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Glass Cabinet Doors: Everything You Need to Know

Glass Cabinet Doors: Everything You Need to Know

Adding glass panels to your cabinet doors is an excellent way to enhance the style and depth of your kitchen. This DIY project can be quite straightforward with the right tools, a bit of time, and some basic know-how. Planning the project also involves considering the contents of your cabinets, as they will be on display. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to install glass inserts in your cabinet doors.

Cabinet Door Options

1. Purchase New Cabinet Doors

The simplest and quickest method is to purchase new cabinet doors that are pre-designed and cut for glass inserts. These glass cabinet doors come in a variety of styles and materials for every budget and taste. This approach can significantly reduce the complexity of the project. Here are some details:

glass cabinet doors for kitchen cabinets

  • Center Panel Removed: Glass cabinet doors left ‘open for glass’ is the most common style people order if they want the look of glass cabinets. This style of glass cabinet door comes with the entire center panel already removed, making it easy to insert a glass panel without any additional modifications. This option also is the cheapest way to incorporate glass cabinet doors into your kitchen.

glass cabinet door with french lites

  • Decorative French Lites: Another stylish option is doors with decorative French lites. These doors have multiple smaller panes of glass separated by wooden mullions, giving a sophisticated and classic look. At CabinetNow, you can choose up to 8 classic French Lites.

speciality lite glass cabinet doors

  • Specialty Lite Glass Cabinet Doors: Elevate your cabinetry with Specialty Lite Cabinet Doors, featuring exquisite mullion designs that add a touch of sophistication and artistry to any space. Each door is meticulously crafted to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your cabinets, making them a focal point in your home. Explore our diverse collection, designed to suit various styles and preferences.


  • Time-Saving: Since the doors are pre-prepared for glass inserts, you save a considerable amount of time on modifications.
  • Professional Finish: Pre-made doors often have a more polished and professional look, as they are manufactured specifically for glass inserts.
  • Variety of Styles: Available in a range of designs, these doors can suit various kitchen aesthetics, from modern to traditional.


  • Cost: This option can be more expensive upfront compared to modifying existing doors.
  • Size and Fit: Ensure the new doors match the dimensions and style of your existing cabinets.

2. Modify Existing Cabinet Doors

If you're looking for a more cost-effective and customizable approach, modifying your existing cabinet doors is a great option. This method involves cutting out the center panel of your current doors and replacing it with glass.

Steps to Modify:

  1. Measure and Mark: Accurately measure and mark the area to be cut out. Ensure the markings are straight and precise to avoid uneven cuts.
  2. Cut the Panel: Use a drill to create starter holes in each corner of the marked area. Insert a jigsaw into these holes and carefully cut along the marked lines to remove the center panel.
  3. Sand Edges: Smooth the cut edges with sandpaper to ensure the glass fits snugly and securely.
  4. Insert Glass: Apply caulk or another adhesive to the edges of the cut-out area, then place the glass panel and secure it with fasteners.


  • Cost-Effective: Reusing existing doors can save money, especially if you already own the necessary tools.
  • Customizable: You have full control over the design and can choose the exact type of glass or plexiglass that suits your needs.
  • Sustainable: Repurposing existing doors is an environmentally friendly option that reduces waste.


  • Tools and Skills: Requires basic woodworking tools and some DIY skills. If you don’t already have the tools, there may be an initial investment.
  • Time and Effort: This method is more labor-intensive and time-consuming than purchasing new doors.
  • Potential Mistakes: Cutting and modifying existing doors carries a risk of mistakes that could damage the doors or result in an uneven finish.

Making the Choice

Deciding between purchasing new cabinet doors or modifying existing ones depends on several factors, including your budget, available time, and DIY skill level.

  • If you prioritize convenience and a professional look, purchasing new doors might be the best choice. It minimizes the effort and ensures a high-quality finish.
  • If you’re looking to save money and enjoy DIY projects, modifying your existing doors can be a rewarding experience that allows for greater customization and creativity.

Regardless of the option you choose, adding glass inserts to your cabinet doors can transform your kitchen, adding both style and functionality.

Choosing the Right Glass Material for Your Cabinet Doors

When deciding on the type of material for your cabinet door inserts, you have several options, each with its own set of benefits and considerations:

Traditional Glass

Traditional glass is the most popular choice for cabinet door inserts due to its classic, transparent appearance. However, it can be heavy and prone to breaking. For more detailed information on glass options, you can refer to resources such as Nex-Gen Windows and Doors, which provide insights into different glass designs including reed, frost, and obscure options ( NexGen).

