DIY Network

How to Remove Cabinet Doors and Install Trim

The DIY to the Rescue crew shows how to turn closed off china cabinets into beautiful bookshelves. Use these step-by-step instructions to remove the cabinet doors and add decorative trim to complete the shelves.

More in Remodeling

  • Time

    2 hours

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Highlights:

Step 1: Remove the Doors and Hinges

To make these china cabinets (Image 1) more suitable for a library or study, the doors, hardware and hinges need to be removed.

Using a screwdriver, take out the screws holding the doors to the hinges (Image 2), being careful to hold the door tightly so when it releases it doesn’t fall or bang into the cabinets.

Remove the hinges from the cabinets.

Step 2: Fill the Holes

With a putty knife, fill the holes left by the hinges with wood putty.

Make sure this is as flush to the wood surface as possible.

Once dry, sand the wood putty to make smooth.

fill holes left by hinges with wood putty

Step 3: Measure, Mark and Cut the Trim

Measure the opening in the cabinets and mark the back side of the trim to be used.

Using a compound miter saw or miter box, carefully cut the angles, usually 45 degrees, which will need to match up at the corners of the cabinet opening.

cut angles on trim with miter saw

Step 4: Attach the Trim

Once the pieces are cut, use a finish nailer or hammer and finish nails to attach the trim around the opening (Image 1).

A nail punch may be necessary to hammer in the finish nails far enough and not to damage the trim with the hammer.

Many styles of trim, like dental molding, have deep indentations that make hammering difficult but also hide the nail holes better on the finished product.

Fill the holes with wood putty, being careful to use as little as possible and smooth this with a putty knife or your finger (Image 2).

Step 5: Paint the Trim

Using a small paint brush of foam painting pad, paint the trim, being sure to get the paint into the hard to reach areas on the first coat. Apply a second coat if needed.

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