Monday, May 30, 2011

Knobs and pulls, oh my!

I finally decided to face my worst fears and install our kitchen cabinet pulls and knobs.

Yes, it took as this long to scrounge together all my courage and drill into our beautiful brand-new cabinet doors. Here's our inspiration picture of an early 1920s kitchen (5 years later than the building date of our Ugly Duckling but closer than anything else I could find so far)


We loved the clean lines, the shaker style cabinets and open shelves. So when it was time to buy knobs and pulls we were happy to see that our own preferences matched right up with our inspiration picture: knobs and pulls! In the picture it looks like a chrome or nickel finish but we wanted a bit more contrast, especially considering all the black we were introducing through the appliances and went with the oh so hip oil-rubbed bronze.

[Knobs and gadgets]

I scored a super great deal on both types of cabinet handles at the "Knob Shop" on Ebay, and then found slightly larger pulls for a steal at Target. See? [Yes, that's $1.98 for 2 bin pulls]

[Lucky find at Target]

I also got those two nifty gadgets that'd help us position the handles consistently. They run at about $3 each and I guess you could whip up a template yourself but especially for the knobs this worked really well and kept us from having to finish one project (create jig/template) before even beginning the one we'd actually wanted to work on (install knobs).

Step 1: Grab a roll of simple painter's tape (save the frog tape for the really big projects) and tape over the spot where you'll be drilling. It doesn't have to be perfect; just approximate the area. As long as the mark for your drill point will be on the tape, you're golden. The tape will do two things: it'll make it harder for your drill to wander and the cuts will be cleaner.

Step 2: x marks the spot. You can either built your own template or buy one of those nifty and not too expensive gadgets to make sure all of your handles will be installed in the same spot on each door. Pick a spot, mark the tape.

Step 3: Drill, baby, drill! Take a deep breath and bring on the drill. Slow and steady wins the race; just aim for your mark while keeping the drill nice and straight and drill that dreaded hole. Frankly, it was only scary the first time. Once I saw the method was working, my confidence went through the roof.

Step 4: Admire the hole you drilled without breaking the cabinet door.

Step 5: Peel off the painter's tape and screw in your handle. Voila! All done! Step back and admire your handiwork.

[Tada - New and improved. Now -with- handles!]

The handles are a smash hit and both my men were very excited about them. Best compliment? Little Man's very enthusiastic "See, Mami, you can do a man's job too!". Sometimes I really wonder what goes on in his head ...


  1. Very nice! I know the feeling of drilling those holes!

    I think we have the same counter top, too.

  2. I loooove my butcher block counter tops from IKEA :o) Did you seal yours or do you cut on yours?

    I was horrified to "break" my beautiful pristine perfect cabinet doors by drilling holes into them but all went well - phew!