Knobs, handles and hinges may seem like insignificant details, but they can have a major impact on your decor. Give your cabinets a quick facelift by replacing outdated hardware. Stylish hardware can give older cabinets a new look while providing the finishing touch on new cabinets. Choose the perfect hardware for your decor by considering a few important elements.
Kitchens are often thought of as the heart of a household. We spend a lot of time in our kitchens every day, and they’re usually the backdrop of most social gatherings in our homes. If your kitchen style is beginning to feel outdated and uninspiring, there are a number of quick and easy ways to update your kitchen that will save you the time and expense of a complete kitchen remodel.

Cup pulls are a nice complement to Shaker-style cabinets, particularly in a country-style kitchen. Recessed hardware can make for a particularly elegant and modern look, but also tends to be a bit on the pricey side. Slim, modern finger pull type hardware, which mounts to the top of a drawer or the edge of a cabinet, is a nice choice for flat-front cabinets in a modern kitchen.


I'm a wax girl. Wax always seems to work best for me and I'm ok with reapplying every 6 months or so. With that said, I cleaned them really good krud cutter. It's a great degreaser. Then sanded them first with 120 grit, then 180 grit, and finally 220 grit. Then cleaned them again with the vinegar/water mixture. I always have a spray bottle with the mix handy. Once dried, I primed and painted followed by waxing.
Fantastic, right?  Now, think about how much busier the cabinets would look if they still had the exposed hinges.  Granted, with polished chrome hardware, it would minimize the hinge effect, but suppose you like oil rubbed bronze hardware?  Exposed hinges of that variety would really stand out against the clean white cabinets.  Having hidden hinges gives you the freedom to change hardware on a whim.

What if you can’t decide on kitchen hardware? It’s OK to mix and match! Pick patterns and finishes that complement each other and install them in a repeating pattern for a look that is custom to your style. It’s easy to switch up this look as you please. However, this might not impress a potential homebuyer if you choose to sell in the future. Consider updating to more traditional cabinet hardware when it comes time to sell.
Are your cabinets in good condition but old, worn out and dated looking (kind of like me!)? With just a few tweaks you can bring them into this century and get another 10 to 15 years of life out of them. It seems like back in the 70s and 80s kitchen cabinets were built on site and built to last! That’s the case with the kitchen I’m currently dealing with, the entire kitchen was site built, they made one long face frame for an 8’ bank of cabinets – picture all the face frames of your cabinets connected together and installed as one piece, that’s how this kitchen is. Anyway, I was happy with the layout, it’s pretty basic, so to save some money I decided to work with the existing cabinets by removing the valance, replacing the exposed hinges with concealed hinges and adding glass inserts to the upper, upper cabinets – you’ll see what I mean in a minute. If you have ever thought of updating your dated kitchen cabinets, you’ll definitely want to check out this article in all its splendor.
Between your cabinets and your drawers, you may have thirty of more cabinet handles in your kitchen, which has a significant effect on the look of the room, so you will want to choose knobs and pulls that match or complement your kitchen decor. If your kitchen has a modern look, consider choosing a cabinet handle that has angles and a very simple design or a square knob. Keep in mind that you can find knobs and pulls in a number of different designs, so if you have a Tuscan-themed kitchen, you can find kitchen cabinet knobs stamped with grapes, and if you have a rustic kitchen, you can find kitchen cabinet handles made from twisted wrought iron.
But If you don’t think of your hardware as decorative (but as purely functional) and just want your pulls and knobs to blend into the background, instead of standing out, you can choose hardware that is more subtle.  Choose dark hardware for darker cabinets or silver or clear hardware for white or light cabinets.   Alternatively, you can forgo cabinet pulls and knobs all together, which will give a much more contemporary  look.
Based on this, you can then figure out the relationship between your cabinet doors and the frame or exposed edge of the cabinet—do the doors cover part of the frame or edge, or are they inset so that you can see that frame? Depending on whether it’s a single cabinet door or a double cabinet door, the frame or edge might be covered by one or two cabinet doors. 

Hinges creak, wear out, discolor or even break over the years. They can also bend. This makes cabinet doors fit poorly. New hinges can update any set of cabinet doors no matter how old they are, and real estate agents often recommend replacing old hardware to help sell your home. Whether you're moving, doing a remodeling job or your kitchen just needs a bit of TLC, you can change your hinges out in one afternoon. Hinges are designed to fit square on the side of the door, making it simple to get the hinge alignment correct -- even if your doors are older than you are.

