If you've participated in @frills_and_drills on Instagram, you've seen me work on this mom's desk built in a DIY office with vibro doors! I would like to provide details on how I built the lower half of this unit, especially the one cabinet doors that I bought from Fast Cabinet Doors. Let me accompany you.
Here is the design plan that I created for this entire unit. (Incidentally, I use the page program on my Mac to create this drawing.) I knew from the start that I would order prefabricated doors. The biggest question I get asked is, "Why?" If I plan to build the entire unit from scratch, why shouldn't I build the doors from scratch? The answer is simple for me.
Doors are 95% of what you see when you look at closets. You have to look perfect. Or almost perfect.
And although I have a bit of experience in self-study in building, I am not a professional carpenter and do not have the skills to create almost perfect individual closet doors. Because it's HEAVY. Can I try that in the future if my skills develop? For sure. At the moment, however, it is much wiser to buy them because I can achieve a professional look with my not so professional skills.
This was the beginning of DIY office installations with vibrating doors. These cabinet boxes were built with birch plywood and poplar trim from the hardware store. I used closet plans like this one from Ana White and modified it to the dimensions I wanted.
And it starts with deciding what type of hinge you want to use.
I used 3/4 inch overlay hinges. Why? Because that's what my kitchen cabinets have, what I've used for my laundry room cabinets, and frankly that's exactly what I know. This means that the door covers 3/4 inch of the cabinet frame all around. There are different types of Cabinet hinges including 1/2 "overlay, flush insert and several others. Let me show you a diagram of how I got my door dimensions.
As I mentioned before, choosing hinges is the first step. The type of hinge you choose also determines how the body of your cabinet is constructed. So all of this has to be decided in advance. For additional help with measuring you have a measuring guide on your website.
The doors I chose:
Here is the link to the exact doors I bought from Fast Cabinet Doors. I chose lacquered hardwood with MDF for the type of wood. This is the cheapest option to paint your doors, but the quality is still impressive. From there I entered my exact height and width. All 4 doors had the same dimensions. Then I chose my hinge (salice soft close compact hinge) and finally the rail and bar size (2.5 inches). That brought my total to $ 67 per door. Which is $ 268 for 4 doors plus shipping.
Here are my doors when they arrived about a week later. Perfectly processed and sanded and ready to paint, to match my fixtures.
Priming any type of bare wood before painting is ALWAYS a good idea. This ensures that the paint is well covered, that you cover wood grain or branches, and that it is more durable. Seriously so important and I've learned the hard way many times. I used a foundation that Sherwin Williams recommended for the application.
After priming, I used 120 and 220 sanding blocks and painted over the entire surface. The intermediate sanding process ensures a smooth finish. Basically the same as a sprayer when you paint by hand. After sanding, I remove the dust with a spatula before the next coat.
Speaking of which, I used a foam roller for the flat surfaces and a brush for the folds. However, a sprayer would be a good choice for this project! I personally have nothing against hand painting and find it therapeutic! Am i crazy ?? I made two coasts of enamel paint and sanded the same way after the first coat as I did after the primer. I don't grind after the last coat of paint.
I let the doors dry for 24 hours before I started attaching them to the cupboard boxes. The hinge holes are pre-drilled when you order hinges. That's why I first attached the hinges to the holes. Super easy, because the screw holes are already pre-drilled, making it child's play.
All I had to do to mount the doors to the bezel was to measure the overhang at the top and bottom to make sure there were 3/4 inches on each side. The hinge-side overhang is already done for you with the hinge itself. I promise that it will be very, very easy to hang and mount the doors on the front frame. The hinges are also fully adjustable. This means that after hanging, you can adjust the doors in three different ways to make sure they're completely flush and plum-colored. This step is crucial to ensure that they look perfect. Adjust the settings until you get there.
The last step was to attach the hardware! This could have been the most difficult part of the entire door process. And not because it was difficult. But because it was scary to drill holes in perfectly made doors! Measure 4 times, drill once!
And that's it! Professional looking cabinets without professional skills!
The drawers you see in the photo above are actually art fronts I made myself. They don't work and are purely visual.
FAQ: DIY Office Built-in desk with shaker doors
- Why did you buy doors instead of building them? Making your own doors requires a lot of accuracy and skill. Not to mention many tools. Doors are 95% of what you see when you look at closets, and because of that, they have to look amazing. Buying doors is a breeze for me because they are free of defects and make your finished product look great overall.
- How much did it cost? The prices of the doors vary considerably depending on the style, size and selection. The doors I chose cost around $ 67 each plus shipping.
- Can you replace existing cabinet doors with these? Absolutely. Many people are curious whether they can get rid of their kitchen cabinet doors, rework the plinths and then order these unfinished doors. The answer is absolutely yes!
- Do you order your doors before or after building the bases? I personally think it is safer to order your doors after the plinths have been built. More accuracy.
- What is the quality of the doors? I ordered some of the cheaper doors and I still find the quality excellent. Everything I could want or need in doors.
- Do they fit in IKEA cabinets? These doors do not specifically fit IKEA furniture (I think SEMI handmade has this), but since the doors can be ordered in any size, I assume that you can order them appropriately.
- Can you order empty faux panel doors? Yes. Simply do not order any hinges or holes for hinges and attach them to solid panels.
- Are the hinge holes pre-drilled? If you order hinges, then yes. The hinge holes are drilled exactly where you need them, and installing the hinges is a breeze.
- Can you already order the doors painted? Yes, with the option of just a few colors.
- What kind of paint do you use to paint these doors? There are dozens of colors you could use, but the one that I use personally is This by Sherwin Williams.
- Why do you grind between coats? To achieve a smooth finish. Eliminates brush strokes and roller marks.
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