DIY Guide: How to Build Shaker Cabinet Doors

  • Ella Jubaedah
  • Jul 19, 2023
DIY Guide: How to Build Shaker Cabinet Doors

What are shaker cabinet doors?

If you are looking for a simple, yet elegant way to update your kitchen cabinets, shaker cabinet doors may be just the solution you need. This is a classic design that has been around for hundreds of years, but it’s still very popular today, especially in more traditional or transitional style kitchens. Shaker cabinets are characterized by their flat, recessed center panel and squared edges, which makes them very versatile and easy to incorporate into any decor.

Shaker-style cabinetry is not only visually appealing, but it’s also highly functional. The flat center panel doesn’t have any elaborate, hard-to-clean nooks and crannies, and the squared edges make the cabinet doors easy to open and close. And since shaker-style cabinets are so popular, you can find a wide range of hardware designs to complement your decor and create a cohesive look across your entire kitchen.

Shaker cabinet doors are actually quite simple to make. While you can certainly purchase pre-made shaker doors from a home improvement or cabinet store, it’s also a project that you can easily tackle on your own if you have some basic carpentry skills and the right tools.

To make shaker cabinet doors, you’ll need a few basic tools, including a table saw, a miter saw, a router, a drill, and some clamps. You’ll also need materials such as wood or plywood, shaker-style door panels, and glue.

First, cut your wood or plywood to the desired size of the cabinet door. For shaker-style doors, you’ll typically want to create a frame that overlaps the door panel. The thickness of the frame will depend on the thickness of the door panel you’re using. Once you have your frame pieces cut to size, use a router to create a groove along the inside edge of each piece where the door panel will sit.

Next, use a table saw to create a bevel around the outside edges of each frame piece. This will create the squared edges that are characteristic of shaker-style cabinets. Once all four pieces of the frame are ready, you can assemble them using glue and clamps.

Once the glue is dry, you can install the door panel into the grooves on the back of the frame. The door panel should fit snugly, but not be too tight. If it’s too tight, sand it down until it fits properly. You can then install your shaker cabinet doors using hinges and hardware of your choice.

Overall, shaker cabinet doors are a great way to spruce up your kitchen without breaking the bank. Whether you buy pre-made doors or make your own, shaker-style cabinets are a classic design that will never go out of style.

Benefits of DIY shaker cabinet doors

Are you considering making your own shaker cabinet doors but wondering if it’s worth the effort? Rest assured, there are numerous benefits to taking on this DIY project. Here are just a few:

1. Customization

When you make your own shaker cabinet doors, you have complete control over the final product. You can choose the type of wood, the size of the doors, and even the color of the stain or paint you use. This level of customization means that your cabinets will be truly unique and tailored to your personal style and taste.

2. Cost Savings

One of the biggest benefits of making your own shaker cabinet doors is the cost savings. If you were to purchase pre-made shaker cabinet doors from a home improvement store or cabinet maker, you would be paying a premium for the convenience. By making the doors yourself, you can save a significant amount of money, especially if you have a large kitchen or multiple cabinets to update.

But the cost savings don’t just come from avoiding markups on pre-made doors. When you make the doors yourself, you have the option to use less expensive materials like plywood or MDF, instead of solid hardwood. While these materials may not be as durable as hardwood, they are still perfectly functional and can save you a lot of money in the long run.

3. Learning New Skills

Another benefit of taking on a DIY project like making shaker cabinet doors is the opportunity to learn new skills. Even if you’re not an experienced woodworker, making cabinet doors is a relatively simple project that can be completed with basic tools and a little bit of patience. By following online tutorials or instructional videos, you can learn new woodworking techniques and gain confidence in your ability to tackle more advanced projects in the future.

4. Sustainable and Eco-Friendly

If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your home renovations, making your own shaker cabinet doors can be a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. By using sustainably sourced or recycled wood, you can create beautiful cabinets while minimizing your impact on the planet. Additionally, by choosing to make the doors yourself instead of purchasing new ones, you’re avoiding the unnecessary waste and emissions associated with manufacturing and transportation.

5. Sense of Accomplishment

Finally, one of the most rewarding benefits of making your own shaker cabinet doors is the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you see the finished product. There’s something special about creating something with your own hands and seeing how it enhances your home. Taking on this DIY project can give you a real sense of pride and ownership over your space, and provide you with a lasting reminder of your hard work.

In conclusion, making your own shaker cabinet doors can be a fun and rewarding project with numerous benefits. Whether you’re looking to save money, customize your space, or learn new skills, this DIY project is definitely worth considering.

Materials needed for making shaker cabinet doors

Shaker cabinet doors are a popular choice for kitchen cabinets and can add a simple yet elegant touch to any room. With some basic tools and materials, you can easily make your own shaker cabinet doors. Here are the materials you will need for making shaker cabinet doors:

1. Wood

The first thing you will need is wood. Choose your wood species based on the look you want to achieve. Oak is a popular and affordable option, but other species such as maple, cherry, and walnut can give your cabinets a more upscale look. You will need enough wood to make the stiles and rails (the vertical and horizontal pieces that make up the frame of the door) as well as the center panel. The center panel should be slightly smaller than the stiles and rails to allow for expansion and contraction.

2. Power Tools

Power tools can make the job of making shaker doors easier and more accurate. You will need a table saw or a circular saw with a guide, a miter saw, and a router with a shaker-style bit. A finish nailer or a pin nailer will also come in handy for attaching the stiles and rails.

