How to Change Cabinet Hardware

Happy Monday!   (I'm off work today. Can you tell?)

Part of our bathroom makeover included changing our cabinet hardware.  You may (or may not) remember that our bathroom looked like this. 


I didn't hate the cabinet hardware.  Nate, on the other hand, did.  So weird.  Usually I'm the one that's all about change. I guess he has never liked it.  The things you learn.

We decided that we would tile the wall and get the mirror and lights hung before we would make a decision on the cabinet hardware.  I was still remaining optimistic that we wouldn't have to change the hardware. That is a lot of knobs. 

We tackled the previously mentioned tasks accomplished and we were left with this amazing cell phone photo. 

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I was "eh" about the situation.  Nate still hated it. I decided to trust him.

We headed off to our local big box stores in search of some polished nickel hardware.  If you haven't gathered, choosing polished nickel was not one of our smartest moves.  A pretty move, yes.  Smart move, no.  Home Depot was the only store that carried a polished nickel finish.  Luckily we found one that we both loved.  It's the Finial Pull from Martha Stewart Living.   Simple yet elegant.  Thanks, Martha.

I then got a little sad.  We have knobs.  These are handles.  Nate said it was no big deal. We could change them.  I was skeptical.  Like always.  Wouldn't it look funny?  Wouldn't it be a lot of work to change them? 

Turns out it was no big deal.  You can see a tiny hole between the handles if you look super close. 

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Step 1

Remove previous hardware. 

Step 2  

Fill in the holes from the previous hardware.   We used Red Devil Onetime Spackling.  We use this as wood filler for a lot of projects that we do.  It's lightweight.  Easy to use.  The only con is that it does shrink a little.  We usually apply two rounds.

Step 3

Use paint (or stain if you have stained cabinets) to touch up the filled in holes. 

Step 4

Build a template to help you install your new hardware.   Nate used scrap wood to make this beauty.

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Nate made the template as wide as the drawer/door and then over half of the height of the drawer/door. Drill holes that will match up with hardware.  For example, our handles were 3" apart.  Nate found the center of the template and measured 1.5" from each side of center.  He then measured the height of the drawer/door and found half of that.  He then measured top down on the template to find the vertical placement. Last, he created a hanger out of the pieces. 

Step 5

Place the template on top of the drawer/door.  Match the two sides.  Drill into pre-drilled holes.


Step 6

Install new hardware.   Drool over your pretty new bathroom update!


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Changing the hardware on both sets of cabinets took us about 45 minutes.  Nate did the drilling and I installed the new hardware.  A pretty quick update! 

I hate to say this but Nate was not wrong.  (My keys to a successful marriage: a King sized bed and never outright admitting your spouse was right.  The latter goes to their head and that's hard to deal with.) 

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Have you changed out your cabinet hardware?  Or are you scared like I was?  Ever made a decision that was super pretty but a giant pain in your rear end? 

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