What Are the Best Tips for Making DIY Cabinet Doors?

Dan Cavallari

Anyone with the drive to learn basic woodworking skills can make DIY cabinet doors with some preparation and creativity. Before the woodworker picks up a single tool, however, he or she will need to do a bit of planning to figure out a budget for the project. This budget will often determine what kinds of materials can be purchased for use in the project, and it is important to remember that the budget should include any tool purchases or rentals. DIY cabinet doors are usually made from wood, which means various woodworking tools will be necessary.

A kitchen with DIY cabinet doors.
A kitchen with DIY cabinet doors.

Assemble the tools ahead of time to make sure all necessary tools are in working condition. If new tools are necessary, visit the hardware store to get prices on the various pieces required for the job. Buy quality tools that are an appropriate size for the job. In addition, inferior tools will make the job far more difficult or even impossible, and DIY cabinet doors that are made with inferior tools run a greater risk of not fitting properly or otherwise suffering mistakes that can detract from the visual appeal. Measuring instruments will also be necessary; a good tape measure and a carpenter's square are both good investments for making DIY cabinet doors.

Before installing cabinet doors, buy high-quality tools that are right for the job.
Before installing cabinet doors, buy high-quality tools that are right for the job.

Perhaps the most important consideration when making DIY cabinet doors is the choice of materials to be used during construction. Various types of woods are commonly used to make such doors, as are some metals. When choosing among the many types of woods available, the builder will need to think carefully about the durability and aesthetic appeal of the material, as well as the ease with which that material can be cut or otherwise shaped. Woods come in two general varieties: hardwoods and softwoods. Hardwoods tend to be more expensive and harder to cut or shape, but they are also far more durable and often resistant to water damage or cracking. Softwoods tend to be less expensive and usually reasonably attractive, but they are more susceptible to damage.

The hardware used for the project is just as important as the wood choice. Hinges and handles should be made from attractive and durable materials such as various types of metals. If plastics are used, they should be high-quality plastics that are resistant to warping. Wood can also be used, and for a visually striking aesthetic appeal, a wood with a different tone, color, or grain can be used for the handles.

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Discussion Comments


If you are not really that good with woodworking and still want to try out making DIY cabinet doors you may want to consider working with some pre-cut wood pieces. My local lumber shop will cut wood for me in pretty much any shape I want for a small fee.

I simply measured out my cabinets and got the lumber shop I ordered my wood from to make the necessary cuts.

I still had quite a bit of work to do when it came to finishing the cabinet doors and adding hardware, but their help was really nice. I think my project was easy because I didn't have any fancy embellishments on my wood, they were just simple, flat cabinet doors.


My husband and I decided to tackle making DIY cabinet doors when we were overhauling our kitchen because we figured it would save us quite a bit of money. Also, having watched a ton of home renovation shows made me feel pretty confident that we could successfully do such a big project on our own.

I have to say that one of the best tips for making DIY cabinet doors is to go to your local home improvement supply store and take some of their free classes. Our local store offered short classes on things like how to properly paint wood and how to properly use certain tools. You would be surprised at how hard somethings are, and how much they don't show you on TV.

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