How to Install Recessed Cabinet Door Pulls

  • 2-8 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-150
What You'll Need
Door Pulls
Tape Measure
Measuring Tape

Installing cabinet door pulls enables you to give your cupboards and cabinets a refreshed, updated look without a lot of time and investment. This is a great option if your cupboards need a little bit of a face-lift, or the decor of your kitchen has been changed but replacing the cabinets isn't an option. Door pulls and knobs can be found in an array of finishes, colors, and sizes as close as your local hardware or home improvement store. Recessed door pulls are a wonderful option, particularly for sliding doors or those that need a low-profile knob, as these sit flush with the surface of the door and do not require any additional room. Here you will find the information needed to install recessed door pulls.

Step 1 - Determine Location for the Pulls

First, you will need to determine the location where you will need to install the pulls on the respective doors. First, measure from the bottom of the door or cabinet to the height where you want the pull placed. Draw a horizontal line at this level. Next, from the vertical edge of the door closest to the desired location, measure in to the door to find what will be the center of the location for the handle. Mark this measurement. The intersection should be the center of the hole or cutout for the recessed handle. Many handles are round, semi-circular, or oval, and this will give you the desired center for the handle.

Step 2 - Cut out the Hole

Hold the handle that is to be installed up to the identified location and trace around the bottom or back portion of it. This will give you a template for your cutout, and ensure that the cutout is big enough to accommodate the handle, but not so big that the handle will fit loosely. Holding a small chisel at a forty-five degree angle to the surface of the door, tap the end of the handle to begin removing wood from the identified location. Work slowly, and don't go too deep to fast. Test fit the handle frequently to ensure that the fit is appropriate. Be careful not to go all the way through the wood (unless that is the desired result) when making the cut-out. Once you have enough material removed, you can use the dremel to smooth out any edges that are preventing a good fit.

Step 3 - Install the Handle

The installation of the handle will vary depending on the style that you have chosen. Read the directions if your hardware came with any. For a truly recessed handle, typically all it takes to secure the handle in place is a slow curing epoxy. Apply some epoxy to the back of the handle and clamp it in place. Do not over-tighten the clamp, it only needs to be tight enough to hold the handle in the right position until the epoxy cures.