How to Replace Kitchen Cabinet Doors for a New Look

August 2, 2023
nicole

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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Did you know you can replace just your kitchen cabinet doors (and drawer fronts)? This is, of course, a much cheaper option than replacing the entire cabinet.

But just how easy is it to get the right measurements, order your new doors and hinges, bore your own holes for the hinges, install the hinges, mount and adjust the new doors? Ok, that sounds like a lot.

But really, it’s not hard at all! Let’s break it down. As the saying goes: “There’s only one way to eat an elephant, one bite at a time.”

This post is sponsored by The Cabinet Door Store. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands we truly love.

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Currently, I’m tackling my biggest project yet…my kitchen! I considered, for a split second, removing all of my upper cabinets. But then, with visions of my kids not appreciating my open shelving concept, I quickly decided against this idea.

All I could see were PLASTIC cups and bowls strewn about the shelves-not a pretty scene.

But these old doors were not the look I was going for either. I had my eye on new cabinets. However, replacing all of my cabinets was not in the cards. Especially considering they are all still in really good condition.

I have a lot of changes I want to make to my kitchen. So, spending a lot of money in this area, is not part of my overall plan. Getting rid of my old cabinet doors and replacing them with a new style is the best option.

white kitchen with honey color hardwood floors

I knew I wanted something more modern and simple. I had my eye on these replacement cabinet doors….Shaker Cabinets from The Cabinet Door Store.
Shaker kitchen cabinet door

How to Order Kitchen Cabinet Doors

When measuring for my new kitchen cabinet doors, I simply measured my old doors and drawer fronts.

I found this method to be the easiest.

  • You’ll want to measure the length and width of each door. It’s a good idea to keep track of what each door measures. Since I was getting rid of my old doors, I wrote each measurement on the back of the door I was replacing. When the new doors came in, I was able to match them up with the old doors to determine where each new door went.

The Cabinet Door Store makes the ordering process very easy. Here’s a screenshot of the online order form…

Order form for new kitchen cabinet doors

Here’s an example of the order form for one of my custom cabinet doors…

Kitchen cabinet doors order form

The width and height is self-explanatory.

For the wood species, I chose Paint Grade Maple w/ HDF Panel. This option is perfect if you plan to paint your doors.

As you can see, I also went with 2 1/4″ frame width (this is standard), along with unfinished and no hinge-boring (these are also standard). Of course, you can upgrade any of these for a little extra cost. We’ll talk a little more about hinge-boring, in just a little bit.

Once you’ve added all of your cabinet doors and drawer fronts to your cart, you’re ready to check out. But if you have any questions along the way, the reps at The Cabinet Door Store are ready to help you out. They have an excellent customer service department.

I know, because I got stuck on drilling my hinge cup holes (more about this in just a bit) and they walked me through it, making the process seamless.

They’re also very active over on Instagram and responded immediately to any questions I had on my stories when tagging them or DM’ing them. I can’t say enough good about how helpful they are!

My cabinet doors arrived within a few weeks and I was ready for the next step. How to replace kitchen cabinet doors.

Five boxes sitting in the hallway stacked on top of one another

Ordering the Hinges

To get started, I first ordered my hinges. I chose soft-closing hinges from Amazon and am very happy with the quality of these.

Before ordering, there are 3 things you’ll want to determine:

  • Is your cabinet frame frameless or face frame?
  • What is the overlay?
  • Do you want to spend a little more for soft close hinges?

Consider the frame. First things first, you’ll want to determine if your cabinet frames are frameless or face frame. Face frame looks like this…

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Hinge on a kitchen cabinet door

Notice how there’s a frame around the cabinet opening? That is what makes this a face frame cabinet. Cabinets that do NOT have a frame around them, are frameless cabinets. This is important in determining what type of hinges you’ll need.

For a frameless cabinet, I recommend these hinges.

For a face frame cabinet, I recommend these hinges.

What is the overlay? The next thing you’ll need to determine, when ordering your hinges, is the overlay. Simply put, overlay is the amount or distance the cabinet door overlaps the frame on the hinge side of the door. The easiest way to measure this is…

  • Place a sticky note or painter’s tape flush with the hinge side of the door (with door closed)….

 

Cabinet door shut with sticky note inside

  • Then, with a measuring tape, measure to that line (with the door closed)….

Cabinet door closed with a measuring tape up against it

This will tell you the distance that your cabinet door overhangs onto your cabinet frame. Mine had a 1/2″ overlay. (Unfortunately, my tape measure moved when taking the picture. The actual marking was 1/2″. I found it easier to use a ruler, as shown in the picture below)…

Ruler measuring overlay of a kitchen cabinet door

So, when purchasing my hinges, I looked for ones with the following features:

  • 1/2″ overlay
  • face frame
  • soft-close. (Soft-close is not a necessity, but it is a very nice feature)

Attaching the Hinges to New Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Once you have your new hinges, you’ll need to drill your hinge holes for the hinges to sit inside.

