How to Attach Cabinet Drawer Fronts

Instructional Video and Written Instructions on how to attach cabinet drawer fronts to your cabinet box for your DIY Cabinet Refacing Project

Tools Needed

  • Kolbe korner L brackets
  • 1/2″ screws
  • Power drill
  • 15lb Scotch Mounting Tape

We recommend a second person to help you attach cabinet drawer fronts to your cabinet box.

Gather Tools and Determine if you need Kolbe Korners

Once all of your doors are hung and adjusted and all drawer boxes are in place, it’s time to install the drawer fronts.

If necessary, your should have kolbe korners (little ‘L’ brackets that attach to the outside of the box) and you would use these to screw on the drawer fronts. You do not need to worry about this if you have a solid or raised panel drawer front. If you have a recessed panel drawer front, then you may need the kolbe korner. This is determined by how much horizontal gap is left after the drawer boxes are in place. If you do not need kolbe korners, then you will be nailing/screwing straight into the drawer box.

How to Install Kolbe Korner

Kolbe korner L brackets have two sizes, a wider and a thinner side. When installing a kolbe korner, you want to make sure to install them in such a way that they are catching on the face frame.This allows for easier drawer mounting.

Attach the kolbe korners as close to perfectly flush with the face of the drawer box as possible using 1/2″ screws to ensure we have a tight, snug fit. Always feather in your screws to not strip out anything.

Use 15lb double-sided scotch mounting tape on the kolbe korner brackets or either side of the drawers if you did not install mounting brackets. This mounting tape holds the drawer fronts snug until you screw them in.

Installing First Drawer Front in a Drawer Bank

If you have a bank of drawers, start there first. You will be installing them with the lowest door first, aligning the bottom of the drawer front to be flush with the bottom of the bottom of the cabinet doors next to it.

Remove the paper cover on the tape to expose the stickiness using a boxcutter or your nails. With two people, hold in place a couple guide blocks on the bottom of the cabinet box and set the drawer front on top of these guide blocks, leaning the drawer away from the mounting tape. Adjust to your desired overlay, then lean the drawer front into the tape and push on the door to press it snugly to the tape. This tape is activated by compression and once compressed, it remains holding even once you pull the drawer out.

Double-check to see if your bottom is properly aligned and if it’s level. Once good, it’s time to screw the drawers on. If you have a kolbe korner, use 1/2″ screws to fasten the drawer fronts. Open the drawer and screw it in, one on each side, checking to make sure everything is still aligned and level after each. Then, when everything looks good, screw in the second set.

Finding the Reveal

Now it’s time to find the reveal between the drawers in the drawer bank. Take the drawer fronts that belong there and place on top of the drawer you have installed, with your second person holding the doors in place. This will not count the top drawer that is aligned to the other drawers instead of the top of the cabinet door.

Measure the space between the top of the drawer front and the top of installed cabinet door. In this example, we measured 5/8″. We then divide it by however many gaps we have. This will show us our reveal.

Measured Space / Gaps = Drawer Bank Reveal

From our measurements:
5/8″ / 2 = 5/16″

Installing other Drawer Bank Drawer Fronts

Find a piece of wood that is the size of the reveal. We are going to use that to install the other drawer faces. The process for installing these drawers is pretty much the same.

Place the block on top of the drawer. Peel off the tape paper to reveal the stickiness. Place the drawer front on top of the reveal block. Use a couple blocks to align the door horizontally to match the lower drawer then lean it into the mounting tape, pressing firmly on both sides to secure it. Drill one screw at a time, checking alignment between screws the same way as you did with the first drawer.

Remove the reveal block, placing it on top of the drawer front you just installed. Rinse. Repeat.

Finding Top Drawer Reveal

If available, use a full length door to find the top drawer reveal. Measure the full length cabinet (we have 31″). Place the top drawer on the bank of drawers you’ve already installed, and measure that. (we have 30″). Subtract the full length cabinet height from the drawer bank height you just measured to find the Top Drawer Reveal.

Full Length Cabinet Height – Drawer Bank Height = Top Drawer Reveal

From our measurements:
31″ – 30″ = 1″

Find a block that is the same size as your top drawer reveal. Use this in the same way that you installed the other drawers in the drawer bank. If you are installing drawers above a double door, align the drawers to the outsides of the doors for install. Otherwise, it’s the same scenario.

Always measure width first, then height.