Inexpensive hardware for 1950s and 1960s kitchen cabinets

colonial black cabinet pullNo doubt whatsoever: In the five years that I’ve been doing this blog, the availability of fixtures and hardware and decor to renovate our mid century homes has exploded — and I don’t think it’s near over yet. Things that were rare and expensive are now becoming abundant and inexpensive. Remember, though: You still tend to get what you pay fore. Jon of Jon & Trixi of avocado sink fame and of wanton hacking away at cement board covering vintage laminate countertops fame sends in these latest tips on inexpensive kitchen cabinet knobs and pulls of both the atomic and mid-century modest variety, writing:

Hey Pam!

So, a little tip for you and possibly the readers! We’ve moved on to the cabinet portion of the kitchen — which is exciting, that’s the bit I’ve been the most thrilled about changing. We’ve been hitting every store in the universe looking for the best possible hardware, from the “big box” stores like Lowes and Home Despot to little family-owned hardware stores. Mostly, the hardware is all “modern” and awful — we were thinking we’d have to shell for expensive stuff from one of the online “retro” places that specializes in period cabinet hardware.

But no!! A trip to our local Ace Hardware (which has become our second home in the last few weeks!) reveals that Ace, interestingly, has a TON of retro cabinet pulls, and the best news is THEY ARE CHEAP. The “retro” places are charging eight to ten bucks a pop for their hardware, but check this out:

amerock retro cabinet pullThe “radar dish” cabinet pulls! I’ve seen ’em online here ‘n’ there for 8 bucks a piece, Ace has them in several sizes and finishes for about 2 bucks each!

colonial black cabinet pull

The “hammered iron” knobs and drawer pulls! This is what was in our house originally, and what my folks had in my house growing up, they’re HIGHLY retro!

kitchen cabinet knobs for an early american kitchenAnd these…hammered brass kitchen cabinet pulls…as well as these nice little retro items

cabinet pulls for a 1950s or 1960s kitchenThese standard chrome drawer pulls — I’ve seen ’em in a hundred mid-century and 60s houses:

And I notice the Amerock corporation website — the company that makes all these pulls — has a ton more! 30 pages of pulls, knobs, backplates and more, and in a ton of styles designed to exactly match
your house’s original pulls. They’ve got bathroom towel bars and rings and such, too, in nifty retro / chrome styles.

Check it out!!

Thank you, Jon. When I was in Kentucky recently, I actuallsaw a lot of these pulls — or derivatives of them — at a Home Depot in a suburb of Louisville.  The retailer is “Liberty Hardware.” And I bet they are from exactly the same factory in China, because one of my Early American samples — which I have right here on my desk — appears to be IDENTICAL to your black-hammered pull. My other sample, is almost exactly the same as your “burnished gold”, but lacks the burnishing. My recollection was that these were also very inexpensive, around $2 each. Here is the link to Liberty Hardware’s cabinet knobs and pulls.

Finally — See my complete category of all researched Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinet Knobs and Pulls here.

  1. Julie says:

    Does anyone have any tips on cleaning the copper hammered iron-style pulls? I have the originals in my 1955 kitchen, but they’re blackened with crud from use. Any guidance?

    1. Suzie C says:

      I have exactly this type of copper hardware in my 1962 kitchen. I don’t know if you’re still looking, but after trying homemade mixes found online, etc. with lacking results…. on a whim at Ace, I picked up a pack of: “Cape Cod® Metal Polishing Cloths” and my copper hardware looks brand new! Worked wonders. Can be had on Amazon.com in a small foil pack, or in a larger tin. (I’ll buy a tin next time, because I’ll have to do it again in time.) (I love my copper hardware, but since they oxidize, like an old penny, I can see why some wouldn’t want to have them today and keep up with mantainence…if you want them kept looking new and shiny, that is.)
      **I’m sure though, *new* copper hardware produced today, probably has some sort of clear coat or something to keep oxidation at bay, my old 1962 stuff did not…so be careful when using different polishing products, and YMMV, etc.

  2. Bethany Good says:

    The link for “these nice little retro items” is not working. Is this cabinet pull not available? Thanks.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Stock items like this are always changing… you can look around on Ace Hardware, I guess, to see if this particular item has been listed elsewhere. Otherwise, I’d say that’s a pretty common style — try big name makers like Amerock…. Good luck.

  3. Erika says:

    Was wondering if anyone has found silver/chrome H-L hinges? I have the hammered iron pulls and H-L hinges but would like to update to chrome/silver. I can find handles but not hinges. Any leads would be appreciated.

  4. Evan says:

    We were looking for a ‘retro’ cabinet pull for our kitchen too, and I particularly liked the chrome crescent shape one above. We need 38 of the little buggers, so I went looking for them a bit cheaper. I found them (currently on sale) at the website below for about $1.50 ea.
    They look just like ones I’ve seen in original kitchens from the 1950s and 60s. They are the Amerock brand.


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