Hi friends! I recently shared my kitchen makeover, and I had several requests to share how I replaced the raised panels on my kitchen cabinets with glass. This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Adding glass to just one set of cabinets had the biggest impact in my kitchen. This project was a lot easier than I expected, but I have to admit that cutting out those panels requires a little bit of guts.
Here is the cabinet I added glass to before:
It’s hard to look back at those dark, dull pictures! Here is the after!
Can I get an Amen??! The paint alone did wonders for my dark kitchen, but adding the glass to one set of doors made a huge impact.
I use the term “glass” loosely…I actually used plexiglass! I stopped in at a local glass company and the girl behind the counter wasn’t able to give me an exact quote (odd?), so when I asked her to give me a rough idea, she said, “It shouldn’t be more than $50.” Gulp! That was for one clear glass panel. Are you serious? Now I am certain it will not cost that much if you have it cut for you, but that was enough for me to seek out a DIY alternative. This will work whether you choose to use real glass or plexiglass.
Removing the Center Panel
The first thing I had to get the nerve up to do was cut out the center raised panel of my cabinet doors. For this step I used the following tools:
First I taped off the area to be cut. This served as my guide when cutting also.
Then I used a drill and a small drill bit to drill a hole in the corner. I don’t have a specific size for you, it just needs to be big enough to fit your jig saw blade in after drilling a few side-by-side.
Goodbye, center panel!!
Once the center panels were cut, I touched up the edges with fresh paint. The raw edges will be covered, but the doors suffered a few minor bumps and bruises.
Cutting the Plexiglass
If you are using real glass, skip to the installation. I loved the idea of using plexiglass, also known as Acrylic Plastic Sheeting. It looks just like real glass and the best part is, I could cut it myself! I found a 30″ X 36″sheet of it at Home Depot for $24. My kind of price tag. I also purchased clear silicone for plastic ($8), and a plexiglass cutting tool for $5.
After I got my measurements, I cut the plexiglass using the plastic sheet cutter, and a yard stick as a straight edge. Just score the sheeting the appropriate number of times for the depth of the sheeting. My magic number was 5, but I did 8.
Then I just lined it up against the edge of my table and snapped it right off. Perfect.
For glass, you will need a silicone for glass as the one I purchased specified “plastic”. Who knows what the difference is.
Add a bead of silicone along the inside edge on the front side of the cabinet door:
Drop the glass/plexi in place on top…
Adding Trim Molding
This is the molding I used to hide the raw edges:
I purchased it at Home Depot.
It took four 5/16″ X 11/16″ X 8′ pieces at $4.48 a piece to complete both door panels. I cut my trim pieces to frame the glass panel al the way around the inside of the cabinet opening:
For the back side of the cabinet door, I cut another set in the reverse:
I primed and painted all pieces, making sure to paint the sides of all pieces as well, since they will be seen through the glass. Then I used a bead of silicone to attach the front pieces:
The raised edge on the trim, when flipped over, fits perfectly over the “hump” caused by the remaining edge of the door panel.
I love it when ideas just work out. I was high fivin’ myself all over the place when this actually worked! I let them lay flat on their backs on my dining room table overnight. Then I couldn’t wait to come downstairs the next morning and hang them!! I had already primed and painted the interior of the cabinet:
I also replaced the previous shelves that were sagging and drilled new holes for my new shelf pegs, so it would all be fresh and new! I LOVE the result:
I touched up the corners of the trim with a little paintable window and door caulk. You can also see the trim that’s on the back side through the glass. (That’s why it is important to paint the sides.):
Can you tell it’s plexiglass? I can’t until I tap my fingers on it.
The back side got a touch up with some caulk too to fill in the very tiny seam that was there:
I love how the trim on both sides completely hides the raw edge that was left by the jig saw.
In some of these close-ups, you can see a bunch of tiny white dust particles. That is what was left from when I removed the protective covering from the plexiglass. I hadn’t taken a minute to clean it yet, but it cleans up perfectly with a little glass cleaner.
What do you think?
Do you think this is something you might be brave enough to tackle? I say go for it!
If want to see more of my kitchen update, you can see it here:
For a full step-by-step on how I painted my kitchen cabinets, check it out here:
UPDATE: I added “glass” to a cabinet in my next ktichen too!!
See the entire makeover and all the projects we did ourselves HERE!
When I was originally planning my kitchen makeover, I looked online at my style of cabinet with glass panels. The best I found was around $150 per cabinet for the size I needed as mine are pretty tall cabinets. Replacing the center myself cost me $59.10. That’s a huge savings, and I love the end result. I hope you found this helpful, and if I missed anything, please feel free to ask any questions in the comments. 🙂
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