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How to Install Cabinet Knobs with a Template

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On a recent trip to my local hardware store I found the best way to install cabinet knobs…. it is with an inexpensive little piece of plastic that makes installing cabinet knobs…1…2…3… easy.
how to install cabinet knobs with a template

Going to Wilson’s also reminds me of going to the hardware store with my dad when I was a little kid.  While he was talking about whatever it was he needed to fix or make with the hardware guy, my twin sister and I used to love to browse all around and look in all the bins and play with the nails and screws.  The paint color swatches always fascinated me.   My dad is 87 years old now and does not get out much. I know if I brought him into Wilsons he would smile and want to look at everything even though he can’t DIY himself anymore.

How to install cabinet knobs the easy way

I painted the cabinets about 12 years ago. At the time, bright shiny polished brass was the trend.  I slowly have been updating the appliances to stainless. The gold faucet was leaking and the cabinet knobs were falling off. I am not kidding when I tell you that Crazy Glue was holding many of them together.

Nickel-Cabinet-pulls and knobs ready to install

So I decided some new jewels for my cabinets was in order and a pretty new faucet.

After going to the local farmers market in town 2 weeks ago, my daughter and I went into Wilsons True Value Hardware to buy a bag of sand for our outdoor fire bowl.  While we were there I looked at the cabinet pulls they had in stock and found a hefty looking pull that I liked and that was also long enough to cover the old holes. WIN WIN!

I didn’t buy them right away as I still wanted to see all that True Value sold online when I got home, I went to True Value.com and looked to see what else they had. Hundreds of cabinet knobs and pulls in many different metals and finishes.

I made my selections and placed my order. I chose to have my order shipped to the store for free.  After a few days, I received an email saying my order was ready for pick up at Wilsons.


No more acrylic glued-on knobs!  Real glass knobs.


Nickel pulls look much better with the stainless appliances.


My favorite part though, is a new faucet.  Goodbye gold faucet. You served me well, but your time is up.


Hello Delta Windermere faucet. Isn’t she pretty?


I took care of switching out the new cabinet hardware, but to install the new faucet, I gathered all the needed materials and called on my installer…


My hubby Ed.  Installation of the new faucet was a breeze, the hard part was removing the old one that was pretty much fused in place.  Thanks honey XO.

After the faucet was installed, I went to work on the hardware.


I love the new look – all shiny and new.


Oh! and since my cabinets were made before hidden hinges were standard, I bought 24 sets of new nickel hinges to replace the brass ones.


As I started to put the new hardware on the cabinets, I realized the antique white paint  on the cabinets was looking dreary against all the white accents and trim with which I have been painting the first floor of my house.

How to paint kitchen cabinets

One thing led to another and since I had to remove every cabinet door to replace the hinges, I decided to just go for it and paint my cabinets white – pure white.  I am still in the process of painting, but have gotten this half of the kitchen completed.


Since I was just replacing the hinges, I didn’t have to drill new holes for the new ones in the cabinet doors.   If you have ever installed hinges and then put the doors  up only to find they didn’t line up or close correctly – you know how frustrating it can be to hang doors.


My dad would be proud of me; I was listening all those times when I was a teenager watching him fix things.

How to Hang a Cabinet Door and Other Tips

One such tip was how to hang cabinet doors – don’t tighten the screws, just get them in, then tighten one and check that the door stays aligned and closes correctly. If it doesn’t, loosen the screw and go to the next. Move from screw to screw tightening and loosening until the door is hanging perfectly.


Another tip I learned from my dad was to always gather all the tools you think you will need for a project and even a few you don’t. This will save you a few trips to the basement to get another tool.

To hang the pulls and knobs, I needed a drill bit to drill the holes into the cabinets that was the size of the screws, and masking tape.


The best tip though, was to have a jig. My dad made jigs for everything he made or fixed.  I never understood the need for them until I started to make things myself.  This plastic alignment guide will save you frustration and time when installing cabinet hardware. If you don’t have one, it is well worth the few dollars it costs to buy.  It takes the guesswork and the math out of installing knobs and pulls.

1..2..3 Easy!


1.  Find the center of the drawer front. Place a piece of low tack tape over the top edge of drawer and then make a pencil mark at the center.

2.  Place the lip of the cabinet/pull alignment jig over the top of the drawer front and align the center point on the jig over your pencil mark.

3.  My pulls were 3” between the holes. I found this marking on the jig and placed tape behind the holes I needed to use. This helps you not forget which holes to use.

Use a pencil to draw a dot for each hole on the drawer.

4. Remove alignment jig and then drill your holes.

5.  Most pulls and knobs get attached by putting the screw behind the drawer front.    Attach the knob once the screw comes out to the drawer front.


Tip:  Some of the glass knobs did not tighten fully and the glass spun on the screw.  I added a few washers to the screw and then attached them to the drawers. Easy fix.


Thanks True Value for giving me a great start in updating my kitchen.  I still have lots of painting to do and will show you more progress on Wednesday. I also want to update you on the floor refinishing.

I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.


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  1. ohhh Diane! I love how your kitchen is coming together! So happy to be “on the SQUAD with ya!” I look forward to more updates!


  2. That looks Great! And I am totally getting myself one of those little tools for the handles! Amazing! Thanks for Sharing!