Happy Wednesday! Something kind of exciting happened to me yesterday. Woman’s Day sent a photographer, an assistant and a stylist to photograph me and my garage. They worked together like a well-oiled machine and made my garage more beautiful than I could ever imagine! If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (@PrettyHandyGirl), I snapped a few photos with my cell phone. I am still in the “I’ll believe it when I see it mindset.” But, this was for a small feature on organization for the September issue. Honestly, I’m a little concerned that the editor will take one look at the photos and drop them in the garbage. After all, it is the LEAST attractive room in my house! But, the editor assured me that they really want to show an organized garage space. So, I’ll be sitting on pins and needles until the issue comes out.

Two weeks ago I got an email from someone at Woman’s Day expressing interest in my garage. She politely asked if I could make a few changes to complete my workbench. They were all changes that I had wanted to do eventually. But, that date suddenly became last week. So, I put my tail in high gear and added those finishing touches to my workshop.

This was the workbench area of our garage before:

Not very pretty, was it? But, my good friend Holly came over one night to help me finish painting and gave me a jump on all the things I had to do before the photoshoot (like shop for a few fall colored non-patterned blouses in the middle of hot and humid North Carolina!)

After the workbench got two coats of paint it looked like this:

What you probably can’t see in this photo is that the cabinet hardware on the upper cabinets doesn’t match. I wanted cool handles that say, “Creative Handy Gal at play here.” And this is what I came up with:

I retired my beloved Purdy paint brushes and immortalized them as door handles. If you have some old paint brushes lying around you can make some too.


  • 2 – 2″ paint brushes
  • 4 – 3″ threaded bolts
  • 4 – washers
  • 4 – nuts (that fit on bolts)
  • 2 – wing nuts (that fit on bolts)
  • drill
  • drill bit larger than bolts
  • wrench
  • scrap of wood


Line up the two paint brushes and drill a hole through them where the handle gets wide (just below the metal collar.)

Put one bolt through the hole at the bottom of the paint brush and insert it into the existing hole where the cabinet knob used to be. Insert a pencil into the hole you drilled. Mark the location of the upper hole with a pencil.

Drill a hole where the pencil mark is.

Thread the bolts through the top and bottom holes in the paint brush. Then feed a washer onto the bolt and finally a nut. Secure the nut with the wrench.

Thread another nut onto the bolt, and another washer as shown. Insert the ends of the bolts into the holes in the cabinet door.

Adjust the nuts until you have the desired handle depth. Then secure the handles by threading a wing nut onto the inside of the cabinet door.

Tighten the outside nut against the cabinet door with the wrench.

Repeat for your other handle. Test your paint brush handles. Jump up and down and celebrate because they work!

I can’t begin to tell you how much I love these handles. When I wrap my hand around them I don’t want to let go because those paint brushes have been in my hands for years.

Do you think I’ve had a brush with insanity? Or do you agree with me that these are pretty cool handles?

Well, I hope that the Woman’s Day readers like them.

Have a great week y’all. I have some more workshop makeover projects to share with you soon.

72 replies
« Older Comments
  1. MsChilePepper
    MsChilePepper says:

    I think this is a GREAT way to reuse something that would otherwise be thrown away! It’s creative, it’s kitschy, and clever — a great nod to what you’ll be doing in that space.

    I watched an episode of Kitchen Cousins on HGTV a while ago, where they gutted and refitted a kitchen for a very funky, creative couple with very eclectic taste. While most of the materials they used for the kitchen weren’t precisely wacky or out of the ordinary, they chose to install different knobs or pulls on every drawer and cabinet door in the whole kitchen, and it looked SO COOL! I’m thinking you could do the same, using other items as pulls or knobs. Pieces of rulers or squares, wrenches, those flat carpenter pencils, paint stir sticks (especially used ones!), or even short pieces of pipe.

    And although it might not have worked out so well for your cabinet doors with that frame around the outside, I think the paint brush handles would look even better set on a diagonal, rather than vertical as you did them. In any case, congrats on the magazine feature, and I look forward to seeing more cool ideas from you!

  2. judi
    judi says:

    these are SO cool! this is perfect for my workshop that i’m trying to spruce up to make it more appealing to creativety vs. a dull boring space. i have several brushes that were my dad’s (he passed away a year ago) that will make me smile everytime i see them.
    thanks for the great idea…visiting via roadkill rescue.

  3. Winnie
    Winnie says:

    LOVE this idea! How clever. I will remember to keep old brushes from now on and reuse them..I don’t have any metal handle ones currently… So creative and love that it is upcycling old material.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] love affair with Purdy brushes may be considered a little extreme. I love them so much that I immortalized two as cabinet handles in my […]

  2. […] I think I have a love for turning mundane objects into handles, like my old paint brush cabinet handles! […]

  3. […] love affair with Purdy brushes may be considered a little extreme. I love them so much that I immortalized two as cabinet handles in my […]

  4. […] 12. paintbrushes. These old paintbrushes make cute drawer handles. […]

  5. […] 12. paintbrushes. These old paintbrushes make cute drawer handles. […]

  6. […] No matter what type of cabinet you may have to work with, you can give it a cool look with some old paintbrush handles.  Check out the tutorial by Pretty Handy Girl. […]

  7. […] 1. Paint Brush Cabinet Handles […]

« Older Comments

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.