Author Topic: Refacing kitchen cabinets  (Read 1290 times)

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Offline Packard

  • Posts: 432
Refacing kitchen cabinets
« on: May 19, 2021, 10:39 AM »
I will be refacing some red oak kitchen cabinets.  I will be painting the face frames and replacing the end panels and doors.

I want to do slab doors. 

My initial idea was to use 3/4" plywood faced with maple or birch and then edge band the panels. 

I am very familiar with this process and it will be easy for me. 

But I am seeing painted slab doors with a slight radius on the edges.  That would suggest MDF. 

The MDF will be heavy.  Is that going to be a problem for the Blum hinges?

The alternative is to use plywood and wood filler to address the edges.  It sounds like more work and a lot of attention to detail.

Another alternative is to use thick edge banding, also more work and I would have to use some grain filler or something to make sure the seam between the edge banding and the slab remains invisible.

MDF would be the easiest route if I want the radii on the edges.

Plywood with iron on edge banding will be the fastest and easiest and will still be reasonably light.

Any suggestions?

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Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7483
Re: Refacing kitchen cabinets
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2021, 10:56 AM »
You don't have to worry about the weight of MDF, the Blum hings can take it, no problem. My kitchen has MDF doors with pretty basic Blum hinges, it is 25 years old and I see no sag.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 432
Re: Refacing kitchen cabinets
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2021, 11:01 AM »
Thanks for that information.  Not only does that make it easier, it also makes it cheaper.  While MDF pricing has gone up along with all other wood-based materials, it is still the least expensive sheet goods that I can use (particle board would be cheaper, but I can't imagine using it as a finished product).

Offline Wayne CW

  • Posts: 39
  • Wayne
Re: Refacing kitchen cabinets
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2021, 11:15 AM »
These doors were made just like you plan to do. They are 3/4” maple plywood with edge banding on the sides and top and then a 1 1/2” wide moulding on the face and painted. You could do the same with MDF i think.
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Offline Wayne CW

  • Posts: 39
  • Wayne
Re: Refacing kitchen cabinets
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2021, 11:21 AM »
My son just did his kitchen doors on the cheap with Peter Millards method. All done with 3/4” rails and stiles and 1/4” panel all done in MDF. Quite simple really.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2021, 11:23 AM by Wayne CW »
"There is always something new to learn and old age isn't an excuse to quit."

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 432
Re: Refacing kitchen cabinets
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2021, 12:26 PM »
I  was planning on a much smaller radius on the edges; probably 1/16" or maybe 1/8".  If I was just doing one or two doors I would just ease the edges with sandpaper. 

But 1/16" roundover bit will get a more uniform result and only costs about $20.00.

My standard method for shaker cabinets is to use 3" x 3/4" poplar for the rails and stiles and use 1/2" thick plywood for the center panel. 

I thin the edges of the panel in the inside to fit the groove in the rails and stiles.  I don't need to use spaceballs and it feels more substantial (and you can screw accessories to the inside of the doors). 

That was my first plan, but I am far behind on projects and a slab door will be faster, so I think I will go with that.

Offline dupe

  • Posts: 115
Re: Refacing kitchen cabinets
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2021, 03:06 PM »
Just finished installing all MDF slab door cabinets in my house. The fabricators used this CMT File-Free Flush Trim Bit on all edges. Looked great. I don't have any close up pictures prior to paint. They were just painted yesterday/today, I'll try to take a picture this evening, but no idea if the hit them with paper first.
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Offline Packard

  • Posts: 432
Re: Refacing kitchen cabinets
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2021, 03:17 PM »
My smallest roundover bit is 1/8" and that is definitely larger than I would want.  I assumed 1/16" but perhaps 1/64 would look better. 

Unfortunately it is difficult for me to visualize this in my mind.  I know what I want it to look like.  I think I will look at the shanks of some small drillbits and see if that helps me visualize this.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 432
Re: Refacing kitchen cabinets
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2021, 03:20 PM »
I was hoping someone published a chart showing the profiles of various roundover bits, but I am not seeing one when I search Google.

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 1057
Re: Refacing kitchen cabinets
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2021, 05:10 PM »
Here's a 1/16 round over I just put on a shaker door

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Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 508
Re: Refacing kitchen cabinets
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2021, 06:20 PM »
Regular MDF and concealed hinges are no problem at all. There really isn't much load on the screws. The cup itself is doing all of the work. The screws just keep them in place.
In the cabinet shop, we use a dedicated boring/inserting machine for Blum hinges. Most of their hinges are available with what they call dowels. They are plastic plugs that simply press into place, so the screws aren't even in the MDF at all. Most retail sellers have the regular ones where you have to drill and install screws into the door itself.
Also, if it is available in your area, there is "ultra light" MDF. It is considerably lighter than the normal stuff. We use it a lot, but it isn't available in all sizes.

Because of the size of our beam saw, CNC machines and material handling equipment, we use a lot of sheet goods that are larger than the usual 49 x97. Cabinet parts are typically cut from 61 x 97 sheets because the yield is better.
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Offline Packard

  • Posts: 432
Re: Refacing kitchen cabinets
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2021, 08:44 AM »
The 1/16" radius looks about right to me.  I will try that first.

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 471
Re: Refacing kitchen cabinets
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2021, 08:17 PM »
I have plywood slab doors in my kitchen.  I wish I had gone w/ veneered MDF.  There is some cupping along the X and Y axis in some of the doors.  Not noticeable on it's own, but next to a panel or other door, it becomes obvious.

Online afish

  • Posts: 501
Re: Refacing kitchen cabinets
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2021, 08:33 PM »
I second the ultralight MDF for doors. But the hinges will take the weight of the regular stuff to.  Blum does provide specs on how many hinges you need based on size and weight of door. 

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 432
Re: Refacing kitchen cabinets
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2021, 09:05 AM »
Here's a 1/16 round over I just put on a shaker door



I don't have a boring machine, but I do have a boring jig and it will drill for screws or the plastic dowels.