Cabinet Update Project

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Forum topic by Marytrue posted 01-24-2017 09:40 PM 771 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1266 days

01-24-2017 09:40 PM

Hello. I would love to update my kitchen cabinets this year. On the cheap. The posted picture of the white cabinets is what I currently have. The posted picture of the green cabinet is the design effect that I want to achieve. Using the same white cabinets.

What tool should I use to cut the grooves in the cabinet doors that I currently have? And, what is the best brand to buy?

I am brand new to woodworking; but I believe that I can do this.

7 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4491 days

#1 posted 01-24-2017 09:58 PM

Wow, redoing a kitchen is a pretty tall order. Will you be doing the cabinets as well or just the door and drawer fronts?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View alittleoff's profile


548 posts in 2055 days

#2 posted 01-24-2017 10:21 PM

As Mark said building cabinets or just making the doors is a pretty good size job. I know I can do it, but I would buy new cabinets before I’d build them. I’ve checked, an around here its cheaper. But JMO

View DalyArcher's profile


147 posts in 1898 days

#3 posted 01-24-2017 11:09 PM

You cannot cut those grooves in the doors you currently have.

Your existing kitchen looks similar to my existing kitchen. Plywood rabbeted doors I am assuming. The picture of the green cabinets are what is referred to as cope and stick doors. Your current doors are likely a single panel of 5/8 to 3/4 plywood. Cope and stick doors are made from stile and rail construction using 3/4” hardwood for the stile and rail and either a raised solid panel or 1/4” plywood center panel.

If you want to dress up your current doors I have seen others apply molding to the surface, 1/4 round or something similar to a shoe mold or an ogee type window molding cut and glued and pinned to the surface and then painted.

You could remake all the doors using shaker style stile and rail construction using pine of polar for the stile and rail and 1/4 mdf for the center panel constructed with only a tablesaw and a flat tooth ripping blade.

View runswithscissors's profile


3100 posts in 2804 days

#4 posted 01-24-2017 11:19 PM

I can’t tell from the pictures, but those green ones may have the pattern routed in solid mdd, rather than being ail and stile (or cope and stick). There are router bits that will do that, buy I am dubious about achieving that with plywood. You should check out Rockler’s catalog both for the bits, and also for ready made doors with those patterns.

I agree with D Archer about applied moldings to dress up plain plywood doors. I did this with a kitchen in a rental many years ago. Made the doors much more interesting and attractive. There are several molding styles that would work, such as screen door molding.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View builtinbkyn's profile


3009 posts in 1719 days

#5 posted 01-25-2017 12:02 AM

Mary you have a tall order ahead of you. It may help to start to search out some sites where they provide guidance on DIY home kitchen renovations. As has been stated, even making the doors isn’t for a novice. However the sites you may find may have ideas to dress them up and refinish them, as has also been stated. Doors can also be purchased from HD and others. Then all it would take for you to give your kitchen a new look, would be to refinish the face frames and boxes and install new hardware. Something I’m sure you could do. Without the proper equipment and knowhow, the alternative is going to be tough.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Woodknack's profile


13401 posts in 3159 days

#6 posted 01-25-2017 02:16 AM

Buy a book on building kitchen cabinets, it will be worth it.

-- Rick M,

View ChefHDAN's profile


1659 posts in 3628 days

#7 posted 01-25-2017 08:11 PM

Looking at your cabinets, and agreeing with the advice given above, I think you might get the front parts looking better than the carcasses. If your ultimate goal is to update the kitchen then I’d strongly suggest looking at some of the ready to assemble cabinets like these As a novice woodworker, you’ve got a heavy learning curve to get to the point of making doors or even cabinets. If you total the costs with the time involved, you could be looking to have counter tops measured after a week or so rather than weeks of living within a project. I’ve been there and done that and learned the lesson of writing a check rather than getting to do it myself and not being totally happy with the end result and starting over. Just my opinion, but there are lots of ways to get a high end look with out the high end price.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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