How to Make Beadboard Cabinet Doors

  • 6-12 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 250-500
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Table saw
Construction grade adhesive
Sandpaper and belt sander
White kitchen caulk and caulking gun
Paint or Stain
Safety glasses

To update your kitchen, why not consider the look of beadboard cabinet? Beadboard is a widely used material, great for wainscoting and ceilings but it is a great statement in your kitchen as well. If you have solid cupboards but you’re not fond of the look of them and you don’t want to invest in a whole new kitchen, you can update them by adding the tongue and groove wood. It’s not a modern look but has a more traditional feel to it, so you’ll want to decorate the rest of the space accordingly. You can purchase your beadboard primed in white so that you can paint it for your cabinets or you can buy it in unfinished wood and stain it—it’s all dependent on the look you’re going for. Best of all? It won’t break the bank.

Step 1 – Measure and Buy Beadboard

You can get beadboard in 4 by 8 sheets, the size of a plywood sheet. They are generally primed and have the tongue and groove appearance you expect of beaded board. Measure your door faces (horizontal and vertical) before you purchase so you can calculate how many beadboard sheets to buy.

Step 2 – Remove Doors

Remove your cabinet doors, taking care to take off any handles. Unscrew the hinges and keep the screws in their holes to avoid losing them. You can make a pencil mark on the back of each cabinet to keep track of their locations if you wish to re-hang them easily later.

Step 3 – Prep

Prepare the doors for adhesive by sanding them down. Clamp them to a flat surface and sand with your belt sander. If you skip this step, the existing finish on the doors might prevent the adhesive from bonding.

Step 4 – Cut

Wearing your safety glasses, cut the beadboard to the size of every cabinet door. Lay it down on top of the cabinet to be sure it fits. If you measure and cut for each one, you’ll be sure they’ll fit. If you measure one and cut them all to that size, you can’t be sure they’re all equal and they might not fit.

Step 5 – Apply Adhesive

Apply your adhesive generously to the cabinet doors or to the back of the beadboard.

Step 6 – Adhere

Place the beadboard pieces you have cut onto the cabinet doors, putting some pressure on them as you press down. Slide them slightly from side to side to bond the beadboard and doors with the adhesive. Make sure all of the edges are lined up. You can use clamps to keep the beadboard and doors together until the adhesive is dry.

Step 7 – Caulk

Use caulk to caulk any cracks and the edges of the doors you’ve made. Let the caulk dry and then sand it.

Step 8 – Paint

Paint or stain your doors in the color you have chosen. To achieve a finished look, you’ll likely want to paint the entire doors and perhaps the front of your cabinets (this will be fairly simple with the doors already removed.)

Step 9 – Put the Doors up

Put your doors up. You might have to use longer screws in the handles and hinges to accommodate for the thickness of the added beadboard. To get a good match, take the old screws to the store with you to buy the new, longer ones. To avoid stripping the screw holes, reattach the cupboards with a screwdriver.

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