Frameless Kitchen Cabinet Building Guide

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 07/01/2021 - 11:40
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Want to build your own kitchen cabinets?  Here's our process from start to finish, and links to all the tutorials and templates we use.

DIY kitchen cabinets

Over the last decade of building kitchen cabinets, we've learned alot, everything from what materials to use to what techniques, and finally, are ready to share our process from start to finish with you. 

But first, let's discuss what exactly we are building - as there are many different ways to build kitchen cabinets, and many different types of materials to use.

The Ana White Kitchen Cabinet

ana white kitchen cabinet building guide

  • 3/4" plywood carcass with front edges edgebanded
  • Frameless - with the plywood carcass, no face frame is needed for structure
  • Pocket hole joinery
  • Full overlay doors and drawers with concealed hinges
  • 1/4" gap overall in between doors and drawers
  • For open shelving or cabinets with no doors/drawers, I like to add a face frame for a finished look
  • I like to use a 1x6 for the top drawer faces with a 1x4 or 1x3 drawer box.
  • I don't recommend 1x12s for larger drawer faces, as they always seem to warp or cup

How much Does it Cost to Build Your Own Kitchen?

This really depends on how much work you do yourself.  For this kitchen, I did a little math:

  • 1/2" plywood RTA cabinets that you assemble yourself and install and trim out yourself: $6000
  • DIY cabinets using Shelf Help and ordering hardwood doors, you build, install and paint or finish: $2500
  • Full DIY - cutting your own plywood, building your own doors, doing everything: $1200-$1800 (depending on wood prices)

If you are doing the hybrid DIY method, I find the doors are going to cost about the same amount as your carcass from Shelf Help.  The overall cost is generally about three times your carcass quote from Shelf Help.

What to Expect When You DIY a Kitchen

Building a kitchen is a big process, and there are many steps.  The good news is you can outsource the hard parts (cutting carcasses and building doors), and tackle the easier parts - assembling, painting, and trimming - and still get a custom kitchen on a DIY budget.  

Here's a video of my entire process of building a kitchen:

Tutorial Links for Building Kitchen Cabinets

As promised in the video, here's links to the steps.

Thank you for using our tutorials, we hope this helps you in your builds, and love seeing your final projects.

Project Type



Thu, 07/08/2021 - 14:35

You mention that it's possible to have the doors made. Do you recommend a specific place to have them made or have any suggestions about it? I'm seriously considering doing this after getting a rough price for RTA cabinets online as a starting point.



Fri, 07/16/2021 - 09:21

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Thu, 07/29/2021 - 01:51

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