Cupboard and drawer handles; small but vital accessories that can make or break any decor scheme. Get it right and you can instantly update a tired wardrobe or add the finishing touch to a modern kitchen; get it wrong and you risk throwing off the whole carefully curated design. Aside from the obvious benefit of allowing you to open something, drawer and cupboard handles also have great aesthetic potential. From sleek chrome cabinet handles to antique brass drawer pulls, each slim piece of hardware is an expression of style and personality. Cup drawer handles will add a farmhouse touch to a kitchen dresser, whilst bronze drop handles will complement an antique roll-top desk. Whatever your requirements, the Houzz UK offers a wide range of drawer and cabinet hardware
to help you get a handle on your home decor.
Where should drawer handles be placed?
When deciding where to position drawer handles, it’s important to consider both appearance and function. If you’re working with a panelled drawer face, the drawer pulls may look better positioned on the top rail, whereas if the front is flat, you might want to position the handles in the centre of the unit. In terms of practicality, it makes sense to install handles higher on an oven storage drawer and lower on an above-counter flap cabinet.
If the drawer requires two handles, make sure these are equidistant from the centre and completely level. Ensure you can firmly grasp both handles without having to stretch. Conversely, if you have a chest with three vertically stacked drawers of different sizes, you may want to position the handles in different places. If the bottom drawer is larger, placing the pull at the top of this drawer and in the centre of the drawers above has greater aesthetic appeal.
How to install cupboard handles
If even the simplest DIY project fills you with dread, fear not! Installing drawer or cabinet door handles is a straightforward task as long as you measure up carefully and don’t cut corners. For perfectly positioned hardware, follow these basic guidelines:
- First, make a template of the cupboard or drawer by measuring the dimensions of the front and cutting a piece of cardboard to the same size. It might be easier to only measure out a section of the unit, depending on where you need to position each handle.
- Carefully mark on the cardboard where the holes for each piece of hardware should be. Most cabinet and drawer handles come with a diagram that indicates the distance between each of the holes. If installing drawer pulls, find the centre of your template first to ensure that the handle is not positioned closer to one side than the other. Punch holes in the cardboard where to indicate the position of the screws.
- Place the cardboard template over the cupboard or drawer and mark with a pencil where you need to drill. Double-check before you start drilling holes!
- Clamp a scrap piece of wood to the back of the unit. This will ensure that you create a clean, neat hole without damaging the reverse of the cupboard or drawer.
- Once you’ve drilled the holes, attach the pull handle using screws and a screwdriver. And voilà - perfectly positioned handles with minimum stress and hassle.
If you do accidentally drill a hole in the wrong place, there’s no need to fly off the handle. Use wood filler or dowel to plug the gap, then sand the surface down.
Can you paint drawer handles?
If you want to update a storage unit or piece of furniture without purchasing new handles, painting the hardware may help you achieve the desired effect. Metal handles can be easily spray painted: just lightly sand the hardware, then apply one coat of primer and two of paint. In this way, you can transform cheap metal pulls into antique brass handles, or update old hardware with a metallic silver finish.
To paint wooden handles, again begin by sanding and applying primer. Spray paint works best for block colour pulls but you can also use acrylic to create more intricate designs. Coloured handles work particularly well on pieces of bedroom furniture, adding a Shabby Chic touch to the space.
Check out this article on decorative handles
for more ideas on how to personalise your hardware.
How to clean cupboard handles
How many times a day do you open a kitchen drawer or cupboard? 10? 20? Even more? Kitchen cupboard handles are in constant use and are thus prone to buildups of dirt and grime. To clean metal kitchen door handles, begin by carefully unscrewing the hardware and soaking in soapy water to help loosen any residues. Scrub with a toothbrush to remove any stubborn dirt then gently dry and polish with a soft cloth. If the cupboard door handles are tarnished, sprinkle some salt on the hardware and brush with white vinegar before rinsing thoroughly in clean water. You can use a bit of rubbing alcohol for a streak-free sheen or a thin layer of beeswax to protect the finish of the metal.
If the cupboard handles are significantly rusted or damaged, consider investing in replacements to instantly spruce up your kitchen cabinets. Have a read of this article for advice on how to pick the best metals for your kitchen hardware
Where to buy kitchen cupboard handles?
The Houzz UK Shop offers an extensive range of drawer and cupboard handles to suit any decor style. Whether you’re searching for contemporary kitchen cupboard handles or extra-long wardrobe handles, there is a variety of styles, materials and finishes available. If you require complementary drawer or cupboard door knobs
, be sure to check out our fantastic range on the Houzz UK Shop.