When we first moved into our home, it blew our minds that the kitchen cabinets did not have cabinet hardware. In fact, none of our cabinetry did in the bathrooms either. To us, this was an easy DIY that would elevate our kitchen and make our cabinets last longer. In our minds, there would be so much wear and tear on the cabinets over time by opening them over time without a handle. So, we decided to add some ourselves.
Finding the Right Cabinet Handles
So, what type of handles were we going to put on the cabinets? That part was pretty simple, we wanted a simplistic modern style that would elevate our kitchen and give it a modern feel.
That was the easy part.
Next was picking the color.
We wanted to stay with a silver tone for the cabinet hardware for the following reasons.
1. We already had silver accents in other areas in the kitchen and the silver hardware against the dark cabinets provided a nice contrast
2. Black would have blended in too much with the cabinets and we are not gold hardware type of people
So, we ran over to Home Depot not long after we moved in and looked at their cabinet hardware selection. We found a couple of bar pull options in a couple of sizes, bought 1 of each, and brought them home to compare them with the cabinet color.
We also bought various sizes of pulls to figure out what would proportionally look best with our cabinets and drawers. Our upper cabinets are 42" tall and our base cabinets are 36" tall and we have an assortment of drawer sizes, so different handle sizes will look better in different instances.
So, once we got all the drawer handles home, we first ruled them out by style. We ended up going with something sleek and simple (the bar pulls) in the Satin Nickel finish. It wasn't too shiny of a finish and had a bit of a brassy look to them (very sophisticated).
After deciding on the finish, we then went around the kitchen and decided which size would look best on which cabinets and drawers. Since our upper cabinets are taller than our lower cabinets, we went with a taller pull. For the upper cabinets, we went with 10" overall length (7-1/2" hole center) pulls and for the lower cabinets, we decided on 6" overall length pulls with 3-3/4" hole centers. For the drawers, we either used the 10" pulls or the 6" depending on the size. We didn't want to have to buy a completely different size of specific pulls for each drawer. We did however buy 1 specific drawer pull for our baking pan drawer under our oven since it was so wide and a 12" overall length pull worked best for this location.
Where to Buy Cabinet Handles
So we found which cabinet handles we wanted, the sizes and the color, but where to buy them?
You're probably thinking, "Hey guys, didn't you just say you bought them from Home Depot?"
Why yes, we bought 1 of each of the above cabinet pulls to figure out what style we wanted, but when we broke it down, Home Depot became pretty pricey to buy close to 30 pulls from. So we did some more research.
It turns out that Amazon has great quality pulls for a fraction of the cost. We bought a single pull from Amazon and matched it to the Home Depot ones to make sure the quality was comparable and it was an exact match (again, for a fraction of the cost). We ordered the proper amount of each pull and they were here within a few days. Here are the ones we bought.
How to Install the Pulls
Ok, you've got the cabinet pulls, because you bought them from Amazon and saved so much money, now what to do? Well, we aren't experts, but we would recommend the following tools to make the process of installing the cabinet and drawer pulls a little easier.
Pencil (I hope you don't need a link for this)
We had all of our tools, now it was time to begin installing the pulls. We have never installed cabinet pulls before, so we figured it best to remove all the drawer and cabinet fronts off the hinges and slides, so we could pre-drill the holes in both. As the video below shows, we used our kitchen island as make shift work bench and clamped the cabinet or drawer front to the island so it wouldn't move too much as we were drilling.
Our process for installing the hardware went as follows
I (Chelsea) would remove the cabinet doors and drawer fronts from the hinges and drawer box then use the cabinet handle template to mark where the holes would need to be drilled for the size of pull we were using. Lastly, I would use a nail to make a pilot hole where the pencil marks were.
Travis would then take the cabinet front or drawer I just marked, attach it to the island with a clamp and place tape over the nail hole. The tape would help keep the wood from splitting.
Next, he would drill through the cabinet and install the pull and screw it through the back of the drawer or cabinet front.
This whole process needed to be very precise since there was a designated spacing on the cabinet pulls. We measured once, measured again and then again a third time just to be sure.
We used the speed square for some of the drawers because the drawer template was not long enough to mark both holes. First we would measure the horizontal and vertical center of each drawer front and then measure the drawer pulls equally to the left and right of that center point. The drawers took much longer than the cabinets because of this method.
1. The cabinet hardware template was not long enough for our upper cabinets (since those pulls were longer), so we had to hand measure them and use a handy-dandy T-square from my architecture school days. If we were to do it again, we would probably use this tool.
2. This whole project also lasted on and off for a week (we had full time jobs as well). Much longer than anticipated. Depending on how many cabinets you have, make sure to account for a reasonable amount of time.