Let’s talk cabinets.
I love how bright and large my laundry room space is in our new home, but what I didn’t love are all the finishes.
Everything was just a little blah. Lots of browns and tans, and I had a light, bright, airy, farmhouse-style laundry room in my mind.
I set out to DIY every square inch of this room, but one thing I didn’t think I had much power to change were the cabinets. The doors were a laminate with lots of dated moulding details on them, and they simply weren’t my style.
I thought I could change out the hardware, but in my mind, that wasn’t going to totally fix how they looked.
Then it hit me… the doors themselves can’t be that hard to build, can they?
So I made a plan, and made it happen. And now I’ll show you how we built our very own shaker cabinet doors with ease for a brand new look!
DIY SHAKER CABINET DOORS – HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN FOR LESS
Let’s start with a quick materials list & cost breakdown, shall we?
Here is what we used…
- 1×3 pine boards
- 1×2 oak boards
- BCX Sanded Plywood
- Pocket hole screws
- Sea Salt scrub-resistant paint by Sherwin Williams
- Liquid Nails
- Pulls for the doors and drawers
- Hinges if needed
And here are the tools we used…
- HART Tools miter saw
- HART Tools power drill
- HART Tools driver
- HART Tools circular saw
- Paint Sprayer
- Pocket hole jig
- Hinge jig
- C Clamps
- Right angle clamps
- Tape measure
- Painting tarps
- HART Tools vac for easy cleanup
** Just a note to always make sure you take safety precautions when using power tools! Especially goggles and gloves, and a mask when needed.
For us, we had all the tools and lots of the other materials on hand, so the doors were basically the cost of wood, pulls, and paint. About $10 a door — not too shabby!
What might add up is if you need a lot of tools to complete this project! If that’s the case, consider renting some of the tools you won’t use often!
STEP 1: MEASURE & CUT YOUR WOOD
We measured every existing cabinet door we were replacing for exact measurements. Then, we cut our wood accordingly with a miter saw and marked which pieces belonged to which cabinet door and drawer.
We chose to make the longest pieces of the frame on the doors and drawers go the full length of the frame, where the shorter pieces would connect the longer pieces. (This is hard to explain, so just take a look at the pictures!)
Measure twice, cut once! And stay organized with your wood.
STEP 2: DRILL YOUR POCKET HOLES
Next, begin putting together your frames! Grab all 4 pieces for one cabinet door or drawer, your power drill, pocket screws, and a pocket hole jig. You’ll probably also want some clamps here! We used our C clamps and right angle clamps for this step.
Grab your shorter pieces of wood and flip them over to the back (where the wood isn’t so smooth and perfect).
Measure the thickness of your wood and make sure you use the right setting on the jig. Then use a pocket hole drill bit and set it to the right wood thickness.
Clamp your jig to your wood with a C clamp so it doesn’t move…
Then use the hole in the jig as your guide, and drill two pocket holes per side of the small pieces of wood for the doors, and one per side for the drawers.
The point of this is to hide your hardware! Then you can use a pocket hole plug to fill in the hole when you’re done if you’d like. Simply sand it down, paint it, and you’re good to go!
STEP 3: PUT YOUR FRAME TOGETHER
Grab all 4 pieces of your frame.
Use a right-angle clamp to make sure your angles are perfect and a C clamp to make sure your boards don’t move.
Again, make sure all your imperfect sides of the wood are facing the back!
We used our HART Tools driver and pocket hole screws to place the screws in the pocket holes on all four sides to secure the frame into place!
STEP 4: CUT OUT THE PLYWOOD
We chose to use sanded 2x4x1/4 BCX plywood for the inserts of our doors and drawers.
Lay your frame overtop of your plywood and trace out the exact lines you’ll need to cut for each frame.
We used our HART Tools Circular Saw for this step.
Pro tip: Clamp a guide board where you need to cut to help your circular saw stay straight!
Then, simply wedge in your plywood insert into your frame so it’s nice and snug!
We chose to do this instead of using a router to cut out a place for a frame to go because, well, it was easy and it worked!
The trick here is it needs to be super snug, so don’t cut it too small!
STEP 5: CAULK & PRIME
Next, caulk around all your edges of the plywood to help secure it into place!
Simply add a bead of caulk along all four sides (on both the front and back), smooth it out with your finger, then use a baby wipe or wet paper towel to wipe up the extra!
Then, I allowed it to dry for about 30 minutes before I primed with 1 coat of primer and sealer. I used the Bulls Eye brand, but any primer would do!
Once they’re dry, it’s time to paint!
STEP 6: PAINT
We went with the color Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams. it was the perfect blue-green-gray! We also made sure to get scrub-resistant, durable paint because we didn’t want to seal our cabinets!
I highly recommend using a paint sprayer for this step so you get a nice smooth finish! Plus, it goes way faster.
Dilute your paint with a little water (read the directions according to your sprayer), then make sure you tarp around where you’re going to spray to save yourself from overspray going everywhere.
Also – make sure you wear a mask for this step so you don’t breath in the paint!
I set my doors and drawers up vertically to paint, then flipped them horizontally to dry so they didn’t drip.
Have a roller on hand in case you need to roll out any drips after you spray!
I then took a brush and my paint to go around all the edges since those are a little touch to get with the sprayer.
Once one side was dry, I’d flip them and repeat!
I did pretty thick coats but would recommend 2 coats per door and cabinet to make sure it’s fully covered.
STEP 7: INSTALL YOUR DOOR PULLS
Grab your pulls and install them! These were the ones we found on Amazon and just loved! Just a few dollars per pull.
I opted for a 6.25″ pull because I love when they’re a little oversized, but you do you!
Measure exactly where you want them to go, and be precise! You can also use one of these handy guides if you’d prefer.
Then I marked where I wanted my holes to go, used a drill bit to drill my holes through the front for precision, then screwed in my hardware!
This is when the doors really started to look real!!
Wait to install your pulls on any drawers as you’ll want to make sure you attach them through the drawer itself!
You use the shorter screws your hardware comes with for the doors, and the longer screws for your drawers.
STEP 8: ATTACH YOUR HINGES
We reused the same hinges from our old doors! I recommend doing this if possible so your cabinets fit well into your existing frame!
Using a hinge jig, we measured where our hinges needed to go and set our jig accordingly.
We then used two clamps to secure it to the door, grabbed our HART drill to attach to the hinge jig bit, and carved out the holes for the hinges!
This intimidated me at first, but it was pretty easy! Once your holes are dug out, there are two pilot hole guides on either side of your hinge jig. Use a small bit to drill your pilot holes for your hinge screws!
You’ll repeat this on the top and bottom of the back side of each door.
Then, simply screw in your hinges to the back of your doors!
STEP 9: INSTALL
Now that your hinges are installed, it’s time to actually install your cabinets and doors!
I used liquid nails to glue the faces of my drawers on, then I simply clamped them into place until the glue dried! Easy peasy! Then, I measured out and installed my pulls, drilling through the face of the drawer and the drawer itself, to really secure the faces into place.
Then, grab your doors and the screws you need (from your hinges) to screw each back into your cabinet frame!
I used the same placement as my previous doors and simply screwed each door into place!
Most hinges are a little adjustable, so you can loosen or tighten the additional screws on the hinges if you need them to move a little up, down, right, or left. How cool is that?
STEP 10: STEP BACK AND ADMIRE YOUR HARD WORK
This is the best step because you’re done! And you can step back and admire the fact that you just build your very own cabinet doors and drawers!
Now on to the countertops, backsplash, and floors to totally transform this room!
So what do you think? Will you give this one a try? Let me know in the comments!