$200 Kitchen Cabinet Facelift

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fcbecker added on 1/17/2016

$200 worth of materials and 30 hours of work built 15 golden oak shaker style cabinet doors and 5 drawer fronts to replace the old white euro style doors and drawer fronts. We reused the hinges/drawer boxes and matched the stain color to the original cabinet face frames.


Follow the steps below to complete this project.



Please be sure to read through complete instructions before you begin any work on this project. My cost estimate for materials is based on using rough lumber that I process to the correct dimensions. Pre planed dimensional lumber will be more expensive. Also keep in mind that plywood may be slightly thinner than its stated thickness. 1/4" plywood may actually be 7/32".


Initial Measurements

Take pictures of the kitchen. Accurately measure all of the cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Measure the kitchen layout and all appliance openings.



Draw the kitchen layout and use various rail and stile sizes to see which looks best with the kitchen. I use SketchUp software to do my design work.


Final Design Approval

After the stile & rail sizes are chosen do one final layout of the kitchen to make sure that the design is acceptable.


Design Layout

Do the detailed design for all door and drawer fronts.


Door/Drawer Design

All door and drawers use a similar design. First, the stiles, rails and panels are cut to size. Use 100 then 150 grit sandpaper to smooth all of the cut materials. Then use a Freud (99-036) Adjustable Tongue and Groove Bit set mounted in a Kreg router table to cut the tongues and grooves in the styles and rails. The groove cutter bit is adjusted to cut 1/4" X 3/8" grooves in the center of the inside edges of the door and drawer stiles and rails. Then use the tongue cutter bit, adjusted to cut 1/4" X 3/8" tongues, on both ends of the door and drawer rails. Alternatively the grooves and tongues can be cut on a table saw.


Door/Drawer Assembly

Using the appropriate sized door rails, stiles, and panel - assemble a door/drawer front. Place wood glue at each corner where the door rail tongues meet the door stiles and along the outer edge of the door panels. Clamp in place...make sure the door/drawer front is square and if necessary readjust and re-clamp. Repeat this process for all doors and drawer fronts.


Add Door Hinge Holes

Using the dimensions taken from the original doors mark the spots where each hinge will be positioned on the new doors. Use drill press with a 1 3/8" forstner bit to drill the 2 hinge cup holes in all of the doors. Then mark and drill the two holes needed for the screws holding each hinge to the door.



Now that the build is complete use 220 sandpaper to do a once over on all surfaces in preparation for the finish. Clean well to remove all dust. (I use compressed air and clean dry rags). Use a stain that matches the cabinet face frame. After the stain dries use Minwax Polycrylic Satin finish. Give the doors and drawer fronts three coats following manufacturers instructions


Attach Doors and Drawers

Use the existing hinges and drawer hardware to attach the new door and drawer fronts to your cabinets. Now you can decide what kind of drawer and door pulls you want to use in your kitchen.

Tools Used:

Materials Required:

Wood Products:

(25) 4/4, Board Feet, Southern Red Oak  
(1) 1/4" Thick, Full Sheet, Red Oak Plywood  


(1) Titebond I Wood Glue  
(1) Minwax Golden Oak Oil Stain  
(1) Minwax Satin Polycrylic Protective Finish  
(6) Sandpaper 100 - 220 grit  

Parts/Cut List:

(1) Upper Door Panel, 1/4" X 13 1/4" X 23 3/4"  
(1) Drawer Panel, 1/4" X 7 1/4" X 3 1/8"  
(4) Drawer Panels, 1/4" X 13 1/4" X 3 1/8"  
(2) Lower Corner Cabinet Door Panels, 1/4" X 6 5/8" X 24 5/8"  
(1) Lower Door Panel, 1/4" X 7 1/4" 18 1/4"  
(4) Lower Door Panels, 1/4" X 13 1/4" X 18 1/4"  
(2) Upper Door Panels, 1/4" X 13 1/4" X 8 3/4"  
(2) Upper Door Panels, 1/4" X 10 1/4" X 11 3/4"  
(3) Upper Door Panels, 1/4" X 10 1/4" X 23 3/4"  
(8) Upper Door Stiles, 3/4" X 2 1/2" X 28"  
(4) Upper Door Stiles, 3/4" X 2 1/2" X 16"  
(4) Upper Door Stiles, 3/4" X 2 1/2" X 13"  
(10) Lower Door Stiles, 3/4" X 2 1/2" X 22 1/2"  
(4) Lower Corner Door Stiles, 3/4" X 2 1/2" X 28 7/8"  
(10) Drawer Stiles, 3/4" X 2 1/2" X 5 3/8"  
(14) Door Rails, 3/4" X 2 1/2" x 13 1/4"  
(10) Door Rails, 3/4" X 2 1/2" X 10 1/4"  
(2) Door Rails, 3/4" X 2 1/2" X 7 1/4"  
(4) Door Rails, 3/4" X 2 1/2" X 6 5/8"  
(8) Drawer Rails, 3/4" X 1 1/2" X 13 1/4"  
(2) Drawer Rails, 3/4" X 1 1/2" x 7 1/4"  


http://www.freudtools.com/index.php/products/product/99-036 Visit


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