How to Make Inexpensive DIY Custom Cabinet Doors

Hey friends! Thalita again from The Learner Observer here to share with you a project that saved us a TON of money in our recent laundry room renovation. Today I’m going to show you how we made out own cabinet front and doors with simple hardware store materials and very little knowledge of woodworking – this means ANYONE can do this, so stick with me and I’ll show you how we created this custom sized base cabinet!

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In a fairly small space that needs to work overtime as far as functionality goes, it was important to us to make the most of this corner where the sink would go. A wide cabinet for a large sink was in order, oh, and it needed to look pretty good, too because this is the view from the hallway between the kitchen and family room:

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How to Make Your Own DIY Custom Cabinet Doors

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Materials to build your own custom cabinet and doors

How To Make Your Own Custom Cabinet Doors For An Odd Sized Cabinet Space @Remodelaholic

This is what we started with:

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Once we got the cabinet built, we had to fit into the area properly. The 36″ cabinet would have been fine in the space and with the sink we had, but I wanted to line it up properly with the window next to it. This is where custom sizing came into place and we had to figure out a way to make inexpensive doors!

The first step was to build a base for the sink. Please note this tutorial is not for the base itself because we definitely could have built the base in a more efficient manner – we are aware of that, but between time constraints and twin toddlers, we did our best with that one.

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Then we added a piece of MDF to the side of the cabinet and placed it a few inches away from the wall to center it in the space. My husband filled it the gaps with more MDF and traced the template that came with our sink to get the sides just right. The MDF was also added to the sides and along the bottom of the cabinet.

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Now it was time for the doors. Ours had to be 19″ wide by 16″ tall, so that is how we asked the hardware store to have the 1/8″ pieces cut for us. We measured this by measuring the opening and adding about 1/4″ to both length and height so there was a slight overlap along the outer edges.

We also had them cut the 1/4″ pieces into 3″ strips, then we cut those to the correct length using a miter saw at home.

When cutting the 3″ strips to the correct length, we made sure that for each door there were two 19″ pieces and two 10″ pieces – just subtract 6 from the width of your door to make sure the strips will fit “inside.”

With all of the strips cut to size, we got to work on gluing them on, just using simple wood glue and some clamps.


We let the glue dry overnight then applied two coats of Fusion Mineral Paint in Lichen all over the cabinet and doors, and left that to dry for a few hours. In the meantime, I also spray painted the cabinet latch I had picked out, since I wanted black and they only came in brushed nickel.

We attached the hinges to the back of the door and installed them, and voila!!

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We also made the countertop, which you can see over on my blog here, along with the full laundry room makeover.

Overall, we saved a lot of money by using simple materials to make the cabinet doors, and they were so easy to make! Take it from two people who have ZERO carpentry skills.

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Though these doors don’t match the existing cabinet doors on the wall, we painted them all the same colour to tie everything together and make it a little more cohesive. Now when we look into the laundry room from the hallway, there’s a little bit of drama with that big apron front sink and the wallpaper, and though we think it looks great, we also know it didn’t cost a small fortune!

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Would you attempt to build your own cabinet doors? You may be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to do!

More DIY cabinet doors:

how to build a shaker cabinet door

how to build a raised panel cabinet door

how to build pegboard wall cabinet + doorspegboard tool cabinet with sliding doors, featured on

how to update basic cabinet doors with molding and beadboardupdating-builder-grade-cabinet-doors-tutorial

how to paint cabinet doors — the right way!

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Thalita is a mom of twins, teacher, and blogger over at The Learner Observer. She is a frugal DIY-er and avid lover of thrift store scores with a passion for making over spaces with pieces that are both meaningful and beautiful. Favourite colour? White. Favourite food? Ice Cream. Favourite Pastime? Instagram, where she shares an abundance of pictures of her twin boys along with her latest home reno and decorating adventures!

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  1. Right! It looks really good, and very convincing. I have two concerns though:

    1) if the glue isn’t evenly applied to the whole surface and the pieces arent clamped, they could delaminate which looks terrible.

    2) While MDF is inexpensive and very easy to work with, water will ruin it very quickly. Consider using solid wood, or make sure you paint it really well with waterproof paint. Otherwise it could bubble, pulp, and fall apart.

    It looks like you fully painted it, so it should be just fine!