Asked on Nov 11, 2020

Remove recessed wooden cup pulls?

Agnes ChrzanowskaMackenzieMorgan McBride


These dressers have cup pulls that seem to be recessed or “pressed in” and I’m not sure how to remove them. Id be fine having to do some filling with wood filler because the plan is to paint and add new updated pulls. Thank you!

16 answers
  • Recreated Designs
    Recreated Designs
    on Nov 11, 2020

    Hi MacKenzie... Usually, even when the handles is recessed, there is a screw on the inside holding it in place. If there isn't, you can try placing a flathead screwdriver under the edge and popping it out. Does it does right though to the inside of the drawer?

  • If there isn't a screw holding them on the inside, you can try prying them out. Otherwise, you'll need to cut them flush to the drawer and fill them.

  • Redcatcec
    on Nov 12, 2020

    Looks like you'll have to pop it out, if not then cut it off and fill it in. I'd bet on popping it out. They went in, there has to be a release or a pop out.

  • Ken Erickson
    Ken Erickson
    on Nov 12, 2020

    I also thought there may be a screw from the inside or maybe glued in place. I would look for obvious and then probably use a chisel and hammer to pop them out. I would fill the holes with a matching piece of oak if I was going to stain the unit. If you are painting it, then any kind of filler would work. A cheap filler is Durham's wood filler. It is a powder you mix with water to make a paste that you put in holes or gaps. Sand it smooth when done. I would put a wood plug in the holes and then fill gaps with the Durham's. You can find it in the paint section at Home Depot and others. Add small amounts of water to the powder. A little water goes a long way.

  • Chloe Crabtree
    Chloe Crabtree
    on Nov 12, 2020

    You may have to cut or saw them off to level with the flat front of the drawer.

  • Kathy Gunter Law
    Kathy Gunter Law
    on Nov 12, 2020

    I would use a vibratory saw and cut off even with the drawer. You can pick up one with a few different blades for $35 at harbor freight.

  • Vimarhonor
    on Nov 12, 2020

    Hello. I would use an oscillating tool to level it off and fill.

    Bondo might be a suitable alternative for filling the cavity.

  • Mogie
    on Nov 12, 2020

    How to Remove Drawer Pull Impressions From Wood Furniture

  • Michelle Leslie
    Michelle Leslie
    on Nov 12, 2020

    Hi Mackenzie, another Hometalker had a similar question and got awesome advice from the community. You can find that here -

  • Johnavallance82
    on Nov 12, 2020

    Hello there,

    These handles are indeed sunk in and stuck. The only way to remove them is cut out what you can and then sand down the remaining, and then fill.

  • Johnavallance82
    on Nov 12, 2020

    Hello again,

    I love the look of this item just as it is. Could you not try to sell it with the handes?

  • William
    on Nov 13, 2020

    They are probably glued in and friction fit. First try using a chisel and hammer. They may pop out or you can pry them out. You can also use the chisel and hammer to cut them out as level as you can. Then just fill the area with wood filler.

  • Betsy
    on Nov 14, 2020

    Hi Mackenzie: Are there screws on the inside? If not, maybe they are glued in. If so, you can use a heat gun to soften the glue and then the handles should pop out with a little encouragement from the inside of the drawer front. Good luck

  • Morgan McBride
    Morgan McBride
    on Nov 14, 2020

    Is there screws on the inside?

  • Mackenzie
    on Nov 15, 2020

    It did take a lot of chisel and hammer work but most popped out eventually! Thanks everyone

    • Gwen Bessire Eversole
      Gwen Bessire Eversole
      on Dec 7, 2020

      Wow had no idea those pieces were actually set into the wood! If were me, I’d find backplates to put behind the new hardware or purchase hardware with plate already attached! You could even make backing out of wood pieces. Thats quite a bit of filling in to do!

  • Agnes Chrzanowska
    Agnes Chrzanowska
    on Nov 30, 2020

    if you want to remove them you need to find a different handle but the same size. which would be a lot of work

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