Asked on Mar 05, 2020

How can I make over these handles when upcycling this cabinet?

Trish Sykes
by Trish Sykes

I want to upcycle this cabinet, but have no idea how to tackle the handles. As you can see from the photos, the little nuts on the inside of the drawer/doors only seem to be holding the actual handles and not the decorative ?sconce? behind? Does anyone know if - and how - I might be able to remove them, or otherwise shield them from the paint? I would hopefully spray paint them. Thanks, Trish

q any ideas how
q any ideas how
q any ideas how
q any ideas how
q any ideas how
  10 answers
  • The little plates behind the handles are called escutcheons. Did you try taking the nuts off? The escutcheons should come right off as the handle typically holds them in place. If you can’t get them off, just wrap everything up in painters tape. Before you paint though, you might want to find out what kind of value this cabinet has first.

  • Penne Johnson Penne Johnson on Mar 05, 2020

    I agree with BEcky. You definitely should try and remove them. Also in Ceramics prior to spraying them

    to be fired, we brush on a wax then remove it when spraying is complete. Not sure how this would work with metal, but your local hardware store should have something. Taping will have to be real tight with no openings so this will take awhile to cover them. This will be beautiful when done, however the handles make the piece.

  • Janice Janice on Mar 05, 2020

    I the "cutcheons" may be pied off quite easily by inserting a very slender metal device beneath the rim. They are likely being kept on from years of being attached by the handle's screws. If you are redoing the cabinet, any damage done by wedging them off can easily be repaired.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Mar 05, 2020

    You can cover them with wax and painter's tape to protect them if you can't remove them. Since you are painting, you probably aren't too concerned with authenticity so you might consider replacing them.

  • Gk Gk on Mar 05, 2020

    Beautiful old cabinet! And LOVE the old hardware! Are you SURE you want to paint this! Maybe you could refinish the top and doors in new stain and poly and just paint the rest. Some nice details in the doors that would be covered up with paint!

  • William William on Mar 05, 2020

    The escutcheons on the doors look like they are tacked on top and bottom. The nut just hold the handle place. The nut on the drawer holds the escutcheon and handle. The loop for the round handle is part of the escutcheon. Remove the nut and the whole assembly comes off as one unit.

  • Betsy Betsy on Mar 05, 2020

    Hi Trish: I agree with the others, the escutcheons are being held in place by those little knobs and should come right off. If not, try prying with a plastic putty knife so you don't scratch the wood. It would be best to remove the handles and either replace them or clean up the ones you have. When you put them, or new, ones back on, add a washer to the inside before putting the nut on so that it, the nut, won't dig into the wood. Good luck

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Mar 06, 2020

    I can't really tell from your picture the size but it looks to be Walnut Wash Stand from around the turn of the century. I don't know if the accent veneer is inlaid or applied. If inlaid it could be of value. I'm an appraiser and depending on where you live you may want to just polish it and sell it rather than ruin it with paint. If you want a painted piece get something at a thrift store not a valuable. Hope you make some money.

    • See 4 previous
    • Trish Sykes Trish Sykes on Mar 08, 2020

      Yes - I usually go for Rustoleum chalk paint too!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 06, 2020

    Hello there, This cabinet is Edwardian, with Boxwood banding, and would come up well if you used Beeswax all over it and then buffed it up when dry! Nice detail on doors and great handles. Good luck!

  • Achla Bahl Madan Achla Bahl Madan on Mar 08, 2020

    Try WD 40 or alcohol/ paint thinner from front and back. There also sprays available for this purpose. The screw heads maybe be clogged with varnish. Remove the hardware from the back, bit patience maybe necessary