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How to Change Kitchen Cabinet Door Handles

If you are looking for a way to change the appearance of your kitchen cabinet doors, a new set of handles may be the solution. Switching from handles to knobs and vice versa is simple and requires little more than a screwdriver and some wood filler. Kitchen cabinet handles come in a variety of styles, shapes and colours, and can be found at many neighbourhood hardware stores.

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  1. Count your cabinet handles before you go shopping. This is one of the most important steps that a lot of do-it-yourselfers forget. You need to know how many cabinets you have, so when you get to the store, you know how many replacements to buy. Prices for cabinet handles can range anywhere from 99 cents all the way up to £6 or more apiece. So, if you have 30 cabinets, you can plan on spending up to around three hundred dollars for your new handles, so budget wisely.

  2. Choose your new cabinet handles. There are so many styles and types to choose from that it can be difficult to decide. Look around, take your time, and maybe even bring your digital camera so you can remember what you looked at, and which ones you liked.

  3. Remove all of the hardware that is securing the cabinet door handles. Usually, a Phillips-head screwdriver is all that is required, since each end will more than likely be secured by a screw.

  4. Place all of the old hardware in a plastic zip bag. You never know when you may need handles for in the future, so zip them up and store them.

  5. Fill the holes with wood filler if necessary. If you are switching from door handles to knobs, this part may be necessary. Most knobs will only require one hole and one screw to fasten them. Since handles require two of each, you will need to fill one of the holes with the wood filler, followed by a light sanding with fine-grit sandpaper.

  6. Install your new handles or knobs. Place the attachment screws into the holes that previously held the old handles. If you have knobs, attach one screw, and affix the knob to it on the other side of the cabinet by screwing them both into each other. You will need to use the screwdriver to tighten the screw of the new handles or knobs.

  7. Tip

    Once you fill and sand the holes left by the old hardware, you can take a small amount of stain that matches your cabinets and paint it over the filler. This will render the holes undetectable.


    Do not over-tighten the screws when you are attaching the new hardware. If you do, you will strip the threads, and your knobs will spin when you grip them to open the cabinets.

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Things You'll Need

  • New handles
  • New screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood filler
  • Sand paper
  • Stain

About the Author

Jonae Fredericks started writing in 2007. She also has a background as a licensed cosmetologist and certified skin-care specialist. Jonae Fredericks is a certified paraeducator, presently working in the public education system.

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