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Update Kitchen Cabinets With Glass Inserts

With these easy, step-by-step instructions, anyone can quickly and inexpensively transform builder-grade cabinet doors into beautiful, custom-looking glass insert doors.

Ana White, Ana-White.com
White Cabinets With Glass Inserts

Materials Needed:

  • cabinet doors with panel insert
  • LEXAN glass sheets, 1/8" thick
  • utility knife or plastic cutting knife
  • clear silicone
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • measuring tape
  • carpenter's square or straightedge
  • circular saw
  • wood chisel
  • safety glasses
  • hearing protection
  • painters' tape

Remove Doors

Remove cabinet doors, place existing hardware in a plastic bag and label doors and cabinets openings with painters' tape, numbering them to make re-assembly easier. Note: This tutorial is for replacing cabinet door panels with LEXAN glass. The cabinet must be constructed with a frame surrounding a panel, like the cabinet in the diagram.

Kitchen Cabinet Diagram

Measure Doors

Remove doors from the cabinet and inspect top edge of the door. Each door will have a tongue-and-groove joint. First, measure width of groove on inside of cabinet then measure depth of groove on the cabinet. In example shown, depth of groove is 1/2-inch and width is 1/4-inch.

Install Glass Insert in Cabinet Step 2

Mark Doors

On back of cabinet, mark doors in from the inside of the frame the depth of the groove. Use carpenter's square to mark all sides.

Install Glass Insert in Cabinet Step 3

Cut Out Panels

Adjust circular saw cutting depth to depth taken in previous step. With eye and hearing protection, carefully cut marked lines with circular saw. Tip: Use a clamp to secure the door to the work surface.

Install Glass Insert in Cabinet Step 4

Chisel Corners

Use a wood chisel to cut corners free.

Install Glass Insert in Cabinet Step 5

Remove Wood Panel

With the wood chisel, pry wood panel free of cabinet frame. Remove panel and measure dimensions.

Install Glass Insert in Cabinet Step 6

Cut LEXAN Glass

Mark dimensions of plywood insert on LEXAN glass. Using plastic cutting knife or utility knife, score LEXAN glass halfway through then snap LEXAN glass on scored lines. Tip: Clamp a straight board to the LEXAN glass and use as a scoring edge.

Install Glass Insert in Cabinet Step 7

Apply Silicone

Apply clear silicone to interior door frame. Note: The cabinet was first painted white, this is an optional step.

Install Glass Insert in Cabinet Step 8

Insert LEXAN Glass

Carefully insert LEXAN glass into frame, pressing glass firmly into frame. Wipe excess silicone off face of glass and allow to dry. Hang cabinet doors using hardware removed in the first step.

Install Glass Insert in Cabinet Step 9
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