How to Remove Drawer Pulls Without Screws

Typically drawer pulls are screwed into drawer fronts. However, you might find that the drawer pulls on your furniture are glued on.

By simply pulling open the drawer and inspecting the inside of the drawer, if there isn’t a screw head visible from the inside, chances are that the drawer pull was secured with glue.

If you plan to change your drawer pulls, you may be wondering how to remove drawer pulls without screws.

Fortunately, the approach you should take is relatively simple. Let’s dive in…

Choose a tool

Putty knife

To remove a drawer pull without screws that have been glued into place, you can use a flat but sturdy tool to break the glue holding the drawer pull in place and pry off the drawer pull.

A putty knife is a perfect example of one of these tools. Putty knives are essentially thin, flat pieces of metal secured to a handle. They are used for spreading wood putty or wood filler along a surface.

Paint scraper

Similar to a putty knife, a paint scraper is another flat metal tool that can be used to pry off drawer pulls. Paint scrapers often have a sharp edge that is perfect for doing so.

Hammer

You can also use the back end of a hammer to try to break the glue bond, drive between the base of the drawer pull, and pop the drawer pull off. The great part about using the back end of the hammer is that you can use it as leverage to force the drawer pull to break off. This is certainly a more aggressive approach, but for drawer pulls that won’t budge, this might be your best bet.

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Removing the drawer pull

Before using the putty knife, it can be helpful to use a hair dryer to “soften” the glue holding the drawer pulled in place. However, this approach may be more or less effective depending on the glue that was used.

Simply turn on a hair dryer and point it directly at the base of your drawer pull for a few minutes.

After using the hair dryer for a few minutes, take your putty knife and attempt to wedge it between the drawer face and the very base of the drawer pull. Attempt to drive the putty knife under the base of the drawer pull from all angles around the drawer pull.

The drawer pull may pop off naturally, but you may need to go around the drawer pull a few times with the putty knife to fully break the connection between the drawer pull and the face of the drawer.

Replacing the drawer pull

After removing your drawer pulls, chances are that you would like to replace them.

You can do so in two ways. You can either glue a new drawer pull into place, or you can create a screw hole and screw a drawer pull into place. The latter is the more secure option. 

As for the first option, the process is relatively straightforward. You would first need to take measurements of the drawer faces and determine exactly where you would want the fixtures to be located. Mark a small dot on each drawer’s face where you would want the center of the drawer pull to be aligned.

From here, apply a bit of wood glue to the base of the first drawer pull, line the base of the drawer pull up with one of your markings, and press the base of the drawer pull onto the wood. Apply pressure to the top of the fixture until the glue has dried. To make things easier, use a vice to apply pressure to the top of the drawer pull for fifteen minutes so that the glue can dry.

To screw the hardware into place, the process is a bit different. However, just like when gluing your hardware into place, the first step is to take some measurements of your drawer faces and mark the spots where you would want your drawer pulls to be located. From here, take a drill, and with a pilot hole drill bit, drill holes into the spots that you marked. From here, you can use whatever screws are compatible with your drawer pulls to screw your drawer pulls into the holes from the inside of your drawers.

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