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how to make DIY modernized cabinet doors

diy modernized cabinet doors | almost makes perfect

while i love the storage the multiple built-in cabinets our house came with, i hated the cathedral cabinet doors. so i asked our carpenter right away about replacing them and he said that’s gonna be a lot of money. so i researched prefab and that proved challenging, and i googled and i got quotes and it looked like i was just going to have to live with them because i wasn’t about to spend thousands of dollars just to replace these stupid doors.

but we love flat modern everything so i wasn’t going to be happy with that.

and then, back when i posted the first built-in cabinet post, you lovely readers turned me onto another method to remedy them. 

jenny of little green notebook came up with this technique to use hardboard and essentially just glue it on and i’m not going to take any credit for the idea but it’s a dope idea so we did it.

how to modernize your cabinet doors

it’s a super simple project, you just need some time, patience, and some space to work.

how to modernize your cabinet doors

step one : measure

measure your cabinet doors as precisely as you possibly can, if your doors have a bevel like ours do, you need to measure within that bevel.

step two : buy your hardboard

go to your local hardware store and purchase a bunch of hardboard, they will cut it to the exact sizes you request. i’m forgetting how much we spent but it was really pretty inexpensive for all of it. (9 pieces)

step three : adhere the hardboard

after taking down your cabinet doors, apply a layer of liquid nails, and then carefully place your hardboard over it. we clamped each cabinet for at least a few hours.

step four : caulk the edges

once you’ve removed the clamps, apply a layer of caulk around the edge. you can watch youtube tutorials of how to do this properly if you never have. i hadn’t.

step five : paint!

once the caulk has dried, you can paint! we ended up originally painting with the flat house paint with a brush we had, but decided to then do semi-gloss with a foam roller and the paint went on so much easier and looked so much better. i also preferred painting the doors once they were hung, but thats up to you.

step six : add hardware

to add hardware, just drill from the back. we ended up needing longer screws than what our knobs came with because of the extra layer — just so you know.

diy modernized cabinet doors | almost makes perfect

what a huge difference right!? i can’t believe such an inexpensive project can make such a big impact. i totally totally recommend it.

how to modernize your cabinet doorshow to modernize your cabinet doors

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  1. Wow! That is a HUGE difference! It looks so modern and like you had them professionally done!


  2. This is one of the most genius DIYs I’ve seen in a while! I love it when new life changing ideas come out of nowhere. Your house is looking great!

  3. I’m so glad you did it. Looks great!! 🙂

  4. Lindsay-Jean says:

    Ahhh, was so excited about this until I realized that the center parts of my cathedral cabinets aren’t flush with the edges, they stick out farther. Sigh. I don’t think there’s any hope for mine, but yours look great!!

    1. There’s a fix for this. The center usually only sticks out a few millimeters, so you can first add thin strips as a frame with liquid nail and stick the hardwood on top – use foam as a filler if you couldn’t get the frame height exactlying right. Then caulk and paint.

  5. No. Freaking. Way. I lived with cathedral style cabinets for 5 years and disliked them everysingleday. Would have done this in a heartbeat! Definitely going to pin in case there are any more in my future. You know, to prepare for the worst.

  6. Looks so tidy! I’d love to have a utility room like this.

  7. Is this possible with cathedral doors as well? I’ve got them all over the house and I HATE them!

  8. Where are these handles from?

  9. How did they hold up?