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How to Measure and Install New Cabinet Pulls (the easy way!)

Installing cabinet hardware can be intimidating and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be with this little tip! Use this quick little tool to install new cabinet pulls with precision and ease!

If you’ve been following along for any length of time, you know that I’ve been slowly working on my kitchen. Ever since I moved into my home 4+ years ago, I’ve wanted to change a few things in the hub of my home.

Last winter I finally painted my cabinets white. Yay!! Happy dances all around.

And they sat there just like this, without hardware on the drawers for exactly 8 months now. #hangsheadinshame

Love this light and airy farmhouse look!! Kitchen painted in Sea Salt (Sherwin Williams). | All the details at TheTurquoiseHome.com

Since then I’ve done quite a few DIY projects in here. I made some DIY farmhouse shelves, added reclaimed wood to the bar and painted the walls Sea Salt. I still have a few more updates to make, like the sink and counter tops, before I’m finished, but I’m waiting on some room in the budget for those.

In the meantime, while I’m waiting for the next project, I thought I’d finish off those cabinets. You know, the ones I’ve been using for the past 8 months without drawer pulls.

And it wasn’t like I didn’t have the hardware or the tools…

I had them sitting right there on the counter, but I just wasn’t quite ready to tackle the installation part. I was kind of nervous about messing them up and having wonky cabinet pulls in my kitchen. Nervous Nelly, that’s me!

That was until I saw my friend Krista’s post. It inspired me to take the bull by the horns and get ‘er done (as they say around here)! Read her post to get the full tutorial, but I’ll show you what I did, too.

Before we dive into the semi-tutorial. I’ll tell you what hardware I used. I kept the original knobs on the doors, so those were easy to reinstall. Sure, I could have changed them out, but they were fine. I liked them and didn’t feel the need to spend extra money on them.

But I’ve loved and wanted cup pulls on the drawers for forever, so I ordered these 3″ cup pulls. I knew I’d be changing them out, so I went ahead and puttied the old hardware holes when I painted the cabinets white.

How to Install New Cabinet Pulls

What you’ll need:

  • Thin piece of wood, cardboard or paper for the template
  • Cabinet hardware (I love these cup pulls.)
  • Level
  • Sharp object like an awl, a pointed pen or sharp pencil
  • Drill and drill bit

I grabbed a piece of cardboard from a large Amazon box (because I’m an Amazon Prime junkie) and cut it down to the height of the front of the drawers. And then I made it the width of the smallest drawer.

Installing cabinet hardware can be intimidating! This simple trick makes installing new cabinets pulls so easy!

I also located the middle of the cardboard piece so that I could line it up in the middle of the wider drawers.

I figured out where the middle of the pulls were and then placed the screw holes on the cardboard. I pressed my pen through the holes and made a mark where the screws would go.

You can see that I marked the middle of the drawer, where the pulls should go, with some painters tape. And then made a mark in the middle of the cardboard and lined them up, as seen in the above photo.

Installing cabinet hardware can be intimidating! This simple trick makes installing new cabinets pulls so easy!

(Don’t mind the crumbs on the floor. No time for cleaning when I’m on a mission!)

I did tape the pulls up on this one drawer before I drilled anything to make sure I liked the spacing! They aren’t centered over the doors below, but centered on the drawer.

Installing cabinet hardware can be intimidating! This simple trick makes installing new cabinets pulls so easy!

Now that I knew exactly where to put the pulls, I grabbed my drill and drill bits. Make sure to pick the right sized drill bit for your screws. I like the holes to be just a bit bigger than the screw in this instance. It makes putting the pulls on the drawers so much easier!

Just drill through the wood where you made your marks.

Installing cabinet hardware can be intimidating! This simple trick makes installing new cabinets pulls so easy!

There’s a LOT of measuring involved and you definitely want to measure twice and drill once. My advice is to take things slow. Don’t rush it and you won’t make a mistake. Hopefully. ๐Ÿ™‚

Installing cabinet hardware can be intimidating! This simple trick makes installing new cabinets pulls so easy!

And now we can open the drawers with ease! Yay!!

And now we can open the drawers with ease! Yay!!

I love how they complete the look of the new white cabinets!

And no more anxiety over chipping or scratching the new paint job by opening the cabinets from underneath.

