This brief tutorial will explain how to build your own basic kitchen cabinet doors by using r20. We will cover the tools you will need, what options are available, and how to save some time and money.
Before you do anything else, you need to mark and take measurements of your existing doors*. If you don’t have a tape measure, then this plus chalk should be your very first investment in the project. Mark off your current cabinet doors by drawing a chalk line around each side of each door. This will show you exactly where to hang the new doors.
Then measure each door across the top and down one side. Now you know how big your new doors will need to be. *If these are the first doors that will go on your cabinets, you need to measure a rectangle around each cabinet opening, 1/2″ from each edge of the opening. Measure each line you’ve just drawn.
Now it is design and decision-making time. Do you want doors with or without handles? Painted doors or stained to show off the wood grain? If the latter, is the solid wood you’d like within your budget, or do you need to use a less expensive wood and a veneer for the front? There is nothing wrong with your old hinges, so do you want to reuse them? These choices will affect the cost of your finished doors as well as your shopping list.
In addition to the chalk and tape measure you already purchased, you are going to need wood, sandpaper, either paint or stain, a clear coat such as polyurethane, a screwdriver or drill, wood glue, and a level. You may also need a file, hinges, a saw, a roll of veneer and a cutter, handles, and magnets (if your old cabinets had these, you can reuse them, as well).
For the most basic doors, head to your local home improvement store, and find the type of wood you want that is already the proper width. Then have one of the employees there cut it into the right lengths for you. This service is free and will save you time and work. Measure and mark where the hinge screws will need to go. If you have a drill, boring out the holes now is a good idea. After that, all that remains is to sand the wood down (you may need to use the file on the top and bottom edges first) stain (or paint) then clear coat, allow to dry, and install the hinges. Then add handles and/or magnets and hang. If you are adding veneer this should be glued down prior to staining.