Installing drawer fronts or “false fronts” can be quite intimidating. Not only do you have to get your drawer fronts cut to the correct size, you also have to make sure the gaps between the fronts and around the perimeter are perfectly consistent. This is one of those details that often separates decent work from stellar work so it’s well worth your time to master. Luckily, there’s a simple method for installing drawer fronts that’s truly dummy-proof and the only special things you’ll need to execute it are your drawer pull hardware and some shims.
I’ve shown this technique in a couple of videos in the past, such as the Quick High-Quality Shop Cabinets video, but I wanted to make a stand-alone tip video so that it would be easier for folks to find in the future. And I can’t take credit for inventing this technique as I’m sure I heard about it in a forum years ago or read about it in a magazine. But the technique is such a game-changer, it’s worth sharing far and wide.
1. Cut your drawer fronts to size, using shims between them and around the perimeter. The fronts should be snug, but not tight.
2. Drill the holes for the hardware into each drawer front.
3. Replace the drawer fronts with the shims and attach with short panhead screws (temporarily).
4. Remove the drawers from the case and attach the drawer fronts permanently with screws from the inside. Use a countersink bit for best results.
5. Remove the temporary screws and drill the rest of the way through the drawer box for the hardware.
6. Attach the drawer pull hardware and slide the drawer back into the case.
7. Celebrate with a Cream Soda.