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Installing Cabinet Knobs

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I spent the weekend in Norfolk, VA with my two wonderful sisters (Alana and Caitlin) and Alana’s boyfriend, Eddie. We had fun kicking some DIY butt! 

Most of the projects were centered around Alana’s kitchen. The kitchen was remodeled a few years ago, but it was never really finished. Our mission this weekend was try to complete some of those unfinished projects.

One of the tasks we accomplished was installing knobs on the kitchen cabinets. Another was touching up paint on the walls (but that is another post for another day.)


Caitlin made a template out of cardboard that made it a snap to install the knobs.

First she measured the corner square on the cabinets. It was 1.5″ square.

Then she made a hole in a piece of cardboard 3/4″ from two edges of the template. This way we knew our hole would be centered in the square every time! And she marked the outside corner with a little arrow.

I lined up the template at the corner of the cabinet, making sure the arrow was pointed at the outside corner. (We used the edge of the raised panel, instead of the actual corner of the cabinet.)

I used my drill to make a mark where the hole would go.

Then I removed the template and slipped a piece of scrap wood behind where the hole was being drilled.

Then I drilled into the cabinet until I felt it enter the scrap wood.

Can you name my facial expression? a) I just got a whiff of old yeasty bread. b) I’m really concentration on my drilling. c) I’m trying not to laugh at my sister taking my picture.

Then Caitlin threaded the bolt through and screwed on the knobs. Perfectly beautiful and those of us with fat fingers and short fingernails can get into the cupboards now.

For your viewing pleasure, I thought you might get a laugh out of one of the outtakes of our  Charlie’s Angels inspired picture. We were doing our best at making a sexy face. Caitlin said  “sexy facial expressions” must not run in the family. Not sure what’s with that fish face I’m sporting. So much for my sexy look.

20 replies
  1. Tatum
    Tatum says:

    Lol, you guys are adorable and hilarious! The cabinet knobs look great!! I have pretty far to go on my kitchen but since I know that knobs and pulls are a necessity I've been mulling over whether to go with brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze. Decisions…Decisions lol. Oh, and as far as your facial expression is concerned, C, I think you're trying not to laugh 🙂

  2. Sawdust and Paperscraps
    Sawdust and Paperscraps says:

    Hahaha. I'm glad I'm not the only one that doesn't know how to sport a "sexy expression" for a photo. Although, I think your pouty face is pretty close.

  3. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    I have been trying to install knobs lately, don't look half as cute as you girls though 🙂 I bought one of those knob templates at Home Depot, works pretty good. I got tired of the cardboard thingy, I never seemed to line it up just right, but that is me. What do you suggest for the wood splitting on the back side of the cabinet when you drill the hole? I use blue tape on the backside but it doesn't always work.

  4. Jo
    Jo says:

    We did the same thing and made a little template, so all the knobs would line up.. but my husband had trouble remembering to use the wrong side on the mirror image cupboard.
    In the end I wrote 'right' on one side and 'left' on the other… Men !! sheesh.
    I'm guessing it's you smelling something nasty..
    not buying that it was 'bread' though. ;o)
    Jo xx

  5. Jo
    Jo says:

    btw.. Stephanie.. blue tape isn't strong enough but duct tape should be if you rub it down really really flat.
    Jo xx
    Oh and if it does split a little you can cover that on the inside by using a washer under the back of the handle screw.

  6. Just this... Alice
    Just this... Alice says:

    I absolutely love your impression of Charlies Angels more so than the dolled up version. Yours is more believable. You did an awesome job on the cabinets. This brings to mind two of my daughters and myself doing our DIY home projects. I anxiously await each of your posts. Thanks for sharing your Mrs. DIY projects. I was going to write Mrs. DIY Dittys but it sounded strange. lol

  7. Leen
    Leen says:

    This post cracked me up! Eddie looks like "I can't believe they are making me be in this pic".

    Love that you got to hang with your sisters (and Eddie). I miss mine, they are 800 miles away 🙁

  8. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    thank you for validating my knob placement! I just put knobs on our newly painted cabinets and my wife says…”why are they low?”

    I told her that we own the cabinets and can put the knobs anywhere we want. Apparently “normal” people put the knob 2.5 inches from the bottom and line it up with the molding line on the cabinet face – but I put mine on just like you did, in the corner.

    Thank you for confirming that knob placement is subjective! 🙂

    Jeff in Indiana

  9. Christopher
    Christopher says:

    I like it, but keep in mind readers that if the corner is mitered (like mine are) this placement will not work as it will be too close to the cut of the miter. I like cabinets with a butt joint so you can place them like you did. My builder chose my cabinets, so no choice.


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  2. […] I can’t wink very well, so luckily I won’t be sending off any mixed signals anytime soon. You’d think I’d have realized that I have FED (facial expression deficiency) by now (as proven in this post.) […]

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