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How to Make a Built-In China Cabinet

The DIY to the Rescue crew restore a china cabinet by adding new wainscoting and paint, which gives this room a custom look.

More in Remodeling

Step 1: Remove all Items

Remove all items from the cabinet. Then remove braces, shelves and cleats inside the cabinet. Finally, remove the cabinet doors and all hardware. Remove any debris inside the cabinet.

remove braces, shelves and cleats inside cabinet

Step 2: Create the Inside of the Cabinet

Begin re-facing and rebuilding the cabinet. Measure and cut the plywood to create new "skin" for inside of the cabinet. Nail the plywood into place.

Step 3: Add the New Shelves

Add new ledgers to support the shelves. Measure and cut the boards for new shelves. Nail them into place.

Step 4: Create the Doors

Measure the length of the door and transfer the measurement to a new piece of 3/4" golden birch plywood (or wood of your choice). Cut the plywood to size using table saw

Step 5: Add Decorative Molding

Add decorative molding to the outside of the doors. Use a pneumatic nailer to secure it. Reuse the glass from old doors if there was any, or purchase new glass to add to the doors, if desired.

add decorative molding to outside of doors

Step 6: Attach the Hinges

Attach hinges to the back of the new door, 2 inches from the top and bottom. Use three hinges if the door is taller than 30 inches.

Step 7: Mark the Hinge Location

Use masking tape to mark a reference line on the top face frame rail. This will help keep the top of the doors all lined up. Position the door over the opening, aligning the top edge with the taped reference line. Mark one hinge location on the face frame with masking tape.

Step 8: Anchor the Hinges

Open up the hinges and position the door against the edger of the face frame so the hinges are aligned with the tape marking the hinge location. Drill pilot holes in the face frame and anchor the hinges to the face frame with the mounting screws, and then remove masking tape.

Step 9: Attach Hardware, Sand and Paint

Attach all the door handles and knobs, and sand the entire piece. Prime and paint as desired.

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