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How to Give Old Furniture a Facelift With New Hardware | Rusty
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How to Give Old Furniture a Facelift With New Hardware

How to Give Old Furniture a Facelift With New Hardware


How to Give Old Furniture a Facelift With New Hardware

If you’ve ever browsed an antiques store or estate sale for more than 20 minutes, you’ve surely seen some amazing pieces of furniture. Those old armoires and highboys have what we like to call “good bones”: solid construction, excellent craftsmanship and incredible style.

What might they be missing? Oh, just a knob here and a drawer handle there. Whether the piece you have your eye on is missing handles entirely or you just don’t like the knobs because they’re old, scratched, or dirty, take heart: Most hardware is easy to replace, and it’s an inexpensive upgrade to breathe some life back into a great antique. Here’s how to get started with replacing old furniture hardware:

Selecting New Hardware

If your piece is truly a valuable antique, it’s worthwhile to scour architectural salvage yards for knobs that are from the same era as your furniture to maintain its historic look. Experts in antiques can help you figure out what to look for — at Rusty By Design, we’re more than happy to help!

If your furniture is newer or you plan to give it a totally fresh look with a bright coat of paint or maybe some faux distressing, you have more freedom to choose knobs and handles that match your existing decor. One way to instantly modernize your find is to get rid of shiny brass fixtures and replace them with some chic, brushed nickel knobs.

Filling Old Holes

Once you’ve removed your old hardware, fill in the holes with wood putty from your local hardware store. If you aren’t planning to refinish the wood, be sure to choose a putty that matches the existing finish. Simply squeeze a bit in the hole and use a putty knife to scrape away the excess. Once the putty’s dry, you’ll notice a dimple caused by some shrinkage. Repeat the putty application two or three times until the dimple disappears. Use a fine grit sandpaper to smooth the final coat once it’s completely dry.

Installing New Hardware

Installing New Hardware

Installing New Hardware

It’s best to repaint or stain your furniture before adding new handles so you don’t have to worry about getting paint on them. Once the paint is thoroughly dry, measure the spot where you’d like your new knobs to be and mark with a pencil. Stand back to check your work before drilling a pilot hole at each mark with a 3/16-inch drill bit. This will be just big enough to make it easy to use a screwdriver to attach your knobs but will still allow for a good, snug fit.

Love antiques? Check out more great tips on the Rusty By Design blog!


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