DIY Shaker Cabinet Doors

One of the first things people look at when it comes to remodeling a home is the kitchen. Unless you have brand new cabinets, chances are you have some natural wood color (yellow) cabinets in your home. Or even worse, you have the orange-ish colored and very dated oak cabinets that have what’s almost a built-in security system defense mechanism with deep oak grain texture that prevents you from painting them. So, you’re at a crossroads–you either spend the thousands of dollars to buy new cabinets, or you build some yourselves….and thats where we come in. Here is a tutorial on DIY shaker cabinet doors for those of you who are thinking of updating or remodeling!


Stiles: 3/4 x 2.5″ wide Poplar

Center panels: 1/4″ Birch plywood

Wood glue


Miter saw

Table saw

Dado stack Blade (if available)


1. Cut your stiles to size on the miter saw. Cut slow, and use a nice good blade to prevent chipping the edges.

2. Use a Dado stack blade to create the appropriate width in the center of your stile. If one is un available, no problem. You’ll just be required to make 2 side by side cuts using your blade in order to achieve the desired width for the panels.

3. Use a good high tooth count blade to cut to size your Birch center panels. If a high tooth count blade is not used, it will result in chipping on the cross grain cut.

4. Glue it all together using a good wood glue. When applying clamps, be sure not to over tighten because if you do, it will bow out the wood pieces that you are jointing together. Also, be sure to keep a damp cloth nearby to wipe off any excess wood glue.

5. Since we’re saving time by not creating tenons, cut to size 3/16 x 1/4″ plugs/tenons that will conceal these holes.

6. Wipe off the wood glue and chop off the tenons.

7. Sand the project the next day. Use 80 grit to level all the joints and then finish it off with 120 grit. Since we’ll be painting these ones, there’s really no need right now to go any further.

8. Use some flexible, paintable caulk to do all the panel-to-style seams. This will be sure to give your cabinet doors that “single piece” look.

9. Now you’re ready for some primer and paint!

Stay tuned, the finished product post will go live next week. We will go over how to prime, and what the best painting technique is to have beautiful, durable and flawless cabinet doors.

Get started and I’ll see you next week. Happy building.






April 11, 2017

  • So what are your thoughts on a matching drawer front? My drawers are only 5″ tall so would you use a thinner poplar or try to enlarge the drawers. I have about an inch reveal all the way around. Thanks!