Creating your own cabinet doors for premade storage cabinet base is a great way to save money. Both premade and custom built door fronts can be the most expensive part of a cabinet makeover. Cabinets give you the advantage of using your walls to increase storage space without cluttering the floor, but comes at a cost. However, you can save money while still being able to create the storage space you need by making your own cabinet door fronts using some plywood and wainscoting.
When you compare the prices of each of the components of wall storage, you will notice that the most expensive part happens to be the cabinet fronts or doors. But the good news is, you do not necessarily have to purchase these premade doors cabinet doors. You can buy the base storage separately from the doors themselves.
Overview of DIY Cabinet Door Fronts
While stores like Home Depot and Lowes offer sections of wall cabinetry, they are generally a plain design that automiatcally comes with a door. You can choose to buy these and replace the doors with your own design.
However, we recommend using the Sektion line from IKEA, which provides affordable, flexible, and configurable components for your space. With IKEA, you also get the benefit of buying each part of the cabinet separately and won't have any extra doors if you don't want to.
We chose to not fully paint because I was in a rush. However, the front looks great and no one is the wiser.
Affordable Cabinet Bases
Here is a collection of some inexpensive cabinet bases that you can buy without the doors to help you cut the costs and also customize your doors. These are chosen from experience. We created our craft room storage using the IKEA Sektion kitchen cabinet line.
Here's what the cabinet bases look like before the doors are added on.
Sektion Wall Cabinet Frames
These are pretty, rectangular wall cabinet frames that come separately without doors and are white. They are super spacious and come at just $49 each depending on the size that you get.
Sektion Corner Wall Cabinet Frames
This cabinet is great for using the corners of your room more efficiently. Sektion Corner Wall Cabinet Frames are especially useful in kitchens for storing utensils. You can use them for an L-shaped or U-shaped corner. They come at just $58 each. I like this one, but it is deep. Depending on where you position it, you may need to have a stool for those that need to reach back really far.
Sektion High Cabinet Frame
This cabinet frame is long and sleek in design, perfect for storing bottles, jars, plates, kitchen appliances, cleaning gear, etc. The dimensions for this cabinet are 18x24x90 inches. Each of these cabinet frames costs $98.
While we didn't completely finish the doors, that's okay. Here's what it looks like up close.
Accessories for Custom DIY Cabinet Doors
Utrusta Hinges With Damper
With IKEA hinges, you will be sure that your DIY cabinet doors fit right into the cabinet frames. The clean design will look good and it is also highly functional. You pay $24 per 2 pack.
Cabinet Door Front Material Considerations
When building your cabinet door, you can choose plywood or wainscoting depending on the room the cabinet doors are being placed in.
If you are placing them in the kitchen, I would recommend solid wood and making sure that you have a good paint, stain, and/or coat to protect the wood. Since the kitchen is one of the public spaces of your home, you want this space to look great.
Similar to the bathroom, if this is a public space, make sure you have some protectant on it. Further, for a bathroom, you want to make sure that you have solid wood or plywood for this space to account for moisture that comes with the bathroom. Wainscoting your door fronts is also an option because it can protect the doors from moisture.
Office or Craft Room
Since the office or craft room is not seen by anyone other the homeowner, you could potentially use other material like wainscoting to make your custom fronts. This allowed us to get the look of shiplap without having to go through the hassle of cutting the wood pieces and putting them all together. These boards are much cheaper than wood and also come with benefits such as water resistance.
Determine how you'll want to open the cabinet doors. If you want to avoid the additional costs of hardware, you can use a router bit to create finger grooves. Just a word to the wise: If you plan on using a matte finish, I would highly consider how frequent this cabinet door will open. The oils on fingers tend to appear much more apparent on matte finishes versus semi-gloss or gloss coating.
Dampers and Hinges
The IKEA dampers and hinges are amazingly effective. I absolutely LOVED using these. They were high quality and allowed the doors to not slam shut when they were closed.
Overall, the hardware is great and easy to install, especially with the predrilled holes on the bases!
Shelving from IKEA are pre-drilled, which allows you to save time. While the shelves are a bit on the expensive side (as compared to buying your own wood pieces and painting them), I find that buying the cabinet bases pre-drilled with precut wood makes it worth the price.
How To Build Custom Cabinet Doors
Installing your DIY cabinet doors is going to be super easy and highly cost-effective! In this tutorial, you will find out all the considerations on making your own cabinet doors.
Here are the few things you'll need that I would highly recommend having before you start.
Painting Tips for DIY Cabinet Door Fronts
After you build your cabinet doors, you have got to paint them. There isn’t much to be said in this regard, but here are a couple of guidelines to consider when you begin the painting job.
- You need to prime the surface of the door on both sides before you can proceed with the paint.
- After priming is done, you need to allow the surface to dry completely.
- Paint the door one side at a time.
- Use semi-gloss paint for painting and remember to apply a second coat of the paint after one coat has dried. Repeat the same for the other side.
- You must give the paint time to dry and cure for at least two days on each side before you proceed with fixing them onto the cabinets.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are some of the most asked questions I get about the cabinet doors that we custom made for our spaces.
Making your cabinet doors is quite an easy process when you stick to the instructions. You will need some skill when it comes to using a router and miter saw, but that is pretty much it.
Making your cabinet doors will cut your total costs and also allow you to decide the look of the cabinet fronts. You can take on this DIY project by yourself along with help from family members, and you will not need to hire a professional.
You can surely use your custom hardware to screw in your DIY cabinet doors into your IKEA cabinet box. However, one thing you need to mind is that the holes made on the hardware for holding the screws match positions with the pre-drilled holes on your IKEA cabinet. If your hardware is compatible with IKEA cabinets then you can surely go with it!
The material of DIY cabinet doors will depend on the utility of the cabinets and also on the spot where they will end up. For example, if your cabinets are for your kitchen, they will require to be water-resistant because the cabinets will be in contact with water. The wood is likely to soak up all the water and moisture and that can result in your doors caving inwards or outwards.
For kitchen or bathrooms, you should opt for pre-treated or water-resistant wood or other materials that won’t soak up moisture. For any other living space, you can opt for whichever material suits you best.
Wrapping Up Tips for Custom Door Fronts
Making your own cabinet doors might seem like a huge side project to take on. However, if you take on the process step-by-step, you will find that it is not all that difficult. If you can use a router and a miter saw well, you will be all set!
The greatest joy of customizing and rebuilding your furniture is that you get to decide how it looks. Added to this is the knowledge that you are going to save a lot of money when you opt for DIY cabinet doors, even though IKEA furniture itself is generally pretty affordable.
More Inspiration DIY
If you liked this post on creating custom cabinet faces, check out some of my other posts around remodels that we've done to make storage spaces a little more functional as well as personalized to the space.