the template to mark the top hole and measured five inches down for the second. They look GOOD!:

sumner minted hardware

Here are a few more hardware installation tips: 

  • When you use your drill bit to make the holes, be sure to drill straight in, not at an angle. If your hole is at an angle at all the hardware won’t match the screws exactly.
  • You can make your own template! Use a scrap piece of wood to mark and test your holes, then hold it up to the cabinet to mark your holes. Make sure you place it in the exact same spot every time.  
  • You can also use painter’s tape to do this, but I find that harder to place in the right spot. 
  • Drill from the front — the bit will fray the backside of the cabinet a bit. You can prevent that tear out by placing painter’s tape over the spot, or placing a scrap piece of wood behind the cabinet as you drill. 

This template will cut a ton of time and makes installing cabinet hardware MUCH easier. Now I just need to get a bigger one! 

I think I’ll be able to finish up these built ins this weekend! WHAT. This time it took me less than two weeks to finish it up! I have some finishing touches I want to add that will take a few more days, but overall I got it done fast. I can’t wait to show you! 

best place to find decorative hardware
painter's tape hanging art trick

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