How to Install Cabinet Door Inserts

The Family Handyman

When faced with builder-grade or dated cabinets, the first impulse of many new homeowners is to rip them out and start fresh. Then comes the sticker shock, which is usually followed by a trip down the paint aisle. While painting existing cabinets is always a great option for an inexpensive cabinet face lift, replacing the cabinet door inserts is another way to get a new look for less.

The Family Handyman has a great tutorial on how to remove your plywood cabinet door panels and replace them with a decorative metal grille. While the steps involved are fairly simple, it does require a router with a specific bit called a 'pattern bit'. If you are not used to using a router, definitely get in some practice runs, or better yet, bring the doors to a friend who is versed in the art of routering. Routers are an unforgiving and potentially dangerous power tool, although extremely handy for tasks just like this one.

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While they decided to use a metal insert, there are any number of materials you can use: glass, fabric, and acrylic are just a few. New cabinet door panels may be just the accent your kitchen never knew it needed.

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