DIY Glass Cabinet Doors

Posted by: on February 20th, 2014 | 10 Comments
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DIY Glass Cabinet Doors

Adding glass doors to existing shelves is a great way to upgrade the look of the room. You can store away your glassware when it’s not in use, but you still get the benefit of its eye-appeal.

Jennifer Bridgman of the home improvement blog The Chronicles of Home says you can make your own DIY glass cabinet doors. That’s exactly what she did in her home. And as you can see, her shelves with custom-built glass cabinet doors look smashing.  

Here’s her step-by-step tutorial, along with lots of photos of how she built the cabinet doors.   

The kitchen in my new house has a great little eating nook with built-in bookshelves on either side of the windows.  All the extra shelving is great for storage but as I started putting some glassware away on the shelves I realized the open style was going to be a dusting nightmare.

Who wants to add dusting all of your glassware, piece by piece, to your weekly cleaning list?

Built-in shelves before glass cabinet doors were added

My solution to this little problem was to gather up some simple materials from The Home Depot and build my own DIY glass cabinet doors. The glass front doors will keep out the dust, plus the glass retains that open look and makes the shelves look like a pretty display case. Form and function all wrapped up together!

I don’t give exact measurements for the cutting of the wood in this project because the size of the doors will depend on the size of the shelf or cabinet you’re working with. Also, I opted for acrylic sheet instead of real glass here, because the doors go from floor level up, and I have two young daughters who I definitely did not want to see go crashing through a pane of glass!

Materials you’ll need for the DIY Glass Cabinet Doors

Materials needed for DIY glass cabinet doors project

Optional:

  • Nail gun with 1” brad nails
  • Orbital sander with fine grit sandpaper

How to make the DIY Glass Cabinet Doors

 

Measure to determine the exterior dimensions of the cabinet doors. Make sure to allow space for the hinges and some room between the doors if they are stacked on top of each other. The vertical pieces should go the full length of the opening and the horizontal pieces will sit inside.

Horizontal pieces cut for DIY glass cabinet doors project

Use a miter saw to cut the horizontal and vertical pieces for the doors with straight cuts at each end. Then use the Kreg jig to drill pocket holes in both ends of the horizontal pieces.

Sand all boards by hand with fine grit sandpaper to smooth.

Screwing horizontal and vertical pieces together for DIY glass cabinet doors project

Clamp a horizontal and a vertical piece together using a corner clamp, and attach them through the pocket holes using 1-inch wood screws. Repeat until you have a rectangle.

Pieces of poplar cut for DIY glass cabinet doors project

Cut the poplar hobby board exactly as you cut the poplar 1x3s, just be sure to remeasure for the horizontal pieces as they will be a bit longer than the horizontal 1×3 cuts.

Align with the edges of the poplar rectangles and nail into place using 3/4-inch wire brads.

Frame of DIY glass cabinet doors

Use an orbital sander or hand-sand all edges with fine grit sandpaper so they are smooth and even.

Trim moulding for a DIY glass cabinet doors project

Use a miter saw to cut the small trim moulding to fit inside the opening of the rectangle. The ends will need to be cut front-to-back at a 45-degree angle–the rounded side should be shorter than the flat side, and the flat side (long end) should match the inside measurement of the rectangle.

Pieces nailed together for DIY glass cabinet doors project

Nail the pieces into place using 1-inch wire brads or a nail gun and 1-inch brad nails.

Spackling DIY glass cabinet doors project

Fill all nail holes, cracks, and gaps with light spackle, then lightly sand to smooth when dry.

Paint both sides with two coats of Behr Premium Plus Ultra Paint + Primer, letting each coat dry fully before applying the next. I used Home Depot’s color matching to match my paint to what was on the existing shelves.

Holes drilled for cabinet pulls in DIY glass cabinet door

Mark where you want your cabinet pulls to go and drill holes, then attach the pulls using included screws.

Attaching hinges to DIY glass cabinet doors

Mark where the hinges will go on the doors and drill small pilot holes, then attach the hinges to the door.

Marks where hinges will go in DIY glass cabinet doors project

Mark where the hinges will screw into the cabinet or bookshelf frame, and drill small pilot holes, then attach the hinges to the frame. Pay careful attention to keeping things straight and level here!

Jennifer_Bridgman_DIYCabinet_16

Use the plastic sheet cutting tool (some Home Depot stores may offer cutting in-store) to cut the acrylic sheet to fit inside the lip between the hobby board and 1x3s on the backs of the doors. Apply clear adhesive all around the lip, and press the acrylic sheets into place.

You are finished!

DIY Glass Cabinet Doors

DIY Glass Cabinet Doors

This storage solution lets me utilize the space on the built-ins, while keeping all of my glassware and other kitchen items dust-free. Plus, it just plain looks pretty.

DIY Glass Cabinet Doors: Before and After

Happy building!

See more Storage and Organization Ideas here on The Home Depot Blog. Follow our Storage and Organize board on Pinterest for more great storage ideas and DIY projects, too.

Browse our Storage and Organization Department for everything you need to get your home organized. 

Jennifer did this project for The Home Depot’s Store More, Save More event. She received a Home Depot gift card, but the ideas and opinions she expressed are her own.

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  1. Deborah Daniels says:

    I think that I can do this!
    What is the color of the paint on the walls? That is beautiful too.

  2. alicia says:

    I cant wait to get started on ours!! I never would’ve thought of plexiglass!

  3. Laura says:

    Hello…
    Your work and ideas are amazing!
    Do you know the name of the color of paint
    that was used on the walls?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Laura – thank you for the nice comment! I’m afraid I don’t know the paint color – my husband and I just bought this house a couple months ago and that was the color that was here. There are loads of paint cans that were left in the basement though. I’ll poke around tomorrow and see if I can track it down and if so I’ll let you know!

  4. Cararta says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    You did such a great job and greatly improved the use of the
    shelves…
    Where I live (in an old house), the dust is an eternal
    enemy, but I do believe that I can use your clear
    instructions to build my own doors.

    I have several sets of shelves and two of them aren’t
    attached to the wall, but are sturdy and have backs on them
    so I can probably use your plans for them as well.

    I think you were right to use acrylic instead of glass for the
    safety of your children.
    Unless you want to use the much
    more expensive safety glass, which I was told by a friend
    that it can’t be cut, but must be bought in the size you
    need.

    I think I would have had right hand opening doors instead of
    left handed ones as I’m a little clumsy and with the door opening away from the wall and hanging in mid-air… Is there any particular
    reason you did a left handed opening?.

    A Beautiful results all around. That was an interesting
    tool to make the built in fasteners and keep the angles
    correct.
    Congratulations on a job well done.
    Cararta

    • Hi Cararta – thanks for your nice comment! The reason I made the opening on the side I did was because of how close the door sat to the wall and the kind of hinges I had to use. If I’d flipped the opening, the hinged side would have caught on the wall. If you’re able to do an inset hinge, I’d go for that, as it would eliminate this issue. Good luck – sounds like a great project for your situation!

  5. i love the glass cabinet is it connected to the wall or can you move it to any place within your dining room?

  6. That looks awesome! I absolutely love this idea!