cutting cabinet doors

geenyMarch 30, 2009

I would really appreciate some help with my decision as to whether I should cut my kitchen cabinet doors or not. I really want to get a bigger range hood which would mean that cabinet doors above the hood need to be cut about 10". To me, it seems that the best way to do this would be to have it cut right below the raised panel and then have the bottom part glued back to make it look like the rest of the door. Is this a terrible mistake? Would the seam show too much?

Thanks in advance for any inputs.

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You want to cut 10" off the bottom of the door in the picture? It may be possible assuming the door is true frame and panel construction. In which case it might be a little tricky but could be done. The problem is that no matter how careful one is, there would like be some touch-up of the finish required.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 5:24PM
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The best way? Go buy some replacement doors 10" shorter.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 7:24PM
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Thanks for the replies.
Buying a replacement door is not a great option. I went to the place that they were originally purchased from; they can make new doors for me, but the salesperson said that the paint on the new doors would probably not match the ones in the kitchen anymore (they were installed probably about 7-8 years ago).
So the other option is to have the doors cut.
I can either have someone chop off 10" from the bottom, but then the cut doors will lose the bottom part of the frame and will not look like the rest of the doors anymore.Plus they will then need to be painted at the bottom.
The other possibility is to keep the bottom 1" (where the bottom frame is) and glue it back onto the door so that the doors all look similar. As I have no experience with carpentry work like this (or any other kind for that matter), I can not figure out if this could end up looking OK or it is just not worth it.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 8:33PM
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If these are true (i.e. 5-piece -- 2 rails, 2 stiles and a panel) frame and panel doors then you can't just cut off 10" and do without the bottom rail, because that rail is critical to the structure of the door. Neither can you just stick the old rail back on after making a couple of simple, straight cuts because the panel has a tounge on its edge that fits into a groove in the frame; a new tounge would have to be milled onto the shortened panel, which would expose some unpainted wood, which would leave you with the same color-matching problem you'd face with a new door.

On the other hand, if these doors are milled out of a single piece of material (such as MDF) and are not actual 5-piece doors, then you could cut off the bottom 10" without destroying the doors' structure. I still wouldn't recommend trying to stick the bottom rail back on; the seams would be just as conspicuous as the rails' complete absence.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 7:01AM
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jon1270, thank you so much for the information. I am sure the salesperson at the kitchen cabinet store said they were MDF and could be cut when I was inquiring about the new doors. But that still doesn't help since I think they will look funny if they don't have the bottom rail. So there is no way to cut them at an angle or something so that the seam would not be very noticeable? I guess buying new doors is a better option. Maybe there is a way to age paint 6-7 years.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 12:24PM
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Whatever you do to cut them down, you are going to have raw edges or open joint lines that need paint. So you are going to have to match paint one way or the other.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 12:48PM
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I am so glad I consulted you, GW experts before buying the big range hood and cutting down the doors, both of which would have been irreversible. I had found someone who was going to cut them for me this week.
I have the same cabinets (with the same antique-white finish) in the bathroom as well, I just put the doors side by side to see if they match, the colors are so different. The ones in the kitchen are more yellowish.
This is depressing, I so much wanted the prostyle range hood..

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 1:47PM
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I think the job could be done but it's going to exacting work with careful matching of the existing finish. I don't think it's a job for just any old woodworker and it's likely going to be expensive.

I'm hardly a design expert and without seeing the rest of the kitchen it's difficult to offer specific advice but would there be a way to turn those doors into a "feature"?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 9:44AM
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Thanks mike kaiser, for your suggestion. At one point, I had thought about putting in glass doors above the range so that the unmatched wood work would be minimal, but it would not look right. It is a long row of doors up and down (well, they are not doors but drawers at the bottom) with the range in the middle and DW at the end.
After reading your messages, I had decided to leave it as it is and just get a 6" hood, but there still would not be enough space left between the range and the hood (only 22" with a 6" hood).
Then this morning I got this idea of buying the doors unfinished from the kitchen cabinet store and have them professionally painted. The paint store said that they could match the color exactly and if it was spray painted, I would not notice the difference. Should I trust his word?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 9:35PM
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