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Tips on How to Move Furniture Knobs or Pulls

I have found a few itty-bitty tricks when working with rehabbing furniture that can make the job a lot easier, especially when making over furniture and giving it a new look. I wanted to share a few tips on how to move furniture knobs or pulls on your drawers or cabinet doors. Moving drawer pulls can change the entire look of a piece of furniture.
White painted dresser furniture makeover

Tip 1: Use a chalk pencil to make a mark to see where the new handles will go, especially on dark painted drawers or cabinets

Marking center for stencil placement

Tip 2 : When moving knobs and filling old screw holes, place a piece of masking tape or painter’s tape on the back to keep the wood filler from squishing out.


Changing cabinet knob placement with wood putty

After the wood putty dries (it may need a little more to top it off due to shrinkage), sand it flush with the surface, drill new holes, and then paint the furniture piece. You can see how by moving the holes it transforms a cabinet here.

Old cabinet holes puttied for new knob placement

Tip 3: Replacing old knobs or handles on a dresser drawer? If the knobs are too long use washers to “shorten ” them up.

Sometimes the embedded screws on the back of a knobs can be a little too long. By dding extra washers on the back, this can make the threaded screw fit better if you aren’t able to have it cut and shortened.

Use washers to shorten up a long cabinet knob

I have to admit, in a pinch, I have also used a rubber band to take up space. 🙂
Measuring knobs for the back of a bathroom cabinet

Tip 4: When replacing cabinet knobs or handles,  measure as close as possible from center to center on the knob or pull screws.

While there are a lot of knob and drawer handle sizes, most of them are standard sized, and easily replaced.

Filling in carved wood in old furniture

Tip 5: If you have some ugly carving that you want to get rid of, putty over and sand smooth to a surface.

This chest was given a brand new furniture makeover by filling in the carving with wood putty and painting over it. You can see that transformation here.

Smoothing in wood filler on a carved wood piece of furniture

Tip 6: If you can’t find handles to fit, try repainting the old handles to give them a fresh look

Copper drawer pulls painted with metallic paint

Use  a metal-specific paint for best adhesion and longer ear on the drawer handles or knobs.

SIde board up date by removing the hutch and painting the lower cabinet

Tip 7: If you can’t find handles to fit your furniture drawer or cabinet, try using double knobs instead where the handle holes are at

I hope these tips on how to move furniture handles, knobs or pulls and make your rehabbed pieces of furniture look brand new!

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