4 Tips to Help you Choose Hardware when Refinishing Furniture

These tips can help you choose Hardware! These awesome tips to choose hardware are going to be super helpful for you. I am excited to share with you my design process for this portion of your project piece. If your piece you are refurbishing has hardware already it usually is a good fit for the style of the furniture body design. Some hardware is very specific, like mid century modern hardware. Others can easily be swapped out for a more updated look. This is what we are discussing today!

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What is the difference between knobs and pulls?

Pulls: A pull requires two fasteners or screws and they will have two holes or pegs that you will screw into.

Blue rustic painted drawer with antique brass cup pull hardware. A great example for this article to help you choose Hardware.

Knobs: A knob requires one fastener or screw that has one peg you screw into.

Antique brass vintage Key style knobs for cabinet door hardware,

Yes it is really that simple. HAHA! Let’s get moving with our choices! Here are several techniques to help you make that decision.


#1 How to help you choose Hardware to match décor

Choosing your hardware to match your décor can be easier than you think. Your home décor is your own style. It is probably influenced by modern HGTV shows, magazines or Pinterest but you have added a significant influence from your own taste and style. Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your room’s decor before you choose your hardware.

  1. Do you have other metals or materials in your space that help define your design look? Maybe it’s a lamp or a fireplace screen or legs on your sofa.
  2. Is there a color or texture you wish to add more of? Maybe you have a Modern Farmhouse look and you want to pull more angular black lines through the space.
  3. Does the current hardware answer the top two questions? Remember, hardware can be painted too but you want the shape to work with what you got.

Based on design style of your space you can gather a lot of options for specific styles. Here I am going to give you a few examples of these.

Boho (Bohemian) Hardware

Today’s Boho look is full of warm woods and heavy textures with neutral bases and pops of color. This rule-breaking style is full of personal collections and unconventional style. This doesn’t necessary mean anything goes though. You want something unique and different on your piece. Usually Boho has mostly old or second hand furniture either in it’s natural wood or painted in warm neutrals or jewel tones. something unusual for the pulls like knotted rope or a bespoke piece of handcrafted metal as a pull. It really is a nomadic, traveler and fun style.




Farmhouse Hardware

Farmhouse is evolving there are many versions of this style. Generally speaking though the hardware you would use for this very popular design will be something aged. Farmhouse style is traditionally full of pieces that have been added to your décor over time. Hand me downs and something that has been there forever. Aged and worn would be perfect. There is a modern Farmhouse style that adds modern pops of black and glass. If this is your version of Farmhouse then go with sleek modern black pulls or knobs.




French Country Hardware

Today’s French country design is based on a rustic elegance and it gaining popularity in a more modern and light version right now in the interior design industry. Long gone are the days of rustic reds and roosters for this classic style but more focused on elegance, softer and lighter color schemes. I would suggest these types of hardware for French Country. Polished brass, crystal and more intricate detailing of hardware is perfect for this design style. Even an antique brass would work if the patina is not overpowering the bright brass.




#2 How to help you choose hardware size

First you need to decide if you want a drawer pull or knob. There is no right or wrong choice here for what you want to use. It mainly depends on how you want it to look. The other factor to help you decide is if the door or drawer on the piece already has holes from previously installed hardware. If you don’t want to plug and re-drill new holes you are going to be restricted to the same size and type of hardware you had before.

Old knob holes can be used to install pulls by adding a new hole in alignment with the old.

If you have a single hole from a previous knob this is easy… all knobs should work despite the shaft or screw size being to small or large. This however is an easy fix. If the new knob shaft or screw are to small for the old hole just add a toothpick or two into the hold and make sure the knob is still centered. On the other hand if the new shaft or screw is to big for the hold simply choose a drill bit that is the width of the screw and drill into the current hole to widen it.

When working with pull holes it is much easier if you stick with the hole sizes you have. This tool is extremely handy to have on hand for measuring and drilling for new hardware.




Now you can choose what size of hardware you need.

Plugging the holes and re-drilling new holes

If you are set on changing it all up this is not a hard task but it will take some tools and knowhow. Patching old holes if you are not re-drilling close to them is easy. Put a piece of painters tape on the inside of the drawer or door coving the old hole. Then proceed the filling the hole with wood putty. This won’t stain to match the front so make sure if you do this option you want to be painting the exterior surface. Once the hole is full make sure the putty is sticking out from the surface of the wood on the exterior side. It will shrink a bit when dry and you will want to sand it down to be level with the exterior of the drawer or door once it is dry, then proceed with your painting layers.


#3 Can you mix and match hardware?

Short answer is, YES you can! When mixing hardware one thing is key. They need to have something in common. I usually choose the same finish. In this example image I have used the original knobs on the top drawer, New but vintage looking cup pulls on the middle drawer and a modern bar pull on the bottom drawer. However, the one thing that ties them all together is the antique brass finish. Mixing hardware can be fun and create a unique look to your piece.

Yes you can use different hardware for one piece. This is a beautiful blue and raw wood finished rustic dresser with three different types of drawer pulls.


#4 How to help you choose a Hardware finish

Hardware finishes can vary from chrome, brass, nickel, oil rubbed bronze (black), steel, wrought iron, rope, crystal and other more eclectic options. Your choice of what you will use will depended on the interior designs style you are aiming for in Tip #1. You want to make sure that the color tone of the hardware you choose works well with the paint and stain color of your furniture piece you are refinishing. If your paint and stain tones are cool you want something that complements that like a chrome or nickel. If they are warmer like a cream, red or yellow then possibly a brass or copper. Black usually goes with just about anything. It’s a safe bet for sure. Some other examples are…

Antique Brass cup pulls:

Polished Nickle bar pulls:

Copper and Crystal knobs:

There are so many types of options out there it is impossibly for me to show you them all however I hope these four tips can help you choose hardware for your next furniture flipping project. If you are just starting out make sure you grab my free tool guide before you leave this site!