Step 8: Attach knobs and pulls and finish the drawers

Attaching knobs and pulls and finishing the drawers.
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Use a drill/driver to make holes for knobs on the doors and pulls on the drawer fronts. Screw the knobs and pulls in place. See illustration for instruction on attaching new drawer fronts. If the drawer has a front attached to a four-sided box, unscrew the old front and screw on the new one.

If the old front is attached to a three-sided box, use a handsaw to cut off the sides, top, and bottom of the front so that it's flush with the box. Then turn the drawer around and screw the new front to the back end of the drawer. Screw from the inside of the drawer. Remove the drawer-slide hardware and reattach it facing the other way.

Tip: When drilling knob and pull holes, make a jig out of plywood to keep the hole placement consistent.
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    Tools List

    • hammer with nailset
      Hammer and nailset
    • straightedge guide
      Straightedge
    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • try square
      Try-square and razor
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • hand saw
      Handsaw,
      if necessary to cut old drawer fronts

    Shopping List

    1. DOORS

    Provide the manufacturer with dimensions for each door. Measure the cabinet openings. Then add 1 inch to both the width and the height so that you’ll end up with a 1/2-inch overlap all around. (For split-doors, where two doors meet to cover one opening, add 1 inch to the full width, divide by two, then subtract 1/16 inch. This will give you a measurement for each door that leaves a 1/8-inch gap between the two.) If you’re installing concealed European hinges (see below), order the doors 'bored.' Specify right or left bore. If you want glass-fronted cabinets, order 'mullion' doors (specify the number of lights) or 'frame only' (single pane), then have glass inserts custom cut.



    2. SELF-ADHESIVE VENEER

    aka “pressure sensitive” veneer. Comes in 2-foot-by-8-foot rolls; one roll will cover about 10 cabinets.



    3. DRAWER FRONTS

    Measure edge to edge for the exact size of replacements.



    4. PLYWOOD PANELS

    to cover the exposed sides of cabinets. Measure edge to edge.



    5. HINGES

    if old hinges are bent or broken, or if you want to switch to concealed European hinges with a spring that closes doors automatically.



    6. KNOBS AND PULLS

    7. TSP

    (trisodium phosphate), a strong degreaser. For cleaning cabinet faces and prepping them for veneer.



    8. 150-GRIT SANDPAPER and TACK CLOTH

    9. CARPENTER’S GLUE

    For affixing plywood panels.



    10. 2D FINISH NAILS

    11. WOOD FILLER