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Expert Contributor

A full kitchen remodel can cost $20,000 or more, according to most renovation experts. But is it really necessary to rip apart the entire kitchen simply to upgrade your look?

Of course not!  Adding stylish drawer pulls and cabinet accessories can give your space a fresh look without the hassle, or the expense, of a complete remodeling project.

One of the simplest and cheapest DIY kitchen projects you can take on is adding new drawer pulls to your kitchen cabinets. Not only can it change the entire look of the room, but it can be completed in a single afternoon. But where do you begin? If you have never tackled this kind of project before, you will want to review the simple steps below before you begin. While not difficult to do, there are some things you need to know to avoid mistakes and ensure that your job goes smoothly.


Kitchen drawer pulls for cheapGather Your Supplies

Before you can begin any project, you have to gather your supplies. Lucky for you, this is an easy job that requires very few tools. Here is all you will need:

  • Jig: A jig is a pre-measured template that allows you to find the perfect placement for the holes needed to attach your cabinet accessories (like drawer pulls) to the door.
  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill (with small bits): Use the smallest bit you have to begin your starter hole. This will prevent you from making a hole that is too big and to prevent the backside of the cabinet door from splintering.
  • New Hardware


Choose the Right Hardware

You are standing in the middle of the hardware aisle and feel overwhelmed by the choices available. Which drawer pulls will add the style and flare you are after? Here are a few things to consider when choosing new cabinet accessories:

  • Make sure they match the style and tone of the room. Yes, you want a new look for your kitchen, but keep the general tone of the room in mind. If the cabinets are more traditional, an ultra-modern look to the drawer pulls isn’t going to look right. It is possible to mix styles, just be sure that you do so in a way that doesn’t make those new accessories look out of place.
  • Make sure the pulls are the right size. Don’t choose large pulls for dainty drawers or smaller sized accessories for larger doors.
  • Consider color. A great way to add a splash of color to a room is to install cabinet accessories in a certain color or made of a distinct wood or metal.


measuring kitchen cabinet pullsFigure Out Where to Place the Hardware

It is important to think about where to place your new cabinet hardware. Consider the height of the drawers and cabinet doors you will be adding pulls to. Take a look at your kitchen. Do you want all of your knobs (drawer pulls, cabinets, pantry doorknobs, etc.), to line up, or are you okay with some being higher or lower than others? This is an individual taste choice that only you can make. Also, consider the height of the people using the doors when determining pull placement.


Find the Center of the Door

When installing drawer pulls, use a tape measure, find the center of the door going horizontally and vertically. Mark this crosshair with a horizontal line.

Next, line the crosshair with your jig and mark the exact spot you will drill your hole. Note:  if you are adding drawer pulls with two holes (one on each end), be sure to measure and mark (using the appropriate jog holes) both holes.

For cabinets, you will want to measure the space where you want the pull to be located and mark it carefully. Be sure to check all of your drill marks to make sure they line up with one another. Otherwise you will have door pulls that are uneven running across your cabinets.


installing new kitchen cabinet pullsDrill Your Hole

The most important thing to remember when drilling holes for your new cabinet hardware is to measure two or three times to ensure that your placement is correct. Then, using a drill bit slightly smaller than the hardware knob, begin your starter hole. Many inexperienced DIY’ers drill a hole the same size as the hardware knob only to discover too late that it is too large. While it may seem okay when first installed, over time, the hardware will become loose and eventually become nonfunctional.  Remember, you can make it bigger if you need to, but it will be hard to fix a hole that is too large.

One note: if possible, have someone else hold the door steady for you as you drill. This will make the entire job much easier.


Attach Your Drawer Pulls and Other Cabinet Accessories

The final step to this basic DIY kitchen project is to attach your new drawer pulls and cabinet pulls.  To do this, always screw in the backside of the cabinet door or drawer.  It is easier to work that way, plus if you make a mistake, it will not be noticeable.

Check to make sure that your new cabinet accessories are all straight. Then clean and polish.  Now enjoy the look of your new cabinet hardware. Yes, this DIY kitchen project really is that simple!


Maurcia H. is a seasoned writer with 20-plus years of publishing experience which includes 10 traditional print books, three book collaborations; more than 100 ghostwritten books. Specializing in both how-to pieces as well as industry oriented articles, Maurcia has written press releases, blog posts and articles for a variety of construction companies.