How to Replace Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

  • Active Time: 1-2 hours (depends on how many knobs or pulls you need to install)
  • Total Time: 1-2 hours
  • Cost: $75 if you already have a drill (also depends on how many knobs and pulls you need to buy)
  • Help Needed?: Nope! This is a great solo project.
  • Difficulty: Advanced beginner (you should be comfortable using a drill, or learning how to use a drill!)

Hello everyone! Today’s post on A Girl’s Guide to Home DIY describes How to Replace Kitchen Cabinet Hardware. You don’t need any special skills for this, other than using a drill and a screwdriver.

If you’ve been following along with Painting our Kitchen Cabinets, we are so close to being done with refinishing your kitchen cabinets! ( If you missed the first few posts, please check them out here: Starting the Renovation, Before you Start, Cleaning and Sanding, and Priming & Painting.)

Or, if you’re just looking for information on how to replace your kitchen cabinet hardware–you’re in the right place!


Now, for those of you painting your kitchen cabinets, if you already love your existing hardware, or want to save up some money to replace them in the future, then go ahead and skip down to Step 2 to reinstalling your hardware and hanging your cabinet doors and drawers.

Disclosure: The links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I earn a small commission if you click the link and purchase the item. To view our full Affiliate Disclosure, click here.

But, if you’re like me and are looking for a complete makeover for your cabinets, you’re probably looking at changing at your hardware. My old hardware were these Liberty Classic Round knobs in nickel. There’s nothing wrong with them at all, but they just didn’t give the personality I wanted my cabinets to have.

Choosing Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

When we went to Home Depot, picking out our new kitchen cabinet hardware was probably the quickest and easiest trip we’ve ever had there. We both immediately were drawn to the Liberty Mandara knobs and pulls in Cocoa Bronze-we thought the pulls would add some architectural detail to the tall cabinets and the black would complement the dark granite countertops well. We went with 4 inches for most of the cabinet doors, 3 inches for the smaller ones above the refrigerator and microwave, and a 5 inch one for the big pantry door. To buy all the pulls and knobs we needed, it cost us about $50–not bad for how great the finished product looks!

new kitchen cabinet hardware
The Bronze color is almost black, which we loved!

Supplies Needed

Here’s everything you need for how to replace your kitchen cabinet hardware:

  • New Hardware–I love our Liberty Mandara knobs and pulls in Cocoa Bronze from the Home Depot!
  • A screwdriver (check out my favorite one–the Buck Brother 6-in-1 screwdriver at your local Home Depot if you don’t have one you love)
  • A power drill and impact driver (I love my Ryobi Power Drill/Driver Set).
  • A pencil
  • Cabinet pull templates. My dad gave me these to help me make the new holes I needed, since I was changing from knobs to pulls (knobs require 1 hole and most pulls require 2). They were the absolute best! They let me use the existing hole from the old knob and measure to exactly where the second hole needed to be for the pull. The hole was big enough to use a pencil to make a mark, and then I could use my drill to make the hole.

Ok, now that you have all your supplies, let’s get started on how to replace your kitchen cabinet hardware!

Step 1: Drill New Holes (If Needed)

If you’re going from knobs to handles, you’ll need to drill a second hole in your cabinet door. Look at one of your new pulls and see if it says the distance needed between the two holes (mine said it right on the packaging). If it does, great! Find that measurement on the template and line one of the holes up with your existing hole.

kitchen cabinet hardware template
I know it’s hard to see but the lines on the templates all have measurements written on them.

If not, hold the pull up against the template and line it up with the two holes that you’ll use to mark your cabinet. Line one end up with your existing hole.

Now, using your pencil, mark where the second hole should be on your door.

Tip from my Dad (the DIY expert to end all experts): Once you find the set of holes you need on the template, using painters tape, mark off all the other holes. That way, when you’re on your tenth door and on autopilot, you don’t mistakenly use the wrong one and drill an extra hole in your kitchen cabinet door. It’s a cheap and easy way to save you a lot of  heartache. 

Templates marked with painters tape

Once you’ve marked your where the hole should be, break out your drill and get ready to make the new hole! Now, the screws that came with my knobs weren’t labelled with their size, so I had to guesstimate which drill bit to use. I held the screw up against a few bits until it seemed like I found the right one. And, as a heads up, I usually err on the side of smaller bit (you can always make the hole bigger if it’s too small).

Step 2: Install Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

Installing Knobs

If you’re simply replacing your old kitchen cabinet hardware back onto the existing holes, or replacing your old knobs with new ones, you’ve skipped Step 10 and jumped straight to this super easy step. Place the screw in the hole in the inside of the door (or drawer) with the screw extending out through the outside of the door. Place the knob on top of the screw, and using your screwdriver to hold the screw in place, turn your knob clockwise until it’s tight. Voila! You’ve installed your knob! Continue to do this with each door and drawer until you have all of them completed.


Installing Pulls

Once you’ve made the new hole, place the two screws in the two holes on the back of the door, so the screws extend out through the outside of the door or drawer front. Line the holes in the pull up with the screws. I usually tighten one a few turns, and then tighten the other one a few times, so that the pull is attached. Then, you can make sure you tighten both screws completely.

Oh No! My pull doesn’t fit on the screws, even though I measured and everything!

Don’t panic! It happened to me a couple of times.

crooked installed hardware

If you truly did measure and you’re only a few millimeters off in one direction you can take your drill and angle your hole a little, so the screw can move those few millimeters and line up with the pull.

Once you have all your knobs and pull on, you can install your hinges back on your doors.

Step 3: Reinstalling your Kitchen Cabinet Doors and Drawers

This is it: the last big step! Let’s do the easy part first. You can screw your drawer fronts back on to your drawers, and look! You almost have a new kitchen!

installed kitchen cabinet hardware

Then it’s time to hang the doors back up. Using your impact driver (or screwdriver), screw your doors back on. Don’t do what I did, and put the wrong door on the wrong cabinet.

crooked kitcen cabinet hardware

But if you do, just take it down and put the right one back up!

updated kitchen cabinets

And, That’s It!

If you’re here just for how to replace kitchen cabinet hardware, what a simple project that made such a huge difference visually in your kitchen!

newly installed cabinet hardware

If you just finished painting your kitchen cabinets with me, pour yourself a well-deserved glass of wine and give yourself a huge round of applause!

Once I got to this point, I was so incredibly proud of myself for completing this project. It didn’t require many new skills to learn, but coordinating and completing such a large project took a lot of planning and patience and hard work.

painted kitchen cabinets with updated hardware

Have Questions? Looking for More Front Porch Projects?

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post in the comments below! Or, you can always send a direct message to us at our Contact Us page.

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