Installing cabinet hardware can be intimidating! This simple trick makes installing new cabinets pulls so easy!
And now we can open the drawers with ease! Yay!!

Ok, so now I have a question for you. I have two more cup pulls that I haven’t installed yet. I’m torn about whether I should or not, so I’m hoping you can help me make a decision.

Installing cabinet hardware can be intimidating! This simple trick makes installing new cabinets pulls so easy!

Should I put them on the faux drawer in front of the sink? I am planning on replacing the sink with a farmhouse sink someday, so that drawer will be done. But until then, do you think it needs hardware?

Installing cabinet hardware can be intimidating! This simple trick makes installing new cabinets pulls so easy!

Whatcha think?! Let me know in the comments!

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24 Comments

  1. Thank you for the detailed post! Also don’t worry — we lived without 3 cabinet doors for almost a year because we just didn’t get to finishing them #deploymentlife. It happens to the best of us! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I say put the pulls on and make that faux drawer into a functioning tilt out drawer for sponges or sink stopper. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I love that idea!! Maybe when I renovate my kitchen I can include that! We have one of those tilt out drawers at the lake house and it’s awesome!

  3. Personally I would install the pulls on the faux draw. If you already have them, and know that it will be some time before you can afford the farmhouse sink of your dreams, why not use them!! Plus I think it will make it look more finished.

  4. Perhaps a decorative piece of trim or even a stenciled or vinyl saying. You are going to be replacing it anyway. I would find another use for the pulls. You could mount them upside down and use to hold your rings or inside your cabinet door to hold a scouring pad, etc. They can be glued in place easily.

  5. Wow Laura, you definitely aren’t afraid of tools! Love the farmhouse pulls you’ve chosen. They look great in your kitchen. In my opinion, I wouldn’t put the pulls on the faux drawer. Why? I can still remember the conversation I had with my installer about this same question when they were installing the hardware on my cabinets. He told me to get a decorative piece of wood for the faux drawer. They carry them in the spindle isle at the big box stores. I love mine. In fact, check our Adventures In Decorating Blog. on her summer kitchen. She has one on her stove faux and the kitchen sink.

  6. I love those drawer pulls, but no, I would not add them since you will e replacing the sink. You may find another use for them…Great kitchen – wish mine was done in white.

  7. I like the faux drawer plain. You will replace it in the future anyway. The kitchen is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  8. I have them on my two panels because the panels pull down to hold sponges, small cleaning tools, etc. If yours will eventually be removed for a different sink, I wouldn’t bother adding pulls.

  9. Looks Great! I would leave them off as well. I agree with some of the others that they will get in the way.

  10. I wouldn’t add them either for the same reason as Teri. They will end up getting in your way. Everyone knows that’s now a drawer, so why fake it!

  11. Yes! I think that it looks unfinished without the pulls, and the rest looks so beautiful, it’s a shame not to add them, especially as you already have them.

    Judi in the UK

  12. I chose not to put on my faux drawers under the sink. I am glad that I did not. They would have poked into my stomach, and with all the dripping that goes on under the sink, I think they would have collected grime by now. I much prefer a flat surface to wipe.

  13. I would for sure! I LOVE those drawer pulls! We had that style in our old house and I sure wanted to take them with me, lol. You’re kitchen came out beautifully! I’m getting ready to slowly tackle the same project and just maybe I’ll get my drawer pulls again!

  14. I had the same issue in my kitchen upgrade! I added the pulls to the fake drawer fronts. Seemed to add balance and I like having them.

    1. I hoping you will see this since your post is from last year … your drawer to the left of the stove and the drawer to the right, what is the difference in the measurement? I happened to purchase very similar pulls and am trying to decide if my longer drawers need on or two on them. I see you did one on the right and two on the left, I am just wondering their length. Thanks! ~Melissa

      1. Hi Melissa, you are very observant! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The drawer on the left with one pull is 28 wide and the drawer on the right with two pulls is 37 inches wide. So, it’s a big difference and I like the way it looks with only one pull on the left. But I can’t tell you how many times a day I reach for the drawer like it has two pulls on it. So, if I had it to do over again, I would put two pulls on both drawers. I hope that helps! ๐Ÿ™‚ xo, Laura

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