Glass options for glass cabinet doors

Source: Next Gen Windows and Doors

There are various types of glass that you can choose from:

  • Clear Glass: Offers a sleek, modern look that allows full visibility of the cabinet contents.
  • Reed Glass: Features a textured pattern that provides a level of privacy while still allowing light to pass through.
  • Frosted Glass: Has an opaque finish that diffuses light and hides the cabinet contents, perfect for a clean, minimalist aesthetic.
  • Obscure Glass: Comes with various patterns and designs, providing privacy and decorative appeal.

Plexiglass (Acrylic Plastic Sheeting)

plexiglass for glass cabinet doors

Source: Amazon

Plexiglass is a lightweight, shatter-resistant alternative to traditional glass. It offers a similar appearance to glass but with added durability and safety, especially in homes with children or high-traffic areas. Plexiglass can also be easily cut to size at most hardware stores, making it a convenient option for DIY projects. You can order custom-cut plexiglass straight to your home from Amazon.

Advantages of Plexiglass:

  • Safety: Unlike glass, plexiglass won't shatter into sharp pieces, reducing the risk of injury.
  • Weight: Plexiglass is lighter than glass, making it easier to handle and install.
  • Durability: More resistant to impact and less likely to break under pressure.

Specialty Glass Options

specialty glass options

For those looking to make a statement with their glass cabinet doors, specialty glass options offer unique and customizable looks:

  • Stained Glass: Adds color and intricate designs, perfect for a traditional or artistic touch.
  • Etched Glass: Features custom designs etched into the surface, providing a sophisticated, decorative element.
  • Tinted Glass: Comes in various shades to complement the color scheme of your kitchen and add a modern touch.

Specialty glass options custom cut for glass cabinet doors can be found at many local and online glass suppliers.

Additional Considerations

When choosing glass or plexiglass for your cabinet doors, consider the overall style of your kitchen, the level of privacy you desire, and the practical aspects of each material. Specialty glasses, such as reed, frost, and obscure glass, can offer unique textures and patterns that enhance the aesthetic of your cabinetry while providing privacy and elegance.

By carefully selecting the right type of glass or plexiglass, you can achieve a beautiful and functional upgrade to your kitchen cabinets, enhancing both their appearance and usability.

How to Add Glass Cabinet Doors

Buying Glass Cabinet Doors

CabinetNow's glass cabinet doors are designed with precision, cut for 1/8" glass, and can be customized to fit any size you need. Once your doors arrive, you can easily slide the glass into the panels. However, please note that does not provide the glass panel due to shipping constraints. You will need to visit a local hardware or glass specialist store to get the glass cut to the inside width and height of the cabinet door frame, ensuring it is ⅛” thick. Our glass cabinet doors come with rubber or wood stops.

Expert Tips:

  • Size Confirmation: We recommend waiting until your custom glass cabinet doors have arrived before taking them to your local hardware shop to ensure the correct size of glass is cut.
  • Choosing Stops: We highly recommend choosing rubber stops over wood stops. Rubber stops, also known as bumpers or pads, serve several important purposes:
    • Protection: They prevent the glass doors from slamming directly into the cabinet frame, protecting the glass from chipping or breaking.
    • Noise Reduction: By cushioning the impact when the door is closed, rubber stops significantly reduce noise, making the operation of the cabinet smoother and quieter.
    • Alignment and Spacing: They help maintain a consistent gap between the glass door and the cabinet frame, ensuring proper alignment and smooth operation.
    • Vibration Dampening: Rubber stops can absorb vibrations that might otherwise cause the glass to rattle or shift, providing additional stability.
    • Preventing Damage to Surrounding Surfaces: They can protect the cabinet frame and any nearby surfaces from damage due to repeated contact with the glass door.

In essence, rubber stops are a small yet crucial component in the design and functionality of glass cabinet doors, contributing to their durability, quiet operation, and overall aesthetic.

