6 Steps for DIY Kitchen Cabinet Doors

If you just wish to replace your kitchen cabinet doors onto cupboard frames that are in good condition, you can be confident of your ability to do this task. Follow these guidelines to create and hang new, stylish and affordable kitchen cabinet doors that will make your kitchen function more effectively while looking great at the same time.

Choose the Type of Wood

You can choose to match the existing finish of the cabinets, or refinish the frames and cabinet walls before you put on the new doors. Solid wood doors in walnut, cherry or pecan are the most expensive, while oak doors will be in a mid-range budget. Cedar and poplar are good choices for inexpensive cabinet doors.

Select a Finish for the Doors

If you wish to paint the doors a solid color, the wood choice is not so important. For stains and varnishes, select a color as close as possible to the original cabinet framing. If you have the old doors, take one with you to the building supply center to match a stain or varnish. You will enhance the overall appearance of your kitchen by taking care with this selection process.

Decide on the Door's Surface Appearance

Decide whether you want a completely flat door surface, a flat frame, a raised frame with a square, rectangular, or curved profile.

Choose the Door Hardware

Once you know how your door will look, select appropriate hardware. For a country kitchen look, choose traditional hinges, handles and knobs with a black wrought-iron finish, or wooden knobs that you will either stain or paint black. Milk-glass knobs in white also work in a country kitchen. For a modern, contemporary kitchen look into the sleek, slender pull handles that sit well above the surface. Or eliminate hardware altogether and cut some finger-width pull-grooves into the base of each door at its opening edge. Plane and sand these well to avoid splinters. These doors look streamlined with concealed European hinges and magnetic closures.

Measure, Cut and Assemble the Doors

Use an old door as a template to cut the new doors. If you no longer have the old doors, measure carefully around the frame, allowing for ceiling clearance and overlay at the bottom. Remember the adage about measuring twice and cutting once. You don't want to spoil expensive wood with cutting wastage. Sand the door edges carefully and finish with a polyurethane sealant or varnish to prevent stains and chips.

Install the Doors

Measure the hinges so they are at least an inch above and below the cabinet's top and bottom shelf edges. Attach external hinges to the cabinet first and then to the door. Align the hinges and mounting brackets carefully when using European-style concealed hinges. Reverse the attachment process with this hinge type, attaching them to the door first and then the cabinet wall. Keep the hinge screws at moderate tightness until you check all alignments with the cabinet mounting.

You can be proud of the appearance of your kitchen cabinet doors by taking these steps to make them well. An upgraded kitchen also adds resale value to your home.