How To Install Cabinet Finger Pulls

The easy way to install cabinet finger pulls.

This may be the easiest home improvement task you will ever undertake. Replacing cabinet finger pulls requires very few tools. You will most certainly need a screwdriver, perhaps a drill and a drill bit, maybe a pair of pliers, a measuring tape and a pencil

Before you gather your tools you need to head off to the local hardware store or cabinet supply store and select the finger pulls you want. If you want the least amount of work, measure the distance between the two screw holes of the pulls already on the cabinet. Then select new pulls that have the exact same distance between their holes as the screw holes in the old pulls. This means you will not have to drill new holes in the cabinets for the addition of the new pulls.

Bring your new gleaming finger pulls home, unwrap the package and let's get to work. First remove the old pulls. If the new pulls are the same size as the old ones, all you have to do is line up the pull's screw holes with the holes already drilled in the cabinet, insert the screws (these always come with the new pulls) and tighten the screws. Some screws do not go all the way through the cabinet material. If this is the case be certain your new screws are shorter than the thickness of the cabinet door. This assures they will not puncture the backside of the cabinet door. Screw tips are sharp and can be hazardous if they stick out behind the door.

On the other hand, some screws do go all the way through. Actually, these will be small bolts for they will be held in place by tightening a nut on the end of the bolt to secure it and the pull to the door. You will need to hold the head of the bolt tightly so it does not spin, then tighten the nut from the inside with your pliers.

Now let's say your new pull screw holes do not line up with the old screw holes. Get out your tape measure. Many new pulls come with a template you can use to locate the exact spots for the screw holes. If the package does have a template, read the instructions and use it. This will guarantee the new pulls are centered and the screw holes properly placed.

If there is no template you will have to use your math skills. If you are locating your new pulls in the center of the drawer or door you want to make certain they are perfectly centered in the width of the door. This is easily accomplished by measuring the width of the door and dividing that measurement by two. Now mark that center on the cabinet door with a very light pencil mark; a mark that can be erased later so it does not show permanently on the door.

Now place the new cabinet pull over this center mark. Make certain there is an equal distance between the center mark and the screw holes on either side of the center line. When that happens take a pencil and mark the site of the new screw holes on the cabinet door by inserting the pencil in the pull screw holes and making a mark on the cabinet. Oh yes, while doing this make certain the pull and its holes are level.

Most finger pulls are located in the corners of cabinet doors or along the vertical side of the cabinet door. If on the side of the door, near the edge, it is almost always placed in the vertical center of the door or near a bottom corner. Since we are replacing old pulls you can use the location of the old pulls as a guide for the placement of the new pulls. If you are replacing the pulls on a number of doors you want to make certain the pulls are located in the same exact spot on each door. If all the pulls are in the corner you want to make certain they all measure the same distance from the door's vertical and horizontal edge. Find the distance you want away from the vertical and horizontal edges, draw a line perpendicular to the edges using your measurement and a pencil. Where these two lines cross will be the center spot for your new pull. Likewise, if the pulls are located in the vertical center of the door you want to make certain they are all at the same vertical center point and equally distant from the edge of the cabinet door. Uniformity is important for a good look. Precise measurements in this step are very important.

Get out your drill. Select a drill bit that is slightly smaller in diameter than the screw. If the drill bit is too large it will drill a hole too big for the screw to make a snug connection. Once you have selected the drill bit, drill your holes using the pencil marks as your guides. Make certain the drill bit is perpendicular to the surface. Also make certain to know whether the drill bit is to go all the way through the material or stop at a certain depth without puncturing the back side of the cabinet door.

Your holes are drilled. Take the screws from the new finger pull packet and securely fasten the pulls to the cabinet. Now you won't have any trouble getting to your fine china in the cabinet.

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