Makeover Cabinets Without Paint, Add New Hardware

Do you want to have new cabinets, but that’s just not in your budget right now? New hardware on old cabinets, even ones that might need paint, can give your kitchen or bathroom a quick inexpensive update.

If you are renting your home, new cabinet hardware is also something you can take with you when you move. Just be sure to keep the old hardware so you can put it back on when your lease is up.

Steps to Take Before You Buy New Hardware

Before you start clicking the buy button on any cabinet hardware you need to consider the existing holes. If you can’t change your cabinets, you will probably want to use the existing holes in your drawers and doors.

Take an inventory of your current hardware. First, count how many pulls and knobs there are. In this context, I’m calling anything that has two holes on one door/drawer a pull.

cabinet hardware

Next, unscrew one of the pulls and measure the distance between the holes. This measurement is called center-to-center. For pulls you will want to get new pulls that have the same center-to-center measurement.

It makes it much easier if you limit your search to pulls that have the same size. For example you could search “2 inch center bronze pull”.

If your cabinets have hinges that are visual on the outside of the door, you need to consider whether you will also switch those. This step requires a bit more effort because you have to take doors off. If you rent, it might not be worth it unless you plan on staying a while. To replace hinges, you will need to measure the distance between holes before you start shopping.

Choose Your cabinet hardware Finish

Look around your room, is most of the hardware brushed nickel, antique brass, rubbed bronze? You don’t have to match, but it’s good to make sure they won’t clash. Knobs and pulls don’t have to be metal, they can also be a wood or painted.

Best Places to Buy Hardware

Like most things available on the internet, there are almost an infinite number of choices. Once I find one or two that are good quality at a reasonable price, I like to stick to those to avoid decision overload.

My favorite places to LOOK at hardware are Anthropologie and Rejuvenation. The prices at these two stores can be high. If you are replacing a small amount of door/drawer knobs it’s a good splurge. For example, if you are just updating night stands with two knobs, these stores have some really unique choices.

For larger jobs I stick to Wayfair or Amazon because the prices are a fraction of those at Anthropologie and Rejuvenation.

Here are some of my favorite knobs for a really unique look. I found more budget-friendly options of each one on Wayfair. If you love one, the Anthropologie versions are pretty amazing.

If you prefer a more vintage look here are some knobs and pulls that come in multiple finishes, brass, brushed nickel and satin nickel. These look more like something you would see in an old house.

I get inspiration from Schoolhouse and Rejuvenation and find look-a-likes on Wayfair.

use New Hardware to Update Cabinets

Here’s an example of how knobs can transform the look of a cabinet. I painted this cabinet (about 5 times) and replaced the wood knobs with something more modern looking from Wayfair.

If you live in an apartment or a place you rent, or like me and you just don’t have the budget for a kitchen remodel try making this small change. I would love to see photos of your cabinets before and after, so share them in the comments.

If you are up for a more substantial update, like PAINTING your cabinets, check out this post that gives you detailed instructions for how to paint your kitchen cabinets for only $60. It’s a lot of work, but it’s an even bigger transformation. If you have the time and you know how to paint it is a complete transformation.

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