Can't figure out how to tackle these cabinet doors

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Forum topic by mikethedad posted 09-21-2016 12:17 PM 828 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 516 days

09-21-2016 12:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: beadboard wainscot question router carving tool cabinets

So my wife and I are wanting to refinish these cabinet doors and ultimately would like to give them the beadboard look and sand/paint them. I (crummily) drew lines in Paint on the one on the left to show what it may look like with the lines cut in.

I am new to woodworking, so was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to make these grooves. My thoughts are possibly using a plunge router with 1/8 in bit and go line by line using a rail to keep it straight.

Any thoughts?

11 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


4596 posts in 2254 days

#1 posted 09-21-2016 12:37 PM

I think it would be easier to make new cabinet doors.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

344 posts in 2365 days

#2 posted 09-21-2016 12:38 PM

A few thoughts. Those doors might have been done on a CNC, even though that style door is from the early eighties/ late seventies. Also, those are probably covered in plastic laminate, which means without a chemical etching agent in your paint, it is prone to peel.

But yes, I’d use a router and a v-groove bit… If you’re doing a bunch of theses doors not all the same size, clamping a guide down and good layout lines would do the trick. Make sure your bit is sharp, you want a clean cut on the laminate.

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Logan Windram

344 posts in 2365 days

#3 posted 09-21-2016 12:39 PM

Yeah, probably this would be much easier…

I think it would be easier to make new cabinet doors.

- bondogaposis

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Logan Windram

344 posts in 2365 days

#4 posted 09-21-2016 12:40 PM

Yeah, probably this would be much easier… You could reface the old cabinet boxes, even just paint them, and do some new full overlay doors with new hinges.

I think it would be easier to make new cabinet doors.

- bondogaposis

- Logan Windram

View rwe2156's profile


2794 posts in 1383 days

#5 posted 09-21-2016 01:18 PM

Good chance you won’t be too happy with whats underneath – maybe particle board. If its MDF you’ll be ok.

That being said, +1 to what bondo said + is it really worth the effort?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View johnstoneb's profile


2781 posts in 2075 days

#6 posted 09-21-2016 02:08 PM

If you are going to paint them it doesn’t really matter what is underneath. Go the router and v groove method. you can always make new doors if you don’t like the results.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View GR8HUNTER's profile


3265 posts in 615 days

#7 posted 09-21-2016 02:53 PM

DO NOT PAINT WOOD even fake wood LOL
I’m sure would be easier to make new 1s
if you decide to rout them you better be perfect on layout …. I notice your sample is off
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View jbay's profile


2035 posts in 802 days

#8 posted 09-21-2016 03:20 PM

A good jig and they will be a piece of cake!
For a conceptual idea!

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

View jwmalone's profile


769 posts in 605 days

#9 posted 09-21-2016 03:55 PM

If you do make new ones or groove the existing ones, ive used that little jig Jbay posted and it works like a charm. Or you can use a Stanley #45 :) I haven’t used mine yet (probably not a good idea). but either way your wife will be impressed with your manliness, you know what that means….......... yep home made biscuits.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

View BurlyBob's profile


5239 posts in 2168 days

#10 posted 09-21-2016 05:15 PM

That jig is a winner but I tend to agree with bondo!

View Cooler's profile


299 posts in 746 days

#11 posted 09-21-2016 06:29 PM

There are people who make router patterns for cabinet doors. You might find something here:

But frankly that style of door went out of fashion about 30 or 40 years ago. Are you sure you want to invest that labor in a dated design?

If the cabinets are in good shape then I would go with new doors and paint.

Or if you want a cheap solution, fill the groves and add some molding to dress it up and paint.

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

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