Affordable kitchen knobs and back plates — Kate saves $268.46

Retro-Cabinet-knobsOne easy way to make your kitchen look a little more mid century — while also protecting the finish on the cabinets — is to use a polished chrome kitchen knob and back plate combination. (Hey, Rebecca, how about these for your 1963 kitchen remodel, too?) Our first instinct is always to try and find authentic vintage kitchen knobs and back plates. Great finds do pop up on ebay frequently — but usually they are in small lots. That means, for those of us with more than a few cabinets to fit, it may be difficult to track down enough quantity of true vintage knobs or pulls. That’s where reproductions come in handy. I had 31 drawers and doors to outfit — so expensive reproductions gave me sticker shock. But fear not — I found a more budget friendly alternative that still delivers the same great style — and I saved more than $250 vs. the more expensive ‘go-to’ option.


As regular readers likely know, Rejuvenation has several  mid century chrome cabinet knob and back plate combinations available. Rejuvenation is usually our first, go-to site when looking for midcentury hardware reproductions. They generally do a beautiful job with their reproductions, and Pam says that she has been impressed by the quality of the different items that she has purchased from Rejuvenation over the years. That said, you’re gonna pay — and increasingly so, we predict. Since the company was sold to Williams-Sonoma, are we right in noticing that their fanciest new lighting is getting wicked expensive? In any case, if you have a lot of cabinet doors and a tiny budget — their kitchen knob and pull options get expensive pretty fast.

polished-chrome-backplate-and-knob-rejuvenationAt Rejuvenation, the 2″ chrome dish cabinet knob with round backplate combination sells for $11. If you’re like me — and have a total of 31 kitchen cabinet doors in need of knobs — you won’t be excited to cough up $341 plus shipping for kitchen cabinet hardware.


So I went looking for a more budget friendly option — and happened upon this very similar retro styled Liberty 1.5″ Concave Round Cabinet hardware knob. It’s available at Home Depot — for just $1.38 each.


Next it was time to search out some appropriate back plates. After some intense searching, I found a package of 5 chrome door knob backplates from HD Supply for only  $4.79 — making each backplate just 96¢.

Update from Pam, see similars on Amazon, similarly inexpensive:

knobs-with-chrome-backplatesAt first I was concerned that the HD back plates might be a bit to large for the 1.5 inch wide chrome dish knobs. The comparisons: The Rejuvenation combination pairs a 1.5″ knob with a 2″ diameter back plate, while my Home Depot + HD Supply combo pairs a 1.5″ knob with a 2.75″ back plate. After putting my two less expensive options together (as seen above), though, I ended up really liking the combination. And, there’s an argument to be made that by wider-diameter back plate is functionally superior — because it prevents even more fingerprint smudges and oils from landing directly on my painted wood when I go to open and close a cabinet or drawer.

I saved $268.46

The only thing that was better than the way the end result looked was how much money I saved. While it would have cost me $341 ($11 each set) to purchase my chrome back plates and knobs from Rejuvenation — my budget version came out to only $2.34 for each set — costing me $72.54 for all 31 cabinet knobs — a savings of $268.46 for my job. I’ve been using the knobs for nearly three years and the back plates for several months now — and they are holding up beautifully.

A note on adding the backplates to my kitchen cabinets — it will depend on the thickness of the individual cabinet doors and drawer fronts — but I did have to buy a few slightly longer screws for five of my drawers to make sure that they were long enough to go through the backplate and screw securely into the knob. For this I purchased a small container of size 8-32 machine screws (1.25 inches long) at my local hardware store for less than a dollar. Standard cabinet knob screws are 1 inch long — the extra .25 inch was just enough to make it through the backplate without being too long.

What do you think of my cheap and cheerful solution, readers?

  1. elizabeth says:

    Looking for 3 inch center bow shaped drawer pulls in bright copper for my 1965 kitchen. I can find 3 3/4 but I already have holes in the cabinets.
    I know they made them, as our 1965 clubhouse has them. Does anyone have a source?

  2. Stephanie says:

    The knobs are great. But what about the hinges? Any sources for additional hinges like the ones pictures? Best I can tell, my kitchen has the same type of hinges and I want to add a couple of cabinets.

  3. Atomic Adam says:

    I just checked HD Supply, and in addition to the back plates they also have 5-packs of knobs that look exactly like the ones from Home Depot… and they’re 84 cents each! That comes to only $1.80 per set. Even if you have to round up to 35 sets, that’s only $63. I’m SO doing this for my 1961 split-level!

  4. Julia KZ says:

    Just ordered the circular knobs and backplanes both from HD, so we’ll see how it turns out. Just wanted to say a big thanks for your sleuthing!

  5. Caitlyn says:

    Hi Kate, just wanted to say I love the idea! I just ordered everything… except, instead of ordering the knobs from the Home Depot, I ordered them from HD Supply when I ordered the backplates. HD supply offers the same knobs for about $0.62 per piece! Your kitchen looks wonderful, hopefully mine will too!

  6. Dave says:

    Wow. I’m a few months late to the conversation, but as others have said, the Williams Sonoma buyout explains everything. I bought a very nice (and fairly expensive at $120) pendant light to go over our kitchen sink a few years ago. It was our one big splurge, and I justified the expense by saying that if we moved, we’d take it with us. I was wondering why they started featuring furniture in their newest catalogs and have noticed the prices creep up as well. Their Saddle Seat chair sells for $400 and they make a point of saying it’s maple. It’s also painted black so what’s the point? Ikea was selling a near identical chair for $35 not that long ago (it’s not on their site anymore).

  7. PK Scott says:

    You can find darned near any hardware you are looking for at http://www.dlawlesshardware.com and I am pretty sure they are the cheapest source on planet earth. Free shipping on orders over $50. Check out there doohickeys and such, buy a lifetime supply of cup hooks. I have used them for years through several kitchen remodels in different styles. I recently went looking for traditional Japanese handles in wrought iron ($54 each artisan made) and found one hand wrought from dlawless for $3.20. They have a great selection in chrome and some selection in copper as well as a dollar section. Have fun.

  8. Michele says:

    thanks for the money-saving replica idea. Yes, I love Rejuvenation’s products but am also in shock at how their prices are skyrocketing. your comment about them being acquired by Williams-Sonoma finally explains why. sad because I was looking forward to purchasing some of their products when I could get a little bit ahead financially but now they are out of reach. do they think everyone is rich? I find this problem with lighting companies in general too. I did manage to buy Rejuvenations’s “Rufus” vintage bathroom fixture in black porcelain and it looks fabulous and is QUALITY made. need two others but guess its not happening. love your blog.

  9. Victoria says:

    I’ve posted this on RR before, but we had lovely diamond shaped backplates, in goldtone. We really wanted chrome hardware to match our other accessories We bought the inexpensive chrome handles (just like Kate) and took our old back plates to an auto bumper/chrome shop. They chromed the backplates for about $2 each. They said they could chrome about anything made of metal, BTW.

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