How to Replace Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

Give your kitchen a big facelift with just a little time and money

Paige Bennett
Written by Paige Bennett
Updated June 27, 2022
Modern kitchen cabinets and hardware
Photo: Jason Finn / EyeEm / Getty Images
Difficulty

Easy

Simple project; big impact.

Time to complete

2 hours

Cost

$25–$50

Just a short shopping trip (or online order).

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Get quotes from top-rated pros.

What you'll need:

TOOLS

  • Drill and drill bit
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape

SUPPLIES

  • Cabinet hardware
  • Hardware installation kit, hole template or hardware jig

Kitchen renovations are a big dream for many homeowners. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, from making our morning coffee to prepping dinner. Luckily, you can give your kitchen a budget-friendly makeover just by replacing the cabinet hardware.

How to Replace Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

Man preparing to install new kitchen hardware
Photo: Ungvar / Adobe Stock

Once you’ve chosen hardware that will be both beautiful and functional for your kitchen, it’s time to gather your materials and tools and prepare to start drilling.

  1. Remove Old Hardware

    Open the cabinet and loosen the back of the existing hardware screws to remove old hardware.

  2. Cover the Old Holes With Wood Putty

    If you’re replacing the hardware with a new style, you’ll probably need to drill new holes. That means you’ll need to apply wood putty to fill in the old holes. Using your finger, add a wood filler that closely matches the color of your cabinets, then use a putty knife to smooth it over the hole. Paint over the filled hole as needed.

  3. Mark Spots to Drill New Holes

    If you pick new knobs that are similar in size to your old hardware, you won’t need to fill the old holes and drill new ones. Otherwise, you will have to use a measuring tape and a template from a hardware installation kit to mark, in pencil, the spot on each cabinet where new hardware will go.

    It’s important to measure the spots perfectly, otherwise, your cabinets will have knobs at varying heights. To make sure the new cabinet knobs align, consider hiring a local handyman service to help install the new knobs.

  4. Drill New Holes

    Check the hardware instructions for the specified drill bit size. Most hardware will work with a 3/16-inch twisted drill bit. Open up cabinets or drawers before drilling, or you could end up drilling into the cabinet frame by accident. Drill into the marked spots for the new holes.

  5. Install Hardware

    Now, line up the new hardware pieces with the drill holes. Put the hardware’s fastening screw through the hole in the back of the cabinet, pushing it forward to the front. Then, screw on the front part of the hardware onto the screws from the front of the cabinet.

Why Should You Replace Kitchen Cabinet Hardware?

You might be dreaming of a kitchen renovation, but that can get expensive. Whether your current knobs and drawer pulls are an eyesore or they just aren’t functional for your family, you can give your kitchen a major upgrade just by switching out the cabinet hardware.

Aesthetics

The knobs on your cabinets and handles on your drawers can completely change the look of a kitchen. Leather pulls can add a rustic feel, while matte, black metal handles can look modern or even industrial chic. Swap the kitchen hardware to update the look of your kitchen at a low cost.

Functionality

That sleek hardware might look nice at the store, but those sharp edges might be painful when you go to open a cabinet door. Be sure to test the hardware before making a purchase. While there are many beautiful options, the looks matter less if the knobs and handles aren’t functional.

Cost to Replace Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

The cost for updating your cabinet and drawer handles primarily depends on the type of new hardware you want to add.

DIY Cost

If you already have a drill and drill bits, this is an easier DIY project. If not, expect to spend $20 to $100 on this tool. Wood putty will cost $3 to $10, and the putty knife is about $2 to $10.

The cost to replace hardware can range widely, with some hardware options ranging from about $1 per piece to over $200 each. That cost then multiplies based on the number of cabinets and drawers you have in the kitchen.

Cost to Hire a Professional

A professional will be able to quickly fill and conceal old holes, drill new ones, and securely install new hardware. The cost to hire a handyman to replace kitchen hardware will range from $100 to $300, depending on the amount of hardware you need installed. Also, check with the handyman, as some require you to purchase hardware through them, while others may request that you supply the hardware.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.