Glass cabinet doors are a great way to add style and depth to your kitchen. However, if you never added glass panels to cabinet doors, then you may not know that this project can actually be DIY-friendly if you have a few tools, some time, and a bit of experience. 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.
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Cabinet Door Options
As mentioned above, adding glass to your cabinet doors can be a DIY-friendly project. To tackle this project, you have two options. The first, which is also the quickest and easiest, is to purchase new cabinet doors that are cut for glass inserts. These doors may have the entire center panel removed, or they may have decorative French lites.
The other option for installing glass inserts is to modify your existing cabinet doors. This method can be a more cost-effective route to take, depending on which of the required tools you already own. However, if you are a budding DIYer, then the tools could be a good investment, as they can be used for a variety of projects. Before we get started with the step-by-step part of the guide, let’s take a moment to talk about the glass inserts.
Glass Or Plexiglass
Typically, most people tend to add a traditional, clear glass panel. What many people may not realize, however, is that this is not the only option. Glass can have some drawbacks, like the fact that it tends to be heavy, and can be dangerous if it breaks. 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.
Plexiglass, also known as acrylic plastic sheeting, can be used instead of glass for your cabinet door’s panel. Plexiglass is a lightweight material that won’t shatter like glass. You get plexiglass, and regular glass, cut to size at most hardware stores, so sourcing your material won’t be an issue.
If you are really wanting to use your glass cabinet doors to make a statement, then you should consider a stained or custom glass option. Just like the world of custom cabinetry, there are limitless possibilities for design and shape, and so you have the freedom to take your design in whatever direction you want.
- Remove the cabinet doors that are going to have glass inserts installed and all hardware from the cabinets.
- Place the cabinet door front side up onto a workbench.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stop the jigsaw and pull the blade out when you reach the top of the left corner hole.
- 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.
- Sand the inner rim of the cabinet door frame lightly with sandpaper.
- Place the frame upside down on the workbench.
- Run a bead line of caulk along the perimeter of the frame.
- 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.
- Allow at least 30 minutes for the caulk to dry before proceeding to the next step.
- 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.
- Re-attach your cabinet to the frame using the removed hardware.
- 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.
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. Adding glass panels to your cabinet doors will also have the added benefit of giving your kitchen more depth, which can help it feel larger.
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