How To Make Quick and Easy Cabinet Doors

Welcome back to The Wooden Maven! Are you looking for an inexpensive solution for cabinet doors? Well, I’ve got the answer you’ve been searching for. I came up with this idea after staring at all the of toys on our built-in bookcase in the family room. I needed to be able to turn the space into a playroom and quickly back into a comfortable entertaining space. My goal is to deliver projects to you that can be completed with a few tools or without power tools at all. The key is to have your local big box stores cut your plywood and make the smaller cuts at home, either with a miter saw or circular saw. Are you ready? Let’s go!

DIY Cabinet Doors

Let’s jump right in…

  1. For this project, I am using Columbia PureBond plywood. PureBond Plywood is a formaldehyde-free option for woodworkers. Plywood is composed of several thin layers of wood glued together, most plywood is made with a urea-based formaldehyde adhesive. Formaldehyde is known to off-gas toxic chemicals in the air.

As a time-saving measure,, I opted to have the hardware store rip my plywood down to size before bringing it home.  In order to the find the dimensions for cabinets I used the following formula:

2. At the bottom of each door, I cut a piece of oak I had on hand already and glued them down with Titebond wood glue. At the top of each door, I used a small rosette. I chose this design to match the existing decor of my mantle (pictured at the end of this post).

Easy DIY Cabinet Doors


PVC That Looks Wood

3. To “frame” the doors I used PVC exterior molding. It looks exactly like wood molding, but only half of the cost. The thin strip of PVC attached to the molding was trimmed with a blade. The instructions stated to treat this PVC like wood, I thought maybe I would try wood glue to affix to the plywood. My guess was wrong and the PVC did not stay. Normally, I would have scraped the wood glue off and sanded the plywood back to its original state, but I was anxious to get this project done! I then used Liquid Nails silicone in the 2.5-ounce tube. That didn’t work either. Which meant it was time to pull out the 9-ounce tube of Surface Fuze IT.

4. To add some dimension to the cabinet doors, I added 1″ molding in the center. Molding is used to upgrade the look of just about anything. It can take your project from average to awesome with a few cuts.

At the risk of leading you down the wrong road, I am going to save my advice on making miter cuts until I can make them precise. Creating frames from miter cuts are my Achilles heel of woodworking. I will do a post in the future on how to avoid the same mistakes with your cuts. For this project, I suggest measuring each piece twice before cutting. Although it appears that you should cut two equal sides, that is not always the case.

5. I taped two pieces together (for the sides that I knew were equal) to ensure my cuts were an exact match to one another.

   6. Thank goodness for paint sprayers! I used Olympic Semi Gloss basic white paint. I suggest two coats of paint for a polished look, sand in between coats with 220-grit sand paper. Sanding can be done by hand or with a power sander.

7. The edges of the plywood will be exposed. I suppose that is the only drawback to using plywood. To remedy that I used melamine edge banding. Edge banding is a dream come true. It comes in a variety of wood types (pine, maple, birch) it takes stain and paints very well. Edge banding adheres with the magic of heat. Simply place the edge banding on your wood and run a warm iron over it.

The width of the edge of the plywood is about 1/4″ and the edge banding is an inch wide. After I “glued” it in place, I used my snap blade to cut the excess off and a 150-grit sanding block to clean up the areas where I cut. A sanding block is a piece of sandpaper wrapped around a small piece of wood (mine is wrapped around a sanding sponge). Sanding blocks are great for getting into small areas.

There you have it my friends, your own custom cabinet doors that can be made in a day! Do you want to know a secret? I styled this entire bookcase with goodwill finds, each item was less than three bucks!


Tell me what you think about these quick and easy cabinet doors.

Be Great. Live Passionately.

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