The Shakers are known for the quality of their workmanship. For this reason, Shaker style kitchen cabinets are very expensive. This step-by-step guide will teach you how to update your flat front cabinets and make them look like Shaker cabinets in four easy steps.

Materials List

  • Hardwood strips measuring 1/4" x 2 1/4" x 36"
  • Steel wool
  • Degreaser
  • Miter saw
  • Orbital sander
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps
  • Paint or Stain
  • Drill or Screwdriver
  • Pin nail gun
  • 3/4 inch pin nails
  • Masking Tape
  • Marker

Removing the Cabinet Doors

To begin this project, you will need to remove the cabinet doors and hardware from your cabinets. As you remove each cabinet door, place a small piece of tape on the back of each door and the interior of the cabinet. Then, label each so you will know where each cabinet door should be reinstalled.

If you will be reinstalling your cabinet hardware, soak the hardware in hot, soapy water for 30 minutes. Then, scrub each piece using a wire brush to remove the grease and grime from your cabinet hardware. If you will be installing new hardware, you will not need to complete this step.

Cleaning and Sanding the Cabinet Doors

You must clean the cabinet doors and cabinet frames before sanding. Apply a liberal coat of degreaser and scrub each door with a medium grit steel wool. Rinse completely and allow the door to dry before sanding.

Sand each door by hand using 100-grit sandpaper going with the grain until the door is completely smooth. Wipe each door down using a tack cloth to ensure all dust is removed.

Cut and Install the Hardwood Strips                                                                                           

Place your first cabinet door on a couple of sawhorses and measure the length of the door. Then, cut two pieces of hardwood using the measurement. Apply wood glue to each piece of hardwood and place along the side of the cabinet door. Use the pin nail gun to install a pin nail an inch from the bottom of the hardwood strip and an inch from the top of the hardwood strip.

Place a clamp every 4 inches along the hardwood strips to help ensure the hardwood bonds with the cabinet door. Allow to dry for an hour. If any glue seeps onto the cabinet door, immediately wipe it off.

Once the vertical hardwood strips have dried, measure the horizontal distance between the sides and cut the hardwood strips to the appropriate measurement. Install the horizontal strips using the instructions listed above.

Finishing the Cabinets

After the hardwood strips have been installed, it is time to finish the cabinet doors. Begin by hand sanding each door using 100-grit sandpaper. Sand until the cabinet door is smooth. Then, you can either apply stain and lacquer to your cabinets or paint them using oil-based enamel paint.

Remodeling your kitchen does not have to be expensive. With a little knowledge and hard work, you can transform a plain, boring kitchen into a masterpiece.

For more information, or if you would like professional assistance, contact Klyn Kitchens Ltd. or a similar company.