DIY Network

How to Reuse Antique Glass Panels

This project shows how to build new cabinets around antique leaded-glass panels.

More in Remodeling

build new cabinets around antique leaded glass
  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $250 - $500

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard


Step 1: Determine Cabinet Dimensions

First measure the height and width of the antique leaded-glass panels. Add space for top and bottom rails and the side stiles to come up with the overall dimensions of the cabinet.

measure existing cabinet door size

Step 2: Build Cabinet

Taking the dimensions of the cabinet, cut the boards for the sides, top, bottom and back to the length and depth required. Use a planer to smooth the edges of the boards. Use glue, nails and clamps to assemble the cabinet. Allow the glue to fully cure. Tip: If individual boards aren't wide enough to achieve the proper depth, use biscuit joints and glue to join two boards together.

nail top cap to cabinet

Step 3: Build Door Frames

Use a table saw to cut boards for the cabinet door rails and stiles. Run the front of each piece through a router table with a raised panel bit to add a beaded detail. Cut interlocking joints on the end of each piece so that they fit together. Glue and assemble the door frames.

make certain that assembly is square

Step 4: Build New Doors

Use a pry bar to carefully remove the glass-stop trim pieces on the antique leaded-glass panels. Place the antique glass panels into the new door frames. Position and attach new glass-stop trim pieces to secure the glass in the frames. Cut mortises into the edges of the door frame for the hinges. Install hinges.

place antique glass panel into new frames

Step 5: Mount Cabinet

Snap a chalk line where the cabinet will be mounted to the wall. Use a stud finder to locate and mark the position of the wall studs. Attach the cabinet to the wall by driving 3" wood screws through the cabinet and into the walls studs. Hang doors onto the cabinet by securing the hinges with screws.

installing antique leaded glass cabinet doors