How To Build Your Own Simple Shaker Style Cabinet Doors

Eric Greaves
by Eric Greaves
2 Materials
2 Hours

I was building a desk and wanted to add simple shaker style cabinet doors to it. So I came up with a plan to build some inexpensive ones. It was an extremely easy project and one any beginner can handle. I made my doors from pine and plywood without screws. I joined them together with wooden biscuits and glue. My cabinet doors were small however this DIY can be modified to make cabinet doors of any size. So if you are looking for a little shaker style woodwork in your home, check out this quick DIY.

Tools and Materials

  • Pine boards
  • Plywood
  • Router
  • Circular saw
  • Table saw
  • Biscuit joiner
  • Wooden biscuits
  • Clamps
  • Wood glue
  • Paint or stain
  • Sandpaper
  • Eye protection
  • Gloves
  • Mask

Cut Wood for Frame
Cut Wood for Frame

I started this project by measuring the openings on my desk that I needed to cover. First I ran the pine boards through my table saw to square up the edges. Then I cut those boards into the appropriate sizes to make rectangular shapes large enough to cover the openings on my desk and leave a small overlap. Before I cut my wood, I put on my safety gear.

Cut Wood
Add Biscuits
Add Biscuits

I took my biscuit joiner out and used it to create slots at each end of the wood pieces, so they could be joined at the corners. Then I put wood glue in the holes, inserted a wooden biscuit into each slot and pushed the pine frame together, creating the rectangle. Then I clamped the boards tightly in place and set them aside to dry for about an hour.

Add Wood Glue
Glue Biscuits
Router the Edges
Router the Edges

Shaker style cabinets have a recessed panel on the front, but are flat on the back. So, once the frames were dry, I needed to create a pocket that the center panel would fit into this way. To do this, I used a router and I carved a small ledge all the way around the inside perimeter of my pine frame. Always use caution when working with power tools. When I was done with the router I went over the perimeter again with a chisel and a hammer to remove any last bits of wood and to create square, sharp corners.

Cut Wood for Center
Cut Wood for Center

Next, I cut the wood for the center of each cabinet door. I created these pieces from plywood. I measured the inside of each individual frame and then cut the plywood to the necessary length and width with my table saw. When the cuts were complete, I was ready for glue.

Glue Wood Centers to Frames
Glue Wood Centers to Frames

To attach the plywood centers to the pine frames I simply added glue to the routered edges and spread it around with a brush. Then I placed the plywood center board into the frame firmly and let it dry. I continued this process until all of the cabinet doors were complete.

Sand and Paint or Stain
Sand and Paint or Stain

Now it was time to add the finish to the doors. Depending on your individual design, you could either paint or stain them. I chose paint. I sanded each door down a bit, to make sure there weren’t any rough spots or dried glue leftover. Then I primed and painted the front and back of each door. If you’re going to use stain, you’ll want to lightly sand in between each coat and apply a sealer when the stain is dry.


I'm very pleased with the way these shaker style cabinet doors turned out. It was an easy project that can be adapted to fit furniture, bathroom vanities, and kitchen cabinets. By building your own shaker style doors you could actually update your entire kitchen by simply removing the old, dated cabinet doors and replacing them with these. Plus, since they’re relatively inexpensive to make, it would be an easy way to DIY it on a budget. I hope you found this tutorial helpful and that you'll give it a try. 

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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 5 questions
  • Cylon Bates Cylon Bates on May 03, 2020

    Awesome craftsmanship! Can u provide measurements and detailed information?

  • Dennis Dennis on Apr 23, 2022

    I don't get it. What is the difference from any other cab. door ?

  • Hummingbird Hummingbird on Apr 23, 2022

    What type glue did you use?

Join the conversation
2 of 12 comments
  • Gellehaiak Gellehaiak on Apr 02, 2022

    You did a great job! You did a great job and made great doors. I would love to learn how to make something like this with my own hands, but I don't have the time or tools like you do. But my love for wooden furniture is so great that I am willing to completely free up my garage to install some similar machines in it and make something beautiful. For now, I have to order wooden furniture because, as I said above, I don't have the time. But I am sure that I will be able to realize my dream soon. I wish you success!

  • Karen Bosco Karen Bosco on Apr 23, 2022

    Exceptionally well done -beautiful!