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?
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
- Compound miter saw
- 1×3 poplar boards
- Kreg jig
- Small trim moulding
- 2” poplar hobby board
- Fine grit sandpaper
- Corner clamp
- #18 wire brads – 1” and 3/4”
- 1” wood screws
- Light spackle
- Quart of Behr Premium Plus Ultra Paint + Primer in satin or semi-gloss finish
- Clear acrylic sheets (plexiglass)
- Plastic sheet cutting tool
- Clear adhesive
- Cabinet pulls
- Cabinet hinges
- Power drill
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Use an orbital sander or hand-sand all edges with fine grit sandpaper so they are smooth and even.
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.
Nail the pieces into place using 1-inch wire brads or a nail gun and 1-inch brad nails.
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.
Mark where you want your cabinet pulls to go and drill holes, then attach the pulls using included screws.
Mark where the hinges will go on the doors and drill small pilot holes, then attach the hinges to the door.
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!
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!
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.
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