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Replacing Cabinet Knobs and Handles for a Fresh Look

Replacing Cabinet Knobs and Handles for a Fresh Look

Cabinet knobs and handles may seem like small details, but they can have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of your kitchen or bathroom. Whether you’re looking to update your space or simply want to give it a fresh new look, replacing cabinet knobs and handles is a relatively easy and affordable way to achieve your desired aesthetic. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of replacing cabinet knobs and handles, from choosing the right style to installation. So, let’s dive in and transform your cabinets into stylish focal points!

1. Assessing Your Cabinets

Before you start shopping for new cabinet knobs and handles, it’s essential to assess your cabinets and determine their current condition. Take a close look at the existing knobs and handles to see if they are worn out, damaged, or simply outdated. Consider the material, finish, and style of your cabinets to ensure that the new knobs and handles will complement the overall design. Additionally, measure the hole spacing on your cabinets to ensure that the replacements you choose will fit properly.

1.1 Material and Finish

The material and finish of your cabinet knobs and handles play a crucial role in determining the overall aesthetic of your space. Consider the existing materials in your kitchen or bathroom, such as stainless steel appliances or brass faucets, and choose knobs and handles that will harmonize with these elements. For a modern and sleek look, opt for stainless steel or brushed nickel knobs and handles. If you prefer a more traditional or rustic style, brass or bronze options might be more suitable. Remember to consider the durability and maintenance requirements of different materials and finishes as well.

1.2 Style and Design

The style and design of your cabinet knobs and handles should align with the overall theme of your kitchen or bathroom. Are you going for a contemporary, farmhouse, or vintage look? Consider the shape, size, and detailing of the knobs and handles to ensure they complement the existing cabinetry. For example, if you have shaker-style cabinets, simple and understated knobs or handles would be a great choice. On the other hand, if you have ornate or decorative cabinets, you might want to opt for more intricate and eye-catching designs.

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2. Choosing the Right Knobs and Handles

Once you have assessed your cabinets and determined the desired material, finish, and style, it’s time to choose the right knobs and handles. With countless options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to make a decision. However, by considering a few key factors, you can narrow down your choices and find the perfect knobs and handles for your cabinets.

2.1 Budget

Before you start browsing through catalogs or visiting home improvement stores, it’s important to establish a budget for your cabinet knobs and handles. Prices can vary significantly depending on the material, brand, and design. By setting a budget, you can focus your search on options that fall within your price range and avoid overspending. Remember to consider the number of knobs and handles you need, as this will impact the overall cost.

2.2 Ergonomics and Functionality

While aesthetics are important, it’s equally crucial to consider the ergonomics and functionality of the knobs and handles. Think about how comfortable they will be to use on a daily basis. Are they easy to grip and operate? Will they be suitable for all members of your household, including children and elderly individuals? Additionally, consider the type of cabinets you have. For example, if you have heavy drawers, you might want to opt for handles that provide a sturdy grip.

2.3 Quality and Durability

Investing in high-quality cabinet knobs and handles is essential to ensure their longevity and durability. Look for reputable brands that offer warranties or guarantees on their products. Read customer reviews and ratings to get an idea of the quality and performance of different options. Remember that cabinet knobs and handles are frequently used, so they should be able to withstand daily wear and tear without losing their functionality or appearance.

3. Removing the Existing Knobs and Handles

Now that you have chosen the perfect knobs and handles for your cabinets, it’s time to remove the existing ones. This process may vary depending on the type of hardware you currently have. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the removal process:

3.1 Gather the Necessary Tools

Before you begin, gather the necessary tools to remove the existing knobs and handles. These may include a screwdriver, pliers, or a drill, depending on the type of hardware you have. Make sure you have the correct size and type of screwdriver or drill bit to avoid damaging the screws or the cabinets.

3.2 Locate the Screws

Most cabinet knobs and handles are attached with screws that are hidden from view. Look for the screws on the inside of the cabinet door or drawer front. They are usually located near the corners or edges of the hardware. If you can’t find the screws, try opening the cabinet door or drawer fully to access them.