What are hinge cup holes? Hinge cup holes are essentially where your concealed (invisible) hinge will be attached on the cabinet door.

I decided to drill my own hinge cup holes. This tool by Kreg Jig made this a super easy process. However, if you prefer, The Cabinet Door Store will drill your holes for you. A very good option, if you would rather skip this step.

A great choice when drilling your own hinge holes, is this tool. The Kreg Jig Concealed Hinge Jig made this process very easy. For the Shaker cabinet doors I chose, I made sure my cams were set at 3mm each….

Cams set on a hinge jig for 3mm

I then set my jig, so that my cup holes will be inset at 3″ from the edge of the door. You’ll notice the ruler on the edge of your jig, make sure the 3″ mark is at the edge of your door. (My apologies for how distorted this image is, I tried to zoom in as far as I could to show you the 3″ marking)….

Jig for drilling hinges

Once your jig is in place, you’ll want to clamp it down before you start drilling…

Kitchen cabinet doors hinge clamped to table and kitchen cabinet door

Drill cup holes on both ends of your door at the 3″ mark. When finished your doors will look like this. They now have a perfect fit for your hinges…

Shaker cabinet door with hinge cup holes bored

Now you’re ready to drill your hinges into place. Place the hinges inside the cup holes…

Adding hinges to edge of cabinet door

Clamp a straight board down along those hinges to keep them in place…

Lady attaching a hinge to a kitchen cabinet door

Attach your hinges, using the screws provided….

Hinges attached using a drill

Once you have your hinges in place….

Lady holding up a cabinet door

You’re now ready to attach the door to your cabinet frame. An easy way to do this, is to line up your cabinet door where you want it. With a pencil, mark the holes of your hinges. Use a drill bit to drill pilot holes at your markings. Then attach your cabinet door, into the pilot holes, with the screws provided.

Attaching kitchen cabinet doors with a drill

Attaching the Drawer Fronts

Gravity was not my friend in this part of my DIY project. I found this step to be very tricky. X-ray vision and another set of hands would have been very helpful. But since I didn’t have either one of those choices available, I went to YouTube. And found this awesome technique. Definitely the easiest way to attach drawer fronts. Gorilla Mounting Tape saved the day!

I stuck a square on each corner of the actual drawer….

Mounting strip pieces to attach drawer fronts

And then lined up my drawer front and stuck it into place on these 4 tape squares…

Attaching drawer front for kitchen makeover

Once in place, I was ready to drill them from the inside of the drawer…

Lady with a drill and a drawer open

This technique worked like a charm! It made attaching these drawer fronts SO easy!

Cabinet drawer fronts attached

Ready for the Finish Work

I chose to attach all of the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers before painting. I then took them all down to paint. The reason I decided to do it this way, was to ensure I got my cabinet door holes where they needed to be. I thought it would be better to not have to handle the doors and drawers as much once they were painted. This way they were fully ready to be attached once painted….

Full view of kitchen during remodel process

Coming soon: The beautiful new hardware I chose for my kitchen cabinet doors. They already look amazing, but will be stunning once I add the finishing touches. The frosting, as I like to call them!

Full view of kitchen during remodel process

A much better view with my new countertops. Would you believe the countertops above are the same countertops as the ones in the picture below? Yep! The power of paint is amazing! Here’s how I refinished them.

Kitchen with new countertops and cabinet doors

Upper cabinets of a kitchen with new marble countertops

And with the new flooring I’ll be Installing in a few weeks! Wow! I can’t wait to see the finished result!

UPDATE: My New Kitchen Cabinet Doors-Everything is Finished!!

With my kitchen renovation finished, I am in awe of how it all turned out! You can check out more about my kitchen remodel in this post.

I chose this beautiful hardware from Amerock for my cabinet door handles and pulls... 

Cabinet hardware..champagne bronze pull and knob

For the flooring I decided on Palka from Flooret. This LVP flooring is amazing!! Here’s how easy it was to lay all of the flooring by myself.

Choosing to replace my kitchen cabinet doors was a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire cabinets. This was definitely a great way to save money and the best choice I could have made. I was able to complete the whole process of my kitchen cabinet door replacement in a weekend.

I can’t recommend The Cabinet Door Store enough! If your kitchen is in need of an updated look, replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts is an easy, and cost-effective way to change the entire look of your kitchen. The Cabinet Door Store has so many styles to choose from and once again, the customer service is outstanding. They will make this process so easy for you!

Let’s go beyond the design to build something beautiful together!

Be sure to Pin This Post to your Pinterest Board for later…

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Until the next one,

Happy Building, Friend!!

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