How to Install a Cabinet Door

Introduction: How to Install a Cabinet Door

Installing a cabinet door is a very easy and functional activity and can be done with the help of few easy-to-use tools. While the need to install a door may not be so frequent, this tutorial will help when you have a creaking / broken door that needs replacement. Considering this is the first DIY tutorial on Woodooz, I would appreciate any comment/ feedback. Feel free to drop in your opinions.

Step 1: Identify Cabinet Needing a Door

Identify the cabinet needing a door

Our TV stand turned Shoe Rack badly needed a door and was the obvious choice for this exercise. The rack is in the living room, and going by the contents in the cabinet, you can pretty much understand why this needed to be covered.

Measure the sides of the cabinet before buying the plywood for the door

Step 2: Materials and Tools Required

Plywood for the door. Measured and cut to the required dimension

Screw Driver

European Cup hinge. At the local hardware store, you can ask for frame-less / hidden hinges

Forstner Drill bit. 35mm diameter to drill hole for the hinge cup

Electric drill - Most certainly a very useful tool to have in the house

Some screws

Paint / stain for the desired finish (Not part of this tutorial)

Step 3: Measure the Dimensions for the Plywood Door

The European hinges are primarily used when the hinge needs to be hidden and the frame of the cabinet is to be covered.

In this case, we wanted to install the door covering the frames

And hence, the dimension of the plywood while buying should be measured from frame to frame

In this case, 2 ft x 1 ft 7"

If you have the tool, you can cut the plywood yourself. We had it cut at the plywood store for a nominal fee

Step 4: European Cup Hinges

The Euro hinges are known as hidden hinges and come with two distinct sections - One that gets fixed to the side of the cabinet while the other is sunk into the door

The cup needs to be comfortably housed into a hole drilled into the door. It is the cup portion of the hinge that opens and closes while the other section that is fixed on the side of the cabinet is static

These hinges are not visible from the outside and are hence also known as concealed or hidden hinges

They are primarily used when the frames of the cabinets need to be covered (as in our case). However, there are also other modes of installation where the frame can be visible

In India, Euro hinges are predominantly used for Kitchen cabinets. Some carpenters prefer the regular hinges for wardrobes because of the cost factor. Euro hinges are atleast 3-4 times costlier than the regular ones

Step 5: Mark Points on Cabinet Wall for Driving Screws

Place the hinge on the side of the wall to mark the points where the screws need to be driven

Drill a pilot hole on the marked points. A pilot hole is a small hole drilled to ease driving of screw into the wood. Hammering a nail / driving a screw directly into the wood may split the wood

The gap between the cup and the cabinet (shown in the picture above) should be around 3-5 mm. The more this gap, the more will be
the eventual gap between the cabinet and the door which will look very ackward

Step 6: Bore Hole on the Door Inside for Housing the Cup

Using the forstner bit, drill a hole to the desired depth. This hole would house the cup portion of the hinge.

Ensure the gap between the edge and the hole is equal to the gap as described in step 5

Once the hole depth can comfortably house the hinge, drive screws to secure the hinge to the door

Now the hinge is fixed to the door using the cup. What is left now is to fix the other section of the hinge with the door to the side wall of the cabinet

Step 7: Install the Door

Fix the hinge now to the side wall of the cabinet ensuring the screws are driven on the points marked in step5

You may want to redo steps 5 and 6, if you are not satisfied with the installation

As you can see from the picture here, we bore the wrong cup hole initially and took us another attempt to get it right

Step 8: Add More Hinges As Needed

Do remember that the entire weight of the door is being supported by the hinges

Normally for a cabinet of this size, two hinges would suffice

However, use your judgement to decide if more reinforcements are required

An 8 feet tall wardrobe will require a minimum of 4 hinges for the necessary strength. Considering cost factors, some carpenters stop with 3 hinges.

Step 9: For the Final Look

Stain or paint as per your needs. We used stain for this door and is still work in progress 

Install a knob / handles. There are many varieties available in the market

Stick a piece of scorch-bite to the inside edge of the door to prevent noise when the door is slammed

Do drop in your feedback and suggestions. Do you think there are things that could have been explained better ? Share your thoughts about this tutorial.

Be the First to Share


    • Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge

      Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge
    • Super-Size Speed Challenge

      Super-Size Speed Challenge
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest



    If you don't want to make your own door out of ply wood, there's a few places you can buy them online, I refaced my entire kitchen using doors from , we got the doors in about 10 days, which was impressive because they were custom. My buddy used and had a really good experience as well. I tried making my own doors once, but had a really hard time.