Fix Any Loose Handles
Pulls and Knobs Open the Door to a New Look
By: Jane Hoback
Repair and replace door hardware that makes rooms look dingy and outdated. We’ll show you how door and cabinet pulls, knobs, and hinges can give your home new sparkle. You can slam cabinet and bedroom doors only so many times before you have to repair and replace hardware that is loose, broken, or just plain old and tired. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to tighten loose hardware, clean globs of paint off a hinge, or replace cabinet pulls to brighten any room in the house.
Repair and Replace Kitchen Cabinet Hardware
Replacing or repairing knobs and pulls on cabinets and drawers is a quick way to give your old kitchen a new look.
Cabinet hardware can be simple or ornate, and ranges from $1 a knob to $45 or more. Here’s your game plan:
Repair loose knobs and pulls by tightening holding screws, replacing stripped screws, or plugging gaps with wood filler applied with a putty knife.
Count the number of knobs or pulls you need before you head to the hardware store. Estimating will cost you time and money.
To replace pulls, which are attached to cabinets by a screw at each end, measure the distance between holes -- not the length of pulls -- to assure a perfect fit.
If you’re switching from a two-hole pull to a one-hole knob, choose hardware with back plates that cover door scratches and holes.
Tighten, Polish, or Replace Door Hardware
Nothing ages a room like a loose doorknob. You can tighten mortise-style doorknobs by simply tightening the setscrew on the side of the doorknob. For cylindrical doorknobs, you’ll need to take the doorknob apart.
Replace dated doorknobs with sleek door levers. For easiest installation, choose a lever handle lockset made by the same manufacturer. Prices range from $20 to $160.
Buy a commercial polish, such as Wright’s or Weiman, to make brass doorknobs shine. Warm water and a little dish soap or a homemade paste of equal parts vinegar and baking soda will scrub off dirt and make stainless steel and glass doorknobs sparkle.
Clean or Replace Door Hinges
Telltale paint on door hinges says someone did a sloppy job. To restore hinges, try these techniques:
Wash with sudsy hot water.
Scrub with a nylon brush or a toothbrush. A wire brush could damage the finish.
Brush on paint stripper that is safe for all surfaces.
Polish with beeswax furniture polish or brass polish.
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