Picking the perfect cabinets for a project is hard enough, but the effort it takes to research, test and finally decide on the best piece of outward-facing cabinet hardware calls for even further inspection. While the main material for the cabinet door heavily contributes to a kitchen’s character, its hardware serves to accentuate that character further still. A key detail within one of the most important spaces of a residence, cabinet hardware sits squarely at the intersection of form and function, and making the right choice here can elevate the design of the entire kitchen.
Rest easy, friends, you can do this, too.  And then, since it looks much better and you are thrilled and at peace with it, you can move on to dreaming about that full kitchen reno you are still working towards… one day.  Or, maybe you will be so happy with the small changes you made that you can cross that idea right off the list and move on to dreaming about making other areas of your home just right.
Aesthetically when do you choose to a long handle or a cabinet door vs. a button size knob. This does require some finesse and doing some drawings to get it just right, but here are few tips to take into consideration. You may want to lean more towards small knobs and handles if you are going for a more contemporary style in your kitchen space. Often mixing and matching round knobs with drawer pulls work well in these style of kitchens. A longer handle may be used in a more modern kitchen for a more polished look in a space, while having too many small knobs would feel cluttered for this type of kitchen. In a transitional space, you may want to select one style of hardware and then make that one particular style of hardware larger or smaller depending on where it’s going in the kitchen. For example you would have larger handles for your refrigerator and pantry doors, but a smaller version of the same knob for the upper cabinets in your kitchen area above the refrigerator.
These small items — doorknobs, drawer pulls, cabinet-door handles — are "the jewelry" that can add style and sparkle to any space, says New York-based interior designer Young Huh. Just as the right necklace can turn a simple dress into a fashion statement, a striking new set of knobs on an old cabinet, or vintage crystal doorknobs can bring a huge dose of style to your home with minimal expense, she says.
Concealed hinges can go in face-frame or frameless cabinets and on any door type—including full overlay, partial overlay, or inset—as long as the doors are at least ½ inch thick. The hinges I'm using are for frameless cabinets with inset doors. To find the hinge that will work with your door type, consult the hinge company's online brochures and customer service line. Then, with the right hinges in hand, follow the steps on the next page to install them.
I have a solid oak kitchen from the late 1980s. I would like to update the cabinets by painting them but my hinges are exposed. Is it possible to change any exposed hinge to a hidden hinge, or are there some styles that won't be replaceable? Also, has anyone else painted kitchen cabinets with exposed hinges in such a way that it looks good? Thanks!
Thanks Mary. That is a good question. There is another similar product from DecoArt called Metallic Lustre but I am not sure if it is available in Europe either. (Also, I haven’t used it so I can’t say for sure if I would recommend it.) Also, it isn’t exactly the same but silver spray paint can also work. After cleaning the hinges, spray them with spray primer and then follow up with a spray paint in the metallic finish you want.
I thought for sure I’d go with the modern beauty on the upper right (the It Pull), but when I held them both up to the cabinets they whispered to me “go for the Bronte.” Like Shakira’s hips, cabinets don’t lie, so I went with the Bronte. Then we needed to chose the finish. As much as I lurrrrrrve gold hardware, my husband nixed that idea because he does not understand this is not the gold of the 1980’s. 😉 Since he gets very little choice in the rest of the house, I took one for the team (not really, I actually love the dark finish too) and chose the lovely Venetian Bronze finish. While gold would certainly have elevated this kitchen to on-trend status, I went for what works best for our marital harmony.
The chrome and stainless steel can vary some too, but usually not as much, and as often as nickel.  To be safe, get samples from different brands and compare the colors, or get all the hardware that you need for  a single room from one manufacturer.  It’s ok if the nickel in one room doesn’t exactly match the nickel in another room.  It only looks mismatched if the different nickel finishes  are right next to each other in the same room.

I love your site and your super helpful advice. We’re installing full overlay cabinets in our kitchen and we’re trying to select hinges for the upper cabinets — particularly the cupboard doors on the end which when closed is perpendicular to a wall. Since the door aren’t inset, I’m concerned we won’t be able to open the cupboard a full 90 degrees. Basically, the issue is how to solve the problem of the door swing? Are there any hinges that could solve this problem? I can send elevations if that helps. Thanks so much in advance!