Modifying Existing Cabinet Doors to Add Glass

Materials Needed:

  • Glass or Plexiglass
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Drill Bit
  • Jigsaw
  • Caulk
  • Glass Fasteners
  • Rubber or Wood Stops

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Remove the Cabinet Doors: Detach the doors that will have glass inserts and remove all hardware.
  2. Drill Holes for the Jigsaw: Place the cabinet door front side up on a workbench. Drill a hole in each corner of the panel to be cut out.
  3. Cut Out the Panel: Insert the jigsaw blade into one of the drilled holes and cut along the frame's outline until the panel is completely removed.
  4. Sand the Frame: Lightly sand the inner rim of the cabinet door frame to smooth any rough edges.
  5. Apply Caulk: Place the frame upside down and run a bead of caulk along the perimeter.
  6. Insert the Glass: Carefully lay the glass insert onto the frame, ensuring it overlaps by ¼ to ½ inch all around. Press down to adhere the caulk to the glass.
  7. Let the Caulk Dry: Allow at least 30 minutes for the caulk to dry before proceeding.
  8. Attach Glass Fasteners: Use four to six glass fasteners to secure the glass to the frame. Screw them into the wood frame with a screwdriver.
  9. Reattach the Cabinet Door: Use the removed hardware to reattach the door to the cabinet frame.

Additional Tips:

  • Wood Trim: Add wood trim around the edge of the glass on the backside of the cabinet door for a finished look. Use silicone caulk to attach the trim pieces.
  • Recessed Panels: For cabinet doors with a recessed area, ensure exact measurements for the glass. Apply silicone caulk to the lip of the recessed groove and press the glass into place. Let it dry before adding fasteners.

Adding glass to your cabinet doors can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen or living space, creating a more open and elegant look. With the right materials and careful execution, you can achieve a professional finish that transforms the overall appearance of your cabinets.

Design Inspiration: Transforming Your Kitchen with Glass Cabinet Doors

1. Statement Pieces: Adding 1-4 Glass Cabinets

glass cabinet doors on a coffee bar

Introducing glass cabinet doors as statement pieces can dramatically enhance the visual appeal of your kitchen. By strategically placing 1 to 4 glass cabinet doors, you can create focal points that draw the eye and add a touch of elegance.

  • Highlight Special Items: Use glass cabinets to display your finest dishware, glassware, or collectibles. This not only adds beauty but also personalizes your kitchen space.
  • Contrasting Elements: Mix glass cabinets with solid wood doors to create a striking contrast. This approach can make the glass doors stand out even more.
  • Symmetry and Balance: Place glass cabinets symmetrically around key areas like the stove or sink to create a balanced and cohesive look.

2. Upper Cabinets Only: Elevating Your Kitchen

Glass cabinet doors on upper cabinets

Adding glass doors to only the upper cabinets can make your kitchen feel lighter and more open. This design choice helps create an airy atmosphere while maintaining privacy for lower cabinet storage.

  • Bright and Open Feel: Glass upper cabinets allow light to flow through, enhancing the brightness of your kitchen and making the space feel larger.
  • Elegant Display: Upper cabinets with glass doors are perfect for displaying items you want to keep visible yet protected, such as fine china or decorative pieces.
  • Uniform Look: Using glass doors exclusively on upper cabinets creates a uniform look that is both modern and stylish, especially in kitchens with high ceilings.

3. Mixed Approach: Best of Both Worlds

glass cabinet doors on two tone kitchen cabinets

Combining glass cabinet doors on both ceiling cabinets and selected lower cabinets offers a balanced and versatile design. This approach maximizes display opportunities while maintaining practical storage solutions.

  • Dynamic Design: Mixing glass doors with solid doors on both upper and lower cabinets adds depth and interest to your kitchen design. It allows for creative placement and utilization of different storage types.
  • Practicality Meets Style: Use glass doors on upper cabinets for display and lighter items, while incorporating them on lower cabinets for special storage areas like a wine rack or cookbook shelf.
  • Consistent Flow: A mixed approach ensures a consistent flow throughout the kitchen, seamlessly blending functionality with aesthetic appeal.

By incorporating these design ideas, you can transform your kitchen with the addition of glass cabinet doors. Whether you choose to add a few statement pieces, focus on upper cabinets, or mix and match, glass doors can enhance the elegance and functionality of your space.

Styling Tips for Glass Cabinet Doors

Transforming your kitchen with glass cabinet doors opens up a world of styling possibilities. Here are some tips to help you make the most of this elegant addition:

1. Decorative Lighting

cabinet lighting for glass cabinets

Illuminate your glass cabinets with cabinet lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

  • LED Strip Lights: Install LED strip lights inside the cabinets to highlight your displayed items. Choose warm or cool tones depending on the ambiance you want to create.
  • Puck Lights: Use small, round puck lights at the top of the cabinet for focused lighting that adds a touch of sophistication.
  • Backlighting: Consider backlighting the entire cabinet for a dramatic effect that enhances the glass's transparency and the beauty of your items.

