How-To Videos

How to Convert Flat Cabinets to Shaker Style

By: Danny Lipford


Adding plywood trim is an economical way to convert plain or outdated cabinets to shaker style:

  1. Cut a sheet of 1/4-inch thick plywood into 2-1/4-inch wide strips along the length. A table saw is the best tool for this to ensure consistency.
  2. Remove all the hardware from the cabinet doors. Sand the doors lightly to remove any dirt and gloss from the old finish.
  3. Cut two of the plywood strips to the height of the door and apply wood glue to the back side of each. Align them so they are flush with the outer edge of the door as well as the top and bottom. Secure them to the door with 5/8-inch brads.
  4. Mark two more strips of plywood and cut them to fit horizontally between the two vertical strips before you repeat the process to secure these strips.
  5. If your flat doors have a beveled edge, fill the V shaped void between the plywood and the door with wood putty. Overfill the groove slightly in case the putty shrinks as it dries.
  6. Fill the nail holes on the strips. Once the putty is dry, sand it down to create a flat edge all around the door.
  7. Apply a coat of primer and two coats of finish paint to the doors before rehanging them.

Watch the video for details.



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4 Comments on “How to Convert Flat Cabinets to Shaker Style”

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  • Evelyn Rogers Says:
    January 30th, 2018 at 4:03 am

    Where can I buy the kit to paint the counter tops? I enjoy your ideas on redoing things. Thanks so much

  • Dan Says:
    October 28th, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    We just watched an episode where you converted to the shaker cabinets and you mentioned repainting the refrigerator but you didn’t actually go over what paint and how you did that I’d be very interested in knowing that

  • Olga Mora Says:
    October 28th, 2017 at 8:34 am

    hi my name is Olga and I love this episode I want to redo my rental property and update kitchen my question is what kind of paint is recommended for kitchen cabinets do I sand them first then paint or Can I just primer and paint?

  • Fran Knitter Says:
    October 28th, 2017 at 7:23 am

    I enjoy watching your show each week. You and your daughter give me inspiration to try new ideas. Thanks for sharing your tested true methods and tricks of the trade! Do you ever come north to New York?

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How to Convert Flat Cabinets to Shaker Style