The way to Remodel Solid Slab Cabinet Doors

Solid-slab doors are just what the name suggests. They’re a single flat piece of wood, typically with very little or no adornment. They may be laminated hardwood, or even a single bit of medium-density-hardboard or plywood. They’ve a nice, tidy look, but after a few years might have become dull. There are several methods to spice them up with basic tools.

Route a Design

One very common way to remodel a door is to track a design in the front. All you need is a routing jig and hand router. This jig opens and closes on the face of the doorway to steer the router. Stretch it open, drop it above the doorway and tighten it. You may then install block or curvy shaped corners into the jig. Pick a type of fluted cutting bit, and install it in just about any hand router. Set the depth to cut about 3/16 inch heavy, and also run the router around the inside perimeter of the doorway, using the guide to get it direct and consistent. This remodel project ends in a pattern cut into the face of the doorway.

Trim the Edges

Some slab doors have an angle cut on them. Use a table saw to trim the edges of the door off square. Insert a profiled edge by choosing a profiled router bit with a bearing at the bottom. By deciding on a router bit with a posture, you do not need a guide because the little bit employs the posture to stabilize it. However, if you choose a bit without a posture, you may add a small guide to the router base to achieve the identical thing. Run the bit around the doorway by means of a hand router. This type of remodel will bring about a carved or curved edge that’s attractive and shows more craftsmanship than a straight, square edge along with a beveled edge.


Another very simple way to dress up a door is to add an overlay molding. Consider having a 3/8-by-1/2 inch bullnose molding on the front. This type of decorative molding includes a flat bottom, but is curved on top. Miter four bits to form a rectangle, 2 inches from the outside perimeter of the doorway. After you get all the mitered corners to fit how you like with tight corners, glue each bit and pin nail it to the front of the doorway to produce a raised-molding look to the slab door. This layout is used frequently to provide slab doors a more complicated look that’s aesthetically pleasing.


One of the more prevalent slab door layouts is made up of nothing more than saw cuts into the face of the doorway. This layout was extremely popular during the ’60s and still looks great today. To accomplish this, specify a saw blade to cut just 1/8 inch heavy. Pass the doorway above the blade in regular intervals at approximately 1 1/2 inches apart across the front of the doorway. This normal kerf mark gives the door a grid layout that’s tough to miss. Keep the grid pattern down the drawer fronts to provide the doors a regal look. The stain will then sink into the kerfs and emphasize the doorway even more.

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