Swapping out old hardware for new is easy when there are existing holes on your piece. But how do you add new hardware to a surface that doesn’t have pre-drilled holes?
I’ve got just the trick for helping you drill new holes to add fresh knobs and handles to your next piece!
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Use a Jig to Drill Accurate Holes
Jigs are essentially templates or patterns that are used over and over again to create consistent results. They can be hand-made or pre-made.
When it comes to drilling accurate holes for new hardware, I highly suggest using a jig rather than measuring over and over again with each installation.
The jig that I like using is this Alignright Cabinet Hardware Template.
It has two different templates along with a drill bit.
One template is for drawers…
while the other is for doors.
This cabinet hardware template is essential for accurately marking and drilling new holes for knobs and handles.
Drilling New Hardware Holes on My Buffet
I recently completed work on an oak buffet for our kitchen.
This piece was in decent shape aside from damaged veneer on each side.
The doors didn’t have a working key, and I couldn’t remove the lock mechanism, despite my coaxing with all sorts of tools. (Mind the Bondo patches!)
The only ways I could open the doors were wedging my finger in the keyhole and pulling or bouncing the door open. None of these options were functional, so I needed to drill new holes to install pulls.
Here’s a tutorial video showing the process.
The Finished Piece
After installing new pulls on my buffet, it was fully functioning once more!
By drilling new holes, installing new pulls (at the same height and depth) and adding magnetic catches on the doors, I can now easily access the cubbies!
I strategically drilled my hardware holes to cover the existing keyholes (since they are no longer functional).
Unexpectedly Chippy Paint
I don’t mind the chippy look when it comes to furniture. In fact, I’m all for it! The chippy finish this buffet developed was a bit of a surprise to me.
This demonstrates the unpredictable outcome that can sometimes occur when you’re refinishing second-hand furniture. There must be some sort of surface contaminant on my buffet that isn’t allowing the paint to adhere. Common culprits are:
- Dusting sprays (like Swiffer)
- Old English
- Murphy’s Oil Soap
Whenever you’re refinishing a piece of furniture with a mysterious past, there is always a small chance you can run into issues. It’s almost impossible to know the full history of a piece you buy at an antique shop or from an online marketplace.
Fortunately, I don’t mind the outcome. In fact, I prefer it!
Leaving a Bit of Wood
For those of you who have followed me for a few years, you know how much I like refinishing wood surfaces. I don’t typically paint an ENTIRE piece. The balance of a fresh paint finish and beautiful wood accents makes my heart happy.
That’s why I decided to leave the legs and top natural.
I know some of you may be upset that I painted this piece in the first place. That’s completely fine with me! We all have our different design tastes and preferences. To be fair, I’m sure you have made design choices in your home that I wouldn’t like either.
In the end, we’re spending MUCH more time at home than we ever have in years past. Your home is your sanctuary during these difficult days, and you should design it in such a way that makes your heart happy!
This refinished oak buffet is making me VERY happy!
Best of all, now you know how to drill new holes for fresh hardware!