How to Install Cabinet Pulls and Knobs

It’s no secret – new stainless steel hardware such as cabinet pulls and knobs can make all the difference when updating your living space. Plus, they’re an easy weekend project that you can even install yourself if you do it correctly! Wondering where to begin? We’ve got you covered.

Keep reading to learn our best tips and tricks for DIY hardware installation!

Temporarily Attach Hardware

This is the easiest way to avoid an unfortunate placement situation. Using reusable sticky putty, add your cabinet pulls or knobs and find a spot that looks good. Mark it down and install accordingly – it’s as easy as that! Planning the spots you’ll be drilling in advance leave less room for error and unnecessary holes down the road.

Invest in a Template

A template, or a “jig,” allows you to easily mark consistent measurements on the material you’re going to be drilling. By increasing uniform spacing and placement, you significantly reduce the opportunities for mistakes. You can buy inexpensive templates at any home center (even on Amazon!) or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can even make one yourself.

Hide Old Drill Holes

cabinet pulls and knobs

If your freshly-drilled holes don’t happen to match up with the old hardware’s drill holes, there are a few ways to hide unsightly marks.


One easy way to do this is by using backplates – these are larger metal plates that are placed behind your hardware as an extension to cover up old holes. While these can be tricky to find in hardware stores, a quick online search should find you thousands of options to choose from.


Another quick fix to cover old holes is by using putty to fill them. A key tip to take away if you use this method? Buy several colors in varying shades – light, medium, and dark – at the hardware store and blend them to get the perfect custom color to match your unique wood grain.


Of course, the simplest way to avoid old holes (if it’s an option) is by reusing them to install your new hardware!

Location Matters

Keeping an eye on the location of where you install your stainless steel pulls and knobs is very important. While it may make sense to add your hardware in the same place on each drawer or cabinet, it doesn’t always look right in the end. For example, if you have a cabinet with multiple drawers and the bottom drawer is larger, you’ll want to install the pull higher on the lowest drawer to maintain consistency and balance. Visuals are crucial here, which is why temporarily attaching hardware (as mentioned above) can be a great way to see for yourself how the finished product will look.

Level and Adjust Before Drilling

Make sure your drawers and doors are completely level before you make any permanent decisions (read: drill holes). Measure thoroughly, adjust as needed, and then once you’re completely sure everything is level, you can go ahead and start drilling. Trust us when we say nothing is more frustrating than lopsided hardware!

Contact the Experts

Installing your own hardware really can be simple, as long as you are thorough and pay attention to the details to get it right the first time. To learn more about the ins and outs of stainless steel pulls and knobs (and to see the best selection) contact the experienced team at Arthur Harris for the highest quality materials on the market.