Buying kitchen cabinets, or even an entire kitchen suite, can be very expensive, depending on the size of your kitchen and the finish you want.
If you love your DIY and you may already have some experience making other pieces of furniture, then making your own kitchen cabinets is just the next step.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the basic steps for making your own kitchen cabinets.
As the design is classic and simple, this cabinet can also be used in a bathroom or any other area of the house where you need a little bit of storage.
We’ll find out what materials and tools you need, and then take a look at some of the main steps for making DIY cabinets.
Materials You’ll Need
The exact materials you will need depends on your personal preference for your kitchen cabinet.
It will also depend on the style and size of the cabinet. However, generally you will need the following.
- Plywood (or other wood) for the bottom, door and side panels, as well as any other structural elements that may not be seen.
- Solid wood for the drawer front, face and door frame
- Cabinet door hinges of choice depending on the style of door you want to make
- Drawer slides for the number of drawers you want to make
Tools You’ll Need
Here is a list of tools that you will need. You may also want to add any possible cleaning materials, such as cloths, water and soap.
- Circular saw or a table saw for cutting the wood
- Pocket hole jig
It’s important that you had at least a little experience using each of these tools, and how to handle them safely.
How To Make Cabinets For Your Kitchen
We will take you through the process of making a basic kitchen cabinet.
Prepare Case Panels
Plywood typically comes in large sheets, but we recommend cutting them slightly smaller to make them easier to handle. You can do this by using the circular saw.
For our example, we used a relatively inexpensive ¾ inch pine plywood. You will need to make sure that you know the size of your new kitchen cabinets.
As a rule of thumb, kitchen cabinets are slightly taller and deeper than some other cabinets. You can make your cabinet any size you want.
Now you need to cut the side panels and bottom shelves. Cut your plywood to the correct size that you want your kitchen cabinets to be.
You will then need to give each side piece roughly a 3x3 inches cut-out in the bottom front corner. This is the room for a toe kick.
This notch should be in the two vanities, so should be on four sides.
Cut Face Frame Pieces
The face frame of a cabinet is the front of a cabinet. This will indicate the precise position of all the drawers and doors.
The face frame gives the cabinet a solid structure to ensure it is strong and sturdy. The size of the face frame depends on how many doors and drawers you want your kitchen cabinet to have.
Make sure that you use quality boards for the face frame to avoid any warping in future. You will need to cut styles (which are vertical pieces of wood) and rails (horizontal wood pieces).
The best way to put your face frame together is with pocket hole screws or dowels. When you plan the size and shape of your face frame, you should start with the outside styles, then add the bottom and top rails.
If you want to include any drawers, then add a rail in for each drawer. You will also need to allow space openings for any other additions, such as a sink.
Assemble The Main Frame
Once you completed your face frame, you can attach the side panels to the face frame. Use pocket holes for this.
Make sure that you do not put any pocket holes where you can easily see them. Once you attached the side panels, you can secure the bottom shelves with pocket holes.
Make The Drawers
For the bodies of the drawers you can also use ¾ inch plywood. Just cut them to the correct size and glue them together with wood glue.
Then you have to fix the drawer slides to the drawers by using the instructions that come with the slides.
Build The Cabinet Doors
There are a lot of different types of doors that you can use for kitchen cabinets.
A tongue and groove door is relatively complex as it needs to line up precisely but it looks best.
You will need to make sure that your door is around half an inch larger in all directions than the opening in your face frame.
Cut a ½ inch deep groove in the center of each of your two shorter plywood pieces for your door. You can do this by using a table saw.
Then you will need to cut the matching grooves on the two longer plywood pieces for your door frame.
Lastly, you will need to cut a plywood panel that fits inside the door frame. Just glue everything together and you are done with your kitchen cabinet door.
Once the glue has dried, you just need to fix the door to the face frame with the door hinges.
Make sure that you do this only once any paint or vanish that you have applied to your cabinet has dried.
Making kitchen cabinets does require some previous DIY experience.
Although it isn’t as easy as making some other basic furniture, with your own kitchen cabinets, you can choose the materials and the finish.
We recommend adding paint or varnish to protect your finished kitchen cabinets. For this, you should sand down the wood first, apply some primer and then add your wood finish.
The best way of painting a kitchen cabinet, especially when it is for a larger kitchen, is to use a spray paint and a spray gone. This will speed up the process significantly.