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How to Add Glass to Your Cabinet Doors

How to Add Glass to Your Cabinet Doors

Posted by John C. on 2021-05-04

If you want to give your kitchen a new look, but you aren’t interested in painting or getting new cabinet doors, then you should consider adding glass fronts to your cabinet doors. Installing glass inserts into your cabinet doors will give your kitchen a sense of openness and brightness. Another great thing about glass front cabinets is that they can work with almost any aesthetic.

You don’t have to do a major remodel to install glass inserts, and you don’t have to install them on all your doors. Instead, you should focus on a single area. You should also take the contents of the cabinets into consideration as you plan. In this guide, we will take a look at how to install glass inserts on your cabinet doors.


Cabinet Door Options

If you want to add glass inserts to your cabinet doors, you have a couple of options. The first, and most obvious, is to buy the cabinet doors with glass. However, if you want to keep your current doors or if you have a unique conceptthen a DIY approach is best. Aside from buying new glass-front doors, you can remove the center panel on your door or get doors cut for glass.

A white kitchen with glass-front cabinet doors that have French Lites.

Purchasing new cabinet doors that are designed to hold inserts means you won't have to cut out the panels on your old cabinet doors. You can easily and quickly install the glass inserts into the new cabinet doors and then hang them directly onto your cabinets.


Glass or Plexiglass

Many people opt for conventional glass or decorative stained glass sheets for their cabinet doors. However, glass can inadvertently break and it is sharp. Glass is also heavy. In place of glass, you can opt to use lightweight plexiglass panels, also called acrylic plastic sheeting, which looks like real glass but does not break.

Many people find plexiglass easier to work with. It is a budget-friendly alternative to more costly sheets of glass. In addition to these, there are also other possibilities for a door cut for glass. Instead of a piece of glass, you could use decorative tiles to create a unique accent in your kitchen.

Both glass and plexiglass can be purchased and cut to fit at most home improvement stores. Carefully measure the cabinet door frame and take the glass measurements into the store to have the glass inserts or plexiglass professionally cut. When measuring the cabinet door’s frame, remember that the glass or plexiglass should overlap the frame by ¼" to ½" all the way around.


Materials

  • Glass or Plexiglass
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Jigsaw
  • Caulk
  • Glass Fasteners

Steps

  1. Remove the cabinet doors that are going to have glass inserts installed and all hardware from the cabinets.
  2. Place the cabinet door front side up onto a workbench.
  3. Drill a hole in the lower-left corner of the cabinet door’s panel that is going to be cut out and replaced with the glass insert. Drill another hole in the top left corner. Now drill a hole in the bottom right corner and the top right corner.
  4. Place the tip of the jigsaw blade into the drilled hole in the lower-left corner. Now carefully cut the panel along the frame’s outline to the top left corner hole.
  5. Stop the jigsaw and pull the blade out when you reach the top of the left corner hole.
  6. Reinsert the jigsaw blade into the drilled hole and cut to the next hole. Do this all the way around until you have successfully cut out the cabinet door’s panel and all that remains is the frame.
  7. Sand the inner rim of the cabinet door frame lightly with sandpaper.
  8. Place the frame upside down on the workbench.
  9. Run a bead line of caulk along the perimeter of the frame.
  10. Carefully lay the glass insert onto the frame and press down along the frame so the caulk adheres to the glass. The glass insert should overlap the frame by ¼ to ½ of an inch all the way around.
  11. Allow at least 30 minutes for the caulk to dry before proceeding to the next step.
  12. Affix four to six glass fasteners to the cabinet frame and the glass sheet using the tiny screws that came with the fasteners. Use a screwdriver to secure the screws into the wood cabinet frame.
  13. Re-attach your cabinet to the frame using the removed hardware.

Additional Tips

Wood Trim: On the backside of the cabinet door, you can add wood trim around the edge of the glass for a more complete and finished appearance. The trim makes a frame around the edge of the glass and effectively hides the fasteners. Use silicone caulk to attach the wood frame trim pieces to the glass edges.

Recessed panels: Some cabinet doors have a recessed area that the glass will fit into when you remove the solid panel. When fitting glass into a recessed cabinet frame, make sure that the glass measurements are exact. Apply the silicone caulk to the lip within the recessed groove. Place the glass sheet into the recessed area and press firmly to adhere to the silicone to the glass. Allow the silicone to dry for thirty minutes and then apply the glass fasteners.


Final Thoughts

A modern kitchen with frosted glass panel cabinet doors.

No matter what look you are trying to achieve, placing glass inserts into your kitchen’s cabinet doors creates an appearance of sophistication or country charm. It is a quick, budget-friendly DIY project that can easily be achieved even by a novice. If you are ready to get started, or if you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 1-855-669-5222 or an email to info@cabinetnow.com.

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