3. Supplies for Assembly

Once you have your wood and power tools, you will need a few additional supplies to assemble your shaker doors. You will need wood glue, clamps or a door press, sandpaper, finish of your choice, and possibly wood filler. If you are planning on painting your doors, you can use wood filler to fill any gaps or imperfections in the wood. If you are staining your doors, use a wood putty that matches the color of your wood.

When it comes to sandpaper, start with a higher grit (around 220) to smooth out any rough spots on the wood, and work your way up to a finer grit (up to 400) for a smoother finish. You will also need a finish of your choice, such as paint, stain, or clear coat. Be sure to use a finish that is appropriate for the wood species you have chosen.

Clamps or a door press are necessary to keep the stiles and rails together while the glue dries. A door press is the easiest way to ensure that your door is straight and square. If you do not have a door press, you can use clamps and a flat surface to achieve a similar result.

Overall, making your own shaker cabinet doors can save you money and give you a sense of accomplishment. With the right tools and supplies, you can easily create a custom look for your cabinets that will add value and style to your home.

Step-by-step guide to building your own shaker cabinet doors

If you are thinking of making shaker cabinet doors, it means that you are ready for a DIY project. Shaker style cabinets are the most popular style in today’s modern kitchens than ever before. It is a perfect style for anyone looking for elegance and sophistication on a budget. These doors are easy and affordable, which is perfect for a DIY project. Here is a step-by-step guide to building your own shaker cabinet doors:

1. Measure your cabinet opening

The first step is to measure your cabinet opening accurately. Ensure that you measure the cabinet openings on the inside, not including any of the trim or raised panels. From there, determine the size of your shaker cabinet doors and the quantity of doors you need to make.

2. Prepare the materials

The materials you need for making shaker cabinet doors are readily available from hardware and lumber stores. You’ll need wooden boards, a table saw, a miter saw, a drill, a nail gun, glue, and drawer pulls. Once you have acquired these materials, the next step is to prepare them for your project. Cut the boards to the right size and sand them down to have smooth surfaces.

3. Assemble the frame

Begin by assembling the frame or border of your shaker cabinet doors. For each door, you need two rails and two stiles of equal sizes. Cut the ends of all four pieces at 45-degree angles so that they can fit together to form a rectangular frame. Fix the rails and stiles using glue and clamps or a nail gun for strength and durability.

4. Construct the panel and Install

The panel should fit tightly on the rail and stile frame groove to prevent the panel from rattling when the cabinet is in use. Cut the inner panel to the size of the door frame and place it in the frame groove. Glue is optional, but some DIYers add it to the panel. Once done, install the door on the cabinet, ensuring that it fits perfectly and aligns properly. Repeat the process until all the shaker cabinet doors are installed.


For a DIY enthusiast, building shaker cabinet doors is an exciting project that involves creativity, designing, and construction. Feel free to customize your cabinet doors by using different wood species, finishes, and paints to match your kitchen decor. Follow these four simple steps, and you will have new shaker cabinet doors in no time at a fraction of the cost of buying them.

Tips and tricks for refinishing and customizing shaker cabinet doors

Shaker cabinet doors are a popular and classic door style that can be found in many homes. These doors feature a simple design with a flat panel and a frame around the edges. If your shaker cabinet doors are looking worn down or outdated, there are several ways to breathe new life into them. Refinishing and customizing shaker cabinet doors can be a fun DIY project that can save you money and give your kitchen or bathroom a fresh new look. Here are some tips and tricks for refinishing and customizing your shaker cabinet doors:

1. Clean and prepare the doors

Before you start refinishing or customizing your shaker cabinet doors, it’s essential to clean and prepare them properly. Start by removing all hardware from the doors and wiping them down with a clean, damp cloth. Use a degreaser to remove any grime or grease buildup. Once the doors are clean and dry, sand them down lightly to create a smooth surface for the new finish or paint to adhere to.

2. Stain or paint the doors

If you want to refinish your shaker cabinet doors, staining or painting is a great way to update their look. Staining can bring out the natural beauty of the wood grain, while paint can give your cabinets a more modern or colorful look. Choose a stain or paint color that complements your overall kitchen or bathroom design. Be sure to apply a primer before painting to help the paint adhere to the wood and prevent chipping or peeling.

3. Add new hardware

Another way to customize your shaker cabinet doors is to replace the hardware. New knobs or handles can instantly update the look of your cabinets. Choose hardware that complements the new finish or paint color of your doors. Be sure to measure the distance between the screw holes on your old hardware to ensure that the new hardware fits properly. You can also consider adding a magnetic latch or soft-close hinge to your doors for a more functional update.

4. Apply a glaze or distressing technique

If you want to take your refinishing project to the next level, consider applying a glaze or distressing technique to your shaker cabinet doors. A glaze is a translucent coating that can be applied over the top of your paint or stain to give your cabinets a more aged or vintage look. Distressing involves intentionally wearing down the edges of the doors to create a rustic or shabby-chic look. Both of these techniques can add depth and character to your cabinets.

5. Install glass or open shelving

If you’re looking for a more dramatic update for your shaker cabinet doors, consider installing glass or open shelving. This can be a great way to display your favorite dishes or decorative items while still keeping them protected from dust and debris. You can either remove the center panel of your shaker cabinet doors and replace it with glass or choose to add open shelving to your cabinets. Adding glass or open shelving to your cabinets can create a lighter and more modern feel in your kitchen or bathroom.

With the right tools and techniques, refinishing and customizing shaker cabinet doors can be a rewarding and fun DIY project. By following these tips and tricks, you can update the look of your cabinets without breaking the bank. Whether you choose to stain, paint, glaze, distress, or add new hardware or shelving to your shaker cabinet doors, your new cabinets are sure to look stunning. So get your DIY hat on and start customizing!

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