Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 01/27/2014 - 14:31

I remember back when we used our Get Out of Jail Free card on the Momplex, and I dreaded receiving comments about hiring help and taking a step off from DIY.

But you totally suprised me.

Instead, many of you commented that a good DIYer knows when to DIY, and when to seek help.

The primary reason we hired out the drywall finishing is tool investment.  In order to tool up to do two homes worth of drywall, we'd be into it about as much as the cost of hiring the job out. And both the Ram and I are carpenters at heart, with no desire to go into the drywall finishing biz, so it just made sense to let a contractor take on the mud and tape.

So fast forward a few months, and we are almost finished with one side of the Momplex.  And it's time to start thinking about kitchen cabinet doors.

Originally, we had intended to DIY the doors for the Momplex kitchen ourselves.  We certainly can and do make wood doors, and enjoy making doors, and would love to invest in door making tools.  ANY tool that makes sawdust is something I would love to have.

But in the end, we opted to order doors.  And here's why:

1. Mom wanted a raised panel kitchen cabinet door.  To do make a 20 some raised panel kitchen cabinet doors, we would need some very expensive tools.  And for ever different door style we choose in the future, we'd be back to ordering more bits and tools (that aren't cheap).

2. There are 21 doors in this Momplex kitchen.  If it had been just a couple of doors, I'd have been game.  But making 21 doors all perfectly matched would have been a huge task and very time consuming.

3. The doors are what you see in a kitchen.  If you have a screw hole to hide on a carcass or a rogue knot on a face frame, it all gets covered by the doors.  And we are doing full overlay doors.  The margin for error is very small because the doors are right next to each other and the human eye could easily make out any discrepancy in door sizes. Quality in kitchen cabinet doors is very important.

4. Up here in Alaska, hardwood isn't cheap.  We figured that we'd only be saving a few hundred dollars (not counting cost of tools) by DIYing with raw materials vs buying doors.  Door companies can buy hardwood in bulk at a much lower cost, and that savings is passed on to you.

5. Being preggers at the time, and not able to work to full capacity, in order to get Mom moved in to the Momplex by the Holidays, we knew we'd have to take some shortcuts to make this goal happen.

And let me tell you .... after so many years of never buying anything made of wood - of only buying raw wood and making things from it, I had some very mixed emotions about opening this package ....

Step 1 Diagram
Step 1

Trust issues ... jealousy issues ... personal insecurities ...

Step 2 Diagram
Step 2 Instructions

But when I opened up that cardboard container, and saw this inside, that all changed.

Step 3 Diagram
Step 3 Instructions

We had definitely made the right decision to order kitchen cabinet doors.

The doors were the most beautiful doors I had ever seen!!!  I sat there for a long time, just admiring them.

We ordered these doors from Cabinet Now (no relationship or sponsorship), paying by the square foot for the door (prices vary by species and design).  I can tell you this - we priced out a similar door at a big name cabinet company, and it was four times as much.  The design we ordered is called Burgundy.

Now comes the really hard part.  

Painting these beautiful doors!

Step 4 Diagram
Step 4 Instructions

Grace helped us cover the floor in one of the Momplex bonus rooms with painter's paper. The walls are just primed, so a little overspray won't hurt.

Step 5 Diagram
Step 5 Instructions

I don't envy the guy that has to paint these beautiful doors ....

Step 6 Diagram
Step 6 Instructions

The Ram sprayed the doors with primer and paint. No sanding was required because the doors come pre-sanded.

Step 7 Diagram
Step 7 Instructions

Too late to turn back now, but I definitely was feeling painter's remorse here.

Step 8 Diagram
Step 8 Instructions

All that's left now is waiting for the paint to dry,

Step 9 Diagram
Step 9 Instructions

And hanging those doors on the cabinets.

Here's a peek at what they look like hung:

Can you believe that we just took those doors out of a box and painted them, no sanding at all???  I'm still shocked!

So what do you think? Right decision to order doors? Or should we have gone the DIY route?


Average Joe

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 23:58

would love to have more info on how you painted them. What type of paint did you use?

In reply to by Average Joe

Ana White

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:04

Hi everyone, for the cabinet doors, we use Sherwin Williams primer and paint, sprayed on. The whites are the off the shelf whites. We use the highest quality they have available, and spray on two coats. We sand after priming and sometimes between coats if needed with super fine sandpaper. The finish is beautiful and is holding up extremely well - you'd never know the paint was DIY. Thanks so much for your interest and comments on this project.


Mon, 06/01/2015 - 13:31

Would you share how much you paid for the doors, please? We're planning some renos.


Sat, 04/24/2021 - 18:49

What type of hinges did you use? I’m in the process of buying hinges, but I don’t know what the difference is when it speaks of 1 1/2” overlay? I used 1x poplar for face frame and will be using your plans for 1x3 rails &stiles with 1/2” plywood panels. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. As well as a link to buying hinges. I will need about 20 hinges.

Thank you,