2. Thoughtful Arrangement

Organize the contents of your glass cabinets thoughtfully to create a visually appealing display.

  • Group by Color: Arrange items by color for a cohesive and harmonious look. This can create a striking visual impact and make the cabinet contents more appealing.
  • Balance and Symmetry: Place taller items in the back and shorter items in the front to create depth. Ensure symmetry in your arrangement for a balanced and professional look.
  • Vary Heights and Shapes: Mix items of different heights and shapes to add interest and prevent the display from looking monotonous.

3. Decorative Backing Panels

Add a unique touch to your glass cabinets by incorporating decorative backing panels.

  • Bold Colors: Paint the back panel of your cabinets in a bold color that complements your kitchen decor. This can create a stunning contrast and highlight the items inside.
  • Patterned Paper: Use patterned wallpaper or adhesive contact paper on the back panel for a playful and personalized look.
  • Textured Panels: Consider using beadboard or shiplap panels for a textured, farmhouse-style backdrop.

4. Glass Shelves

Enhance the look of your glass cabinet doors by incorporating glass shelves.

  • Continuity: Glass shelves provide a seamless look that complements the glass doors, creating a cohesive and elegant appearance.
  • Light Reflection: Glass shelves reflect light, making the interior of the cabinet brighter and more inviting.
  • Transparency: They also ensure that the view of your displayed items is unobstructed, enhancing the overall aesthetic.

5. Minimalist Approach

minimal design glass cabinets

Adopt a minimalist approach to keep your glass cabinets looking clean and uncluttered.

  • Limit Items: Avoid overcrowding the shelves. Display a few carefully chosen items to create a serene and orderly look.
  • Neutral Palette: Use items in a neutral color palette to maintain a calm and elegant appearance. White, beige, and soft pastels work well.
  • Consistent Style: Stick to a consistent style or theme for the items you display, such as all vintage pieces or all modern decor, to create a cohesive look.

6. Seasonal Displays

Change the contents of your glass cabinets seasonally to keep your kitchen decor fresh and exciting.

  • Spring and Summer: Display fresh flowers, bright ceramics, and light-colored linens for a breezy, summery feel.
  • Fall: Incorporate autumnal elements like pumpkins, warm-toned ceramics, and rustic wooden pieces.
  • Winter: Showcase holiday-themed items, twinkling lights, and cozy winter decor to create a festive atmosphere.

By implementing these styling tips, you can make your glass cabinet doors not only functional but also a beautiful focal point in your kitchen.

Final Thoughts

white shaker glass cabinet doors

Adding glass inserts to your kitchen cabinet doors is a fantastic way to create a sophisticated or charming appearance in your home. This budget-friendly DIY project is accessible even to novices, offering a straightforward way to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen. Glass panels not only add a touch of elegance but also create depth, making your kitchen feel larger and more open.

Why Choose Glass Inserts?

  • Sophistication and Style: Glass cabinet doors elevate the look of your kitchen, providing a sleek, modern feel or a classic, timeless charm depending on the style you choose.
  • Increased Light and Space: By allowing light to pass through, glass panels can brighten your kitchen and give the illusion of a more spacious environment.
  • Showcase Your Collection: Glass doors are perfect for displaying your beautiful dishware, glassware, or decorative items, turning everyday objects into part of your kitchen decor.
  • Versatility: With a variety of glass options available, including clear, frosted, reed, and obscure, you can customize the look to suit your taste and privacy needs.

Easy and Rewarding DIY Project

This project is manageable for most DIY enthusiasts, with simple steps and minimal tools required. By following the guide above, you can transform your cabinets over a weekend, achieving professional-looking results without the professional cost.

Get Started Today!

For assistance or to start ordering, call us at 1-855-669-5222 or email us at Our team of cabinet experts is here to help with everything from measuring to ordering. We can guide you through the process, ensuring you get the perfect fit and finish for your kitchen cabinets.

Why Choose CabinetNow?

  • Customization: We offer fully customizable glass cabinet doors to meet your specific needs and preferences.
  • Quality and Durability: Our products are made from high-quality materials to ensure long-lasting beauty and functionality.
  • Expert Support: Our knowledgeable team is ready to assist you at every step, providing expert advice and support to make your project a success.
  • Convenient Ordering: With easy online ordering and fast shipping, getting started on your kitchen transformation has never been easier.

Embark on your kitchen makeover journey with CabinetNow and experience the difference that glass cabinet doors can make. Transform your space with elegance, light, and style, creating a kitchen that you will love for years to come.