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placing knobs on recessed area of cabinet

Posted by Bluejay22 (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 13:14

Hi everyone - I plan to add knobs to my kitchen cabinets but am unsure where they should be placed. All of the pictures I've seen online show the knob on the perimeter of the cabinet (raised part). However, my cabinet edges only have a very thin perimeter before it starts to have ridges. If I place knobs on the flat part near the edge, they will practically be touching and probably look bad. I'm assuming it would be a bad idea to put knobs on any part of the hills/valleys of the ridges (please confirm?).

If so, then my only option is to put it on the recessed part of the panel, but it is much thinner. Would it be a bad idea to put the knob on the thin recessed area? The back looks the same, recessed in the middle and thicker extra piece of wood around the edges. So the recessed area is not reinforced in the back.

Any advice is appreciated! See picture below (mentally rotate the picture 90 degrees, but you get the picture...)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: placing knobs on recessed area of cabinet

Your doors were intended to be opened without pulls. While I'm not fond of cabinets without hardware, I don't see how you could add it to those and have it look right.


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RE: placing knobs on recessed area of cabinet

Can you post a picture of a whole door or drawer bank? What style pull did you have in mind?


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RE: placing knobs on recessed area of cabinet

I agree with Errant. Oh, wait? Are those the drawers?? Don't they have an edge under which you can get your finger to pull them?

If you're looking to add 'jewelry' to the cabinets, I'm afraid whatever you do is going to look awkward. For function, I'd suggest finger pulls.

If you really want something on the front, so it doesn't look, well, awkward, I'd consider some kind of bar pull. Placed on the flat part, either vertically along the edge, or even horizontally along the bottom edge. I'd use washers on the other side so the screws don't pull through the doors.

Nice color, and actually a pretty nice detail.


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RE: placing knobs on recessed area of cabinet

Hi everyone - Thanks for your input so far. I've attached a picture that better shows what the cabinets and drawers look like. Unfortunately, the cabinets and drawers do NOT have a lip on the edge where you are supposed to put your finger to pull them out. So I not only want to add pulls for contrast/color but also for functionality.

CEFreeman - glad you like the color, but I actually plan to Java Gel Stain them and wanted to use satin nickel pulls as a contrast.

I'm tempted to drill a hole in the "valley" of the edging, where it dips down, to see if I can still put a knob there without it going crooked or looking weird when installed. Is it obvious that that won't work? Is that just a terrible idea?

I like CEFreeman's idea of using a bar pull if the knob doesn't work out, but I really want to use knobs if I can. Or maybe I can use oval shaped knobs and still manage to put them on the flat part of the edge without touching??

This post was edited by Bluejay22 on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 15:19


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RE: placing knobs on recessed area of cabinet

Could you use a knob with a really skinny base that will fit on the frame? They really need to be there.

Pretty cabinets--shame you can't open 'em!


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RE: placing knobs on recessed area of cabinet

Doors take very little force to open so a knob on the flat part will probably be fine. And if it is reasonably close to the corner of the flat part, it will be reinforced a bit by being close to where the edge of the panel is held in the door frame.

You could use a washer as someone suggested above to spread the force from the screw head a bit more over the door panel too.


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RE: placing knobs on recessed area of cabinet

Thanks fori and cloud_swift for your additional input. I've decided to go ahead and try to drill a hole in the valley part of the frame to see what happens if I put a knob there with a skinny base. If it doesn't go in straight, then my plan is to drill a small countersink so that it can lay straight. I got the countersink idea from some older posts I read about cabinets with a "pillow" frame on the edge (curves out, which I think is easier to deal with than curving in the way mine are). I'm hoping the countersink won't be necessary, but if it is, then I hope it's not too hard to do (I've used a drill to make holes before but never a countersink!).


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RE: placing knobs on recessed area of cabinet

I think you're going to have a hard time being exact in the valley. I hope you're good on it. I think your idea of a countersink would be a best idea, because does the hardware you've chosen have a skinny base? You've still got to be very precise.

Buy a countersink bit at the store. Thank goodness they make 'em! :)

You know gel stain is just paint, right? You're not really staining. But it is a quick fix, as long as you rough up the existing surface. Removing it would be best (Citristrip!) but gel stain is pretty thick and forgiving.


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RE: placing knobs on recessed area of cabinet

CEFreeman - thanks for your feedback. I agree that the drillhole has to be precise with all the ridges and valleys. I did a test one today, and it seemed to work. The base of the knob doesn't sit completely flush against the cabinet (I don't think it physically can no matter where I put the hole), but it probably only has <1 mm gap or so...not noticeable unless you tilt your head and are looking really hard. (There is a gap in some parts but other parts where it hits up against the side of the ridges). All in all, I think it will work (as long as it looks good to the normal observer, I don't need it to be perfect).

Also, yes, I do know that the gel stain is a paint and not a stain. I plan to clean my cabinets with Krud Kutter (original) and then to sand with a sanding pad (180 grain) and then put on the stain without stripping. I've read that it is forgiving for the most part (especially when going dark). I'm a little nervous about the topcoat...I bought Arm R Seal as recommended by GF. Can't wait to get it in the mail, but I know it will be a several months long project for me! (lots of cabinets).

Thanks again for the advice!


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