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How to Make Custom Kitchen Cabinets

You don’t need a complete overhaul of your kitchen to give it a new look. A cheaper alternative is to simply update the kitchen cabinets. With new cabinets, your kitchen will look like an entirely new space.

The easiest way to get new cabinets for your Perth home? Get in touch with custom kitchen cabinets Perth companies. They not only make high-quality cabinets from high-quality materials. They also provide valuable input to make sure that you can achieve your design goals. Custom kitchen cabinet makers also provide workmanship warranties for your peace of mind.

If you’re working with a tight budget, however, you have another option: making your own custom kitchen cabinets. It’s a big task, for sure, but it’s not entirely difficult. Even beginner woodworkers can take up a tablesaw and some tools to create their very own cabinets. By making your own custom cabinets, you can do kitchen renovation at a more affordable price point. You also develop a new skill while you’re at it.

So how do you make your own kitchen cabinets? Here are some helpful tips and steps to follow.


The first thing you have to do is to measure the area where you will install the custom kitchen cabinets to make sure that they will fit. Remember to measure not just the height and width, but also the depth of the cabinets. Usually, bottom cabinets are about 86 centimetres tall. This already factors in the added height of benchtops, which are usually 5 to 7.5 centimetres thick. For upper cabinets, add about 46 to 51 centimetres to the height of your counter. Depths, meanwhile, are about 30 to 38 centimetres. Obviously, these measurements will vary per kitchen. If you’re planning to buy the cabinet doors, plan the cabinet size around the dimensions of the doors.

Draw the Cabinets

Cabinets are mostly squares and rectangles. Nevertheless, it helps to draw your design so you can visualise the output. Make sure to include the measurements in the drawing for easy reference.

Get the Right Tools

Apart from a tablesaw, you’ll also need a few basic tools to make your own custom cabinets. These include a jigsaw, drill, screwdriver, and hammer. You’ll also need a handful of screws and nails, as well as wood glue.

Cut the Side, Bottom, and Base Panels

Start by cutting the side panels of your cabinets. For these panels, medium density fibreboard, plywood, or similar materials will do. Do note that the sides will not be seen, but they still have to be sturdy. You can add toe kicks by clamping the side panels and then cutting a notch into one corner. The side part where you cut the notch will be the bottom front corner.

Next, cut the bottom panel. Again, the measurements will vary depending on your kitchen. In general, however, the width of the bottom panel is equal to the total width of the cabinet minus the total width of the two side panels. Finally, cut the base panels.

Mark the Parts With a Pencil

Make sure to label everything you’ve cut using a pencil. This will help guide you with the installation; just think of it as a set of instructions when assembling a puzzle. The pencil marks also serve as an indicator that you’ve sanded your cabinets properly. Once the marks disappear, you’ll know that you have achieved smooth, flat joints.

Put Up the Base, Then the Sides and Tops

Once you’re ready to assemble your cabinets, put up the base first. Make sure that everything is aligned properly (mind the toe kick if you made one), and then glue the pieces into place. Afterwards, drill pilot holes and screw the panels together using screws. Next, attach the side panels. You should use the same process as when you attached the base panels. If you need to, use angle measures and clamps to make sure that you have 90-degree angles. Finally, fit and attach the upper braces. Make sure that the flat plane is aligned with the back edge of the cabinet. The flat plane should rest against the benchtop once it is installed.

Reinforce Connections

To ensure the sturdiness of your cabinet, you can reinforce the connections using corner brackets. You can also use simple metal brackets that you can buy in almost any hardware store. Screw or nail these brackets in place.

Trace, Cut, and Attach the Back

After assembling the bottom, sides, and tops, trace the outside frame of the back of the cabinet onto a piece of plywood. The ideal thickness is about 1.50 centimetres for standard cabinets and about 2 centimetres for wall cabinets. This part you trace will be the back panel. Cut it accordingly and screw it to the frame. If you’re planning to finish the cabinet prior to installation (which is ideal), apply the finish first before attaching the back. This will make it easier for you to reach every nook and cranny. If you’re gluing on the back, use polyurethane glue since regular wood glue doesn’t adhere very well to finishes.

Buy the Doors

If you want stylish kitchen cabinet doors, it’s better to buy them from reliable cabinet suppliers. You can also DIY the cabinet doors if you want, but you’ll likely end up with flat doors. Shaping and carving wood require specialized equipment, not to mention more experience and skill. By buying kitchen cabinet doors, you’ll save yourself a lot of effort. You’ll also have plenty of options when it comes to style and materials. In the end, building your cabinets and buying the doors will save you more time and money.

The time it will take to finish DIY-ing your custom kitchen cabinets will depend on how many and how big the cabinets you’re making. For smaller projects, two to three days will be more than sufficient. Installing the benchtop will take a bit longer, since this has to be made separately. In total, it will take about two weeks to finish making and installing your own custom kitchen cabinets.

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