Going Deeper

Updating the hardware on cabinetry makes the biggest difference in the world.  It’s kind of amazing how something so seemingly small can make such a big impact but the truth is, it does.  We learned that when we recently swapped out the drawer pulls in our kitchen for some more modern ones and we learned it again with those in our bathroom a couple of weeks ago.   
The existing drawer pulls had 1973 stamped on the back of them so, vintage.  Good vintage?  I don’t think so.  Back when we painted our vanity, I gave them and the door hinges a coat of oil-rubbed bronze spray paint to hide the dirty bronze they were. 

Here’s an  old picture with a better view of the vintage things:
sep242011 001
We weren’t in a rush to swap them out because we had bigger fish to fry and, dare I mention it?  Anthony didn’t mind them, he said.  What I bet he was really thinking when he said that was that it would probably cost too much to replace them…pulls are expensive these days!  I’ve always kept an eye out for some replacements but with no luck.  Then, while I was browsing the web and found the pulls we added to the kitchen, I stumbled upon these brass pulls on eBay!  I filed them away and then pulled the trigger right after Christmas, swiping just under $16 from our bank account for them.  But get this, while I was trying to find some comparable pulls to list on this post, I found these pulls on Amazon that are only a couple of dollars more for a pack of 10 than the ones I bought off eBay.  They’re stainless steel with the brass finish too so I’m guessing they’re the same thing.  But, they’re available with prime shipping so they’re worth mentioning (mine came from China in about a week).  Both of those are much, much cheaper than actual brass pulls.  Solid brass pulls, like these from Lowe’s, would cost twice, if not three times as much.  I know that really, it’s not that much to pay a little more for pulls that you hope will adorn your cabinets for years to come but I feel like if we thought that way, we’d shell out more for everything which would obviously add up to amounts we just couldn’t do right now.  #budgetprobz

Anyway, I’m here to introduce you to the pulls and tell you about the little conundrum I had installing them.
Installing cabinet hardware has to be the easiest DIY home project there ever was.  Grab yourself a screw driver (or a drill if you’re always in a hurry like me) and go to town.  I started by swapping out the pulls on the cabinet doors.  Easy.  Took me one minute.  But then I moved to the drawers and realized that our drawer fronts were thicker than the hardware screws were long.  Blast.  The longer screws in the old hardware didn’t work in our new pulls so off I went to Lowe’s with all four kids one day.  But four kids + Lowe’s + concentration to figure out which screws I needed?  Nope.  I ended up grabbing four different types of screws to look through at home.  The kicker?  None of them worked.  Not one.  You know when you exert an enormous amount of energy to do something like going out into public with kids and then you realize that it was all a worthless tub of effort and you just want to go lean into a corner all by yourself somewhere?  Yes.  That.
So, I’m sure you can imagine the bittersweetness of the realization I had after all of this that I didn’t even need to go to Lowe’s in the first place.  I had everything I needed right at home.  Great.  She comes up with a great idea after she wastes her time.  The two cancel eachother out with a hefty sigh.
You can see how short the screw was here:
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My plan was to drill a hole into the drawer until I hit the actual drawer front, a hole that was large/wide enough that the head of the screw would fit down into it.  You picking up what I’m laying down?  If not, there’s more explaining coming.  (Side note:  I really, really wanted to title this post “Brass Holes” for obvious reasons but I refrained.  I’m not too good to mention the pun though…I thought it was pretty kick brass.)

The first thing I did was measure the thickness of the backside of the drawer to figure out how far in I’d have to drill before hitting that front piece.
Then I grabbed our drill and wrapped a piece of tape onto the bit (I used a bit that was a tad wider than the screw head), measuring down from the tip the exact measurement I got above.  The tape would serve to let me know when I’d drilled far enough and to STOP (in the naaaame of love) when it met the drawer front.
Places everyone:

And a’drilling I went…but only until the untaped part of the tip of the drill bit was down in the hole.
Next all I had to do was install the drawer pulls by sinking the screws down into the new holes and out into the pulls.  Here’s what those holes look like from the inside of the drawer:
After I had all of the pulls in, I replaced all of the painted, oil-rubbed bronze hinges with the same type of hinges in white (I linked to the hinges on Amazon but they’re cheaper at Lowe’s).  I was a little nervous that the white hinges would be too stark white in comparison to our creamy white cabinets but they are, coincidentally, a perfect match.  I’d of course rather have hidden hinges but that would also cost more money and extra time placing and drilling new hinges so they were out of the question.  I also could have repainted the existing hinges gold to match the brass but I liked the idea of having them blend in with the cabinets.  Painting the existing ones white wasn’t an option because, on the actual hinge part of these hinges, paint rubs off pretty easily as you open and close.  Now the hinges take a supporting role to the stars of the show, the pulls.  It’s a great relationship.  :)
IMG_8566Now I want to replace all of the brushed nickel hinges in our kitchen with white… 

As far as the pulls themselves go, they’re not quite as heavy as the ones we ordered for the kitchen but they seem really durable.  One of them came scratched/smudged though.  I tried scratching it more to see how easily the brass came off and it didn’t so, phew.
I have yet to contact the seller to see about a replacement.  It’s on my to-do list along with 500 other things.  You probably know how it goes.  Life these days, right? 

Speaking of life, bedtime is rolling in so I’m going to go grab a couple of hours of shut eye before the littlest throws her midnight party so I’m out.  Have a great weekend!
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  1. Brass Holes LOL! Awesome trick, my hubby does the same thing! I feel ya on the wasted efforts shopping for the WRONG THING though. sigh. Love the cabinets now, you are my low budget inspiration!

  2. Awesome tip and genius idea for hinges. Too bad they don't have wood tone, lol!

  3. I am bookmarking this page, because, while Steve is away, I've been trying to read as much as I can about DIYing on the cheap, so that we can still build our house, but do most of the work ourselves. The nicer pulls at Lowes are so expensive! I'm happy to know I can find less expensive options on Amazon/Ebay. The bathroom is gorgeous! ;)

    1. Yes Susan! I can't wait to watch you guys build!