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Kitchen Hardware: How to Replace It

If you read my post on painting kitchen cabinets, you know that it took me forever to complete our cabinets. The hardware was my excuse for waiting to paint our cabinet doors. It was all because I didn’t want to drill new holes and spent forever hardware shopping. Don’t let that stop you; it wasn’t hard! This post is all about updating your kitchen hardware.

Our kitchen has a footprint that works well for us, but was not at all what I wanted it to look like when we bought the house. Orange oak cabinets, bright yellow walls, and antique brass hardware are not looks that I enjoy. I knew I wanted teal cabinets so we made that happen!

The Prep Work

I painted all of the cabinet frames first and ensured they had plenty of time to dry and cure. In the meantime, shopping for hardware took forever. (I have spray painted hardware before but I didn’t like the existing kitchen hardware. Nor did I think I’d ever get it clean. Kitchens get super grimy.) We started with hinges. I looked at Lowes, Home Depot, local hardware stores, and online. After a few trial runs, returns, and failed online orders I settled on these 1/4″ overlay Amerock hinges.

The handles on our cabinets are 3″ long which is a standard size and very easy to replace. I got these simple nickel handles. Our drawers didn’t have handles, but I knew I wanted to add them for functionality and cohesiveness. The four bathrooms in our house had the same hinges and handles on the vanities as the kitchen, so we bought enough of everything to update them too. The powder room vanity also served as a good hinge test spot since we don’t want to keep it forever. After we bought kitchen hardware, I painted the doors.

The Drawer Fronts

For marking holes in the drawer fronts, I drew lines bisecting the width and height of the fronts. Then I marked for holes 1.5″ to the left and right of the center of the drawer front. With the drawer front attached to the drawer we [Mr. PC] drilled holes all the way through the drawer front. He picked a drill bit with a slightly smaller diameter than the screws for the handles. After holes were drilled, I removed the fronts and painted both sides. The drawers were the first part of the kitchen that was finished since there are no hinge holes to drill.

Drilling in the Cabinet Frames

To ensure that all of the hinge holes were marked the same way in the cabinet frame, Mr. PC used a charging block. It bumped the hinge up a reasonable height, was easy to hold the hinge against and mark through the holes with a pencil. To drill the holes, he again used a bit smaller in diameter than the screws for the hinges. This time though he wasn’t drilling through so these drill bit stops kept him from drilling too far.

For the upper frames, a few of the would be hinge holes using the charging block lined up against the screws that held the frames together. For these he used one of the existing holes to line up the hinge and made a new hole for the other screw hole. It’s a good idea to ensure that whatever system you use to be consistent can be done in all of your hinge locations. Those screws holding the cabinets together almost threw us off, but where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Hanging the Cabinet Doors

In order to hang the doors, we attached the hinges to the frames. Then we held each door over the opening up against the hinges. For the uppers we used a level that was the right height to sandwich between the top trim of the cabinets and the door. Using the level as a measurement ensured consistent top to bottom spacing of the doors. You don’t have to worry about left to right spacing, since your sandwiched against the hinges. For the lowers we didn’t have something consistent on all of them to measure against so we just eyeballed it. We marked the top corner of each door on the side with hinges using a pencil on the frame (see the above picture).

Then we opened the hinges and held the door up again, lining it up against the mark on the frame in order to mark the hinge holes on the door. Double check that everything is aligned against the hinges and the mark you made before marking hinge holes. Once holes were marked, Mr. PC drilled pilot holes (still using the drill bit stops). I held the door up again while he secured them to the hinges.

Finishing Up

Once all the doors were mounted to hinges, I screwed on the new handles and added the small foam circles that keep the cabinets from slamming. Vacuuming up dust, rubbing off pencil marks and restocking your cabinets are all that’s left. Oh and beer of course. See how stylish I look when I do home projects?

Dreaming of updating your kitchen hardware? Pin for later as a reference!

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