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3.3 Loosen and Remove the Screws

Using the appropriate tool, loosen and remove the screws that secure the knobs or handles in place. Turn the screws counterclockwise to loosen them. If the screws are stuck or difficult to remove, you can use pliers to provide extra grip and leverage. Once the screws are fully removed, set them aside in a safe place to avoid losing them.

3.4 Remove the Knobs or Handles

With the screws removed, you can now easily detach the knobs or handles from the cabinet doors or drawer fronts. Gently pull or twist the hardware to release it from its position. Be careful not to apply excessive force or twist too hard, as this can damage the cabinets or the hardware itself.

4. Installing the New Knobs and Handles

With the old knobs and handles removed, it’s time to install the new ones. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth and successful installation process:

4.1 Measure and Mark

Before drilling any holes, measure and mark the exact placement of the new knobs or handles. Use a tape measure or ruler to ensure accuracy. Consider the height, width, and center alignment of the hardware. You can use a pencil or masking tape to mark the positions on the cabinet doors or drawer fronts.

4.2 Pre-drill Holes (if necessary)

If the new knobs or handles require different hole spacing than the existing ones, you may need to pre-drill new holes. Use a drill with the appropriate drill bit size to create the holes. Make sure to align the drill bit with the marked positions and drill straight into the cabinet door or drawer front. Take caution not to drill too deep or at an angle, as this can damage the cabinets.

4.3 Attach the New Knobs or Handles

Once the holes are drilled or if you’re using the existing holes, it’s time to attach the new knobs or handles. Insert the screws through the back of the cabinet door or drawer front and align them with the holes in the hardware. Tighten the screws by turning them clockwise using a screwdriver or drill. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can strip the screws or damage the hardware.

4.4 Test and Adjust

After attaching the new knobs or handles, test them to ensure they are securely in place and functioning properly. Open and close the cabinet doors or drawers to check for any misalignment or loose hardware. If necessary, make minor adjustments by tightening or loosening the screws. Take your time to ensure that the knobs and handles are level and aligned with each other.

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5. Maintenance and Care

Once you have successfully replaced your cabinet knobs and handles, it’s important to maintain and care for them to prolong their lifespan and keep them looking their best. Here are some tips to help you maintain your new hardware:

5.1 Regular Cleaning

Regularly clean your cabinet knobs and handles to remove dirt, grease, and fingerprints. Use a mild soap or detergent mixed with warm water and a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes, as they can scratch or damage the finish. Dry the hardware thoroughly after cleaning to prevent water spots or corrosion.

5.2 Avoid Harsh Chemicals

When cleaning your cabinets or countertops, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can come into contact with the knobs and handles. These chemicals can damage the finish or corrode the hardware over time. Instead, opt for gentle and non-abrasive cleaning solutions specifically designed for the material of your knobs and handles.

5.3 Check for Loose Screws

Periodically check the screws that secure the knobs and handles to ensure they are tight and secure. Over time, screws can loosen due to regular use or vibrations. Use a screwdriver or drill to tighten any loose screws. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can strip the screws or damage the hardware.

5.4 Handle with Care

Handle your cabinet knobs and handles with care to avoid unnecessary wear and tear. Avoid pulling or twisting them too forcefully, as this can cause them to become loose or break. Teach household members, especially children, to use the knobs and handles gently. By treating them with care, you can extend their lifespan and maintain their appearance.


Replacing cabinet knobs and handles is a simple yet effective way to give your kitchen or bathroom a fresh new look. By assessing your cabinets, choosing the right knobs and handles, removing the existing hardware, installing the new ones, and maintaining them properly, you can transform your space into a stylish and functional area. Remember to consider the material, finish, style, budget, ergonomics, and durability when selecting your hardware. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can achieve the desired aesthetic and enhance the overall appeal of your cabinets. So, go ahead and embark on this exciting journey of cabinet transformation!

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