Makeover Cabinets Without Paint, Add New Hardware

Do you want to have new kitchen cabinetry, but that’s just not in your budget right now? New hardware on old cabinets, even ones that might need a fresh coat of paint, is a great way to give your kitchen or bathroom a whole new look without spending a lot. New knobs can have a big impact and give your space a fresh look.

If you are renting your home you can still give your kitchen a personal touch. New cabinet knobs are also something you can take with you when you move. Just be sure to keep the old kitchen 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 the front of the doors and drawer fronts. The first thing to do is take an inventory of your kitchen cabinet handles. 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 drawer pulls and measure the distance between the old holes. This measurement is called center-to-center. For pulls, you will want the size of your handle to have the same center-to-center measurement.

It’s a good idea to limit your search to pulls that have the same width screw holes. 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 want to install new hinges. This step requires a bit more effort because you have to take the 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 old hardware brushed nickel, antique brass, or oil-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 wood or painted. It all depends on the style of your kitchen.

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 new cabinet hardware are Anthropologie and Rejuvenation. The prices at these two stores can be high. If you are replacing just a few door/drawer knobs it’s a good splurge. For example, if you are just updating nightstands with two knobs, these stores have some really unique choices.

For larger jobs, like new kitchen cabinet hardware, 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 for each one on Wayfair. If you love one, the Anthropologie versions are pretty amazing.

If you prefer the vintage look you would see in older homes 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 the best matches 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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