Thrifty Kitchen Transformation-The Hardware Install

Hello, everyone! Back with another episode of “As the Kitchen Transforms”. Today’s DIY Tuesday Tip is about making templates for your drawers and door hardware installation. Now, if you have cabinets that already have hardware and you are just replacing or refinishing it, yay for you! In mom’s case, however, there was no hardware, so we had to start from scratch. You know, finding the right hardware isn’t always that simple, especially when you are going for a specific “look”. We did quite a bit of browsing, both online and in the big box stores, searching through all those little bins for just the perfect style and color.

Home Depot Hardware BinOne day, I mentioned to my mom that we had previously purchased some hardware for my daughter’s kitchen from a local Grossman’s Bargain Outlet. They are a smaller version of the big box stores but with awesome discounted prices, so off we went to check it out. We looked around at the typical hardware display bins and were just preparing to leave empty-handed, when I spotted a display of specialty hardware items-you know, the kind you have to order-but these were in stock. And gorgeous! I called mom over to take a look and she just said “SOLD”, without even checking the price! Which, BTW, was incredibly cheap for such beautiful hardware. Reminiscent of the stalks of lavender found in the south of France,

Hardware Lavender Fieldsthis hardware from Jeffrey Alexander is the perfect style for our French Country Kitchen makeover.

Jeffrey Alexander HardwareBut, and this is a big but, they did not have the matching hinges. Now, the hinges that were already in place were a nice c.1970’s brass, tarnished but in good shape. We decided to spray paint them, rather than purchase all new ones, since they aren’t all that visible anyway. But, since the new hardware was black and silver, the hinges needed to match. I dug out the spray paint I had handy to decide which one would be the closest match. Can you choose which one we chose?

Hardware Paint Choices

OK, so the hinges were painted

Glazed Tinted White Cabinetsand the doors re-hung, in their original drilled holes, with a couple of corrections. Apparently, when the cabinets were dark brown with no hardware, slightly off-kilter edges were not an issue. However, the hardware, now a very visible dark gray against a white background, must be level!! To make that happen, templates and a level are super important Tuesday’s DIY Tip! For the drawer pulls, I measured the width of the Center to Center Distance (that is the distance between the two mounting holes), in this case 3 inches.

Distance to Center Measure(For a complete chart on all things cabinet hardware related, click here to visit this greatly informative site:

Designer Knobs and PullsFrom there, I created a template of the entire drawer face with exact measurements.

Creating Template for Hardware InstallThen I taped the template to the drawer and marked the drill holes.

Hardware Install Template on DrawerThis is important-one millimeter off can mean the difference between a straight line and a tilted mess! Once the holes were marked, I used the level to make sure they were, indeed, level. The same holds true for the door knobs. I created a template (very high-tech stuff. I used a post-it note folded in half and a marker…),

Cabinet Door Template for Knobthen placed the template on the door at the proper position and marked the spot. Before I drilled the holes, I used the level to ensure that the knobs would be level. I guess that’s why they call it a level. In this case, the adjacent doors were slightly off,

Uneven Door Bottomswhich meant that the knobs, even though they were in the correct position on their respective doors, would appear to be crooked. Disclaimer: I did not install the cabinets originally, so if the doors were slightly off, I’m not taking the hit on that one!! I did actually correct a couple of them, which meant patching and redrilling the holes, then re-installing the hinges. I decided to let the rest go, as long as they weren’t creating a “tilted fun-house” effect and appeared to be pretty even.

Hardware Checking LevelAnd then finally, I drilled all the holes. Make sure you choose a drill bit that is the same size as the bolts you will be using! Too big of a drill bit means a screw loose (so that’s where that saying came from…)

Drilling the holes for the knobs

Which was a little scary at first. On a shiny surface, the drill bit sometimes “wanders” when you first start it, so after a couple of near misses, I decided to start with a pilot hole to give the bit something to dig in to.

Hammering Pilot Hole for DrillAnd sometimes, despite my best efforts in ensuring their straightness, they appeared just a wee bit off…

Hardware Install on Cabinet DrawersSo I just adjusted it by making the hole a bit bigger and tightening the screw into place. No one will ever know!!  Until they go to replace the hardware. Which hopefully they won’t because they are gorgeous! Here are the cabinet doors before:

Cabinet Door Beforeand here they are now, all painted and glazed and waxed with the pretty awesome new hardware.

Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Installed

Hardware Door PullGotta say, that was a lot of tedious work, but well worth it in the end! Next up, the granite and backsplash! Have a Hopefully Not Torrential Downpour or Tornado Warning Tuesday, everyone! Susan



  1. Stacey D'Onofrio says:

    Looks amazing! When we first moved into our 1971 built home, we wanted to update our kitchen on a budget. We replaced the horrible shiny brass handles with a more modern brushed nickel handle, but couldn’t find similar hinges ANYWHERE. And I mean, ANYWHERE. We ended up spray painting them and no one can ever tell. So cheap and so easy!


  2. chris aka monkey says:

    gosh that is so good looking together i am biting my nails waiting for the final reveal, i bet your mom is one happy camper xx


  3. So smart and I love the way the cabinets turned out! They look so crisp and happy.


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