When decorating your rustic kitchen, a little bit of detail can go along way! There are many round, cast iron options that have designs that look great in rustic kitchens. If cast iron is too dark for your cabinets, look for an antique pewter finish. The detail within the hardware itself will certainly add to the look. This option also works well for a farmhouse style kitchen, giving it a great country feel.
For oversized cabinetry you’ll obviously want to use larger hardware.  Oversized cabinets and drawers are defined as over 3 feet wide. Cookware drawers or built-in appliance cabinetry are usually oversized.  For these large drawers and cabinet doors, consider long pulls which typically come in widths of 6”, 8”, 10” or 12 inches.  Some contemporary pulls are even larger than 12 inches.  That measurement is taken from the center of one screw hole to the center of the second screw hole).  Oversized knobs  are 1-1/2” or larger.
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I am thinking of doing similar here but can’t find the Harbor Freight Brad Nailer he used (electric as I am not gonna drag the huge air compressor to this house from our shop!) And some of the reviews I have seen on other brad nailers have been less than confidence inspiring! Any suggestions as to a decent plug-in nailer—don’t need the “staple” function JUST the nails!
Hi, Randi! I love all your comments. They are MAKING my day! (Especially how can I be old enough to have a daughter with her own place lol This daughter also has two kids which makes me grandma. Oy. Yes, I’m THAT old!) Anyway, I’m so glad you commented and shared about your kitchen. I’m so glad you’re going for what you want! Sometimes we do indeed get paralyzed but we have to remember who our homes are for…..and that’s US! I think we want to enjoy our kitchen especially, since most of us spend time in there with our families, or at least cooking for our families!
My home was built in 1940 and the kitchen cabinet hinges and pulls are the hammered black ones. I want to replace same pulls with chrome or polished chrome but cannot find the offset hinges or pulls to fit the holes. I really do not want to have to fill the holes to get another kind. Where can I find these? Have seen them in the past but now I cannot find them. Where should I look?
If you’re going for wood paneling, the process is pretty simple. Fasten the pieces together and cut to the size of your appliance. Then, remove the handles from your appliance and glue the panels onto the front using a hot glue gun. You can either paint the wood and the sides of your appliance to match your cabinets, or you can leave it as is for a natural unfinished feel. Complete the look by adding new appliance pulls to match the rest of your kitchen hardware. Appliance covers can be added to just about any kitchen appliance that has a door like a refrigerator and dishwasher.
3. Traditionally, your hardware should be the same finish as your kitchen sink faucet. However, mixing and matching metals is on trend in contemporary and transitional homes. Don’t forget to consider your appliances and light fixtures as well. Black appliances look lovely beside bronze or black hardware, while stainless steel and nickel play nicely together. 
Try putting different types of handles on different types of cabinets and drawers. Again, you should adhere to a color scheme and symmetry, but using a mixture of metal and glass knobs, bars and handles can add lots of character to the space. Just be sure to step back and make sure there is some rhyme and reason to it all. For instance, perhaps the two drawers straddling the kitchen sink should share the same handles to create a pleasing sense of symmetry.
At one point I considered trying to update the cabinets with more modern hidden hinges, but after some research I realized that isn’t possible for all cabinet styles and can also be pretty costly.  So instead, I started making a plan to update the older-style hinges we already had.  They started out an aged brass finish.  And not a beautiful antique brass, but more like brass that had been soaking up kitchen grease for 40 years.  Not exactly what I wanted to use on my ‘new’ white cabinets.
Whereas crystal is made primarily of silica and lead oxide, glass is largely composed of silica and soda lime. The lime is the reason glass can have a greenish tint when light is shining through it, whereas crystal is clear. Glass can provide the perfect accent to a room, and is an excellent secret weapon if you are wondering how to add a “pop” without overdoing it.
Pulling design from old pharmacies and soda fountains, latch hardware is that without a doubt a nostalgic throwback. Maybe not the most functional if you’re in a hurry, but handy if you’re looking for a little extra security from pets or children. Latches are another hardware type that can easily be mixed and matched, so maybe just keep them to the lesser used cabinets.
Rest easy, friends, you can do this, too.  And then, since it looks much better and you are thrilled and at peace with it, you can move on to dreaming about that full kitchen reno you are still working towards… one day.  Or, maybe you will be so happy with the small changes you made that you can cross that idea right off the list and move on to dreaming about making other areas of your home just right.

Pick a color scheme and stick with it. This tip is twofold, as it helps tremendously in narrowing down your choices while simultaneously expanding your options. Pick a large swath — say, the entire lower half of the kitchen — and commit to a color scheme. If the drawers in your kitchen are white, and all the hardware shares the same type of finish, the presence of different types of knobs and handles will be a pleasant sight, rather than a distraction.


Often, the hardest part in updating your kitchen hardware is deciding what will look best in your kitchen. The installation can be a simple DIY that will likely take less than two hours. However, if your kitchen cabinet hardware requires more than just a few screws but rather new fittings on your cabinets or drawers, contact a pro to ensure all of your new hardware fits perfectly.
Hi Lonnice – I am so happy you found me again. :-) Did you subscribe and then stop getting my posts in your email? I would like to understand what happened if this is the case. Did you need to subscribe again? I did make a few tweaks about 6 months ago to my subscriber list and would like to pinpoint the problem to why you stopped getting the emails in the first place. Thanks for reading :-)
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