Kitchen Cabinets with Removable Panels in Doors

JeremyDLJuly 12, 2014

I am considering purchasing a home and wondered if anyone might have any insight into the kitchen cabinets. Admittedly, the photo I have shared is not high quality.

In short, the cabinets center panels are removable and have catches holding them in similar to what one would find on the back of a picture frame. You twist the eight catches and the panels pop out. I have never seen a cabinet like this and wondered a few things:

1) Would this feature make the cabinets easier or harder to paint and;

2) What are the odds that the cabinet maker sells other inserts or;

3) Could I cut a wainscot panel to the size of the inserts (so long as they are the same thickness) and paint the outside of the doors the same color (maybe white)?

I just want to make sure I know what I am getting myself into.

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I have never seen cabinets like this but I don't see why you couldn't replace the panels with wainscoting as long as it was the same thickness. Do you know who the cabinet maker is? I would contact them if you can, a variety of available panels seems logical, why else would they be removable. As far as painting, I think it would make it easier because you can paint the panels on a horizontal surface. Good luck with your home buying!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 6:52AM
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You twist the eight catches and the panels pop out.

Usually that's how glass inserts are held ... maybe they used the doors meant for uppers in the lowers.

You can put in anything that's the right thickness.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:42AM
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Interesting. I had wondered if they were intended for glass panels at one point.

All of the cabinets (uppers and lowers - about 25 doors) have the catches.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:02AM
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My original bathroom vanities had doors like that. I removed and repainted them many years ago. It was very easy and I am not a good painter. My house was built in 1968. Maybe that was the style then.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:18AM
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If the frames were designed for glass, then I'd say you can replace the panels with something of suitable thickness but NOT more heavy than the present panels or a glass pane weight. The door frames may not be designed to hold the weight of a heavy thick raised panel, for example.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:35AM
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Makes sense. Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:12PM
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The house I lived in as a child had doors like this. There were reversible inserts. One side matched the cabinet and the other side was a lighter basket weave almost grass cloth pattern. This was mid 60's, perhaps before the glass insert phase caught on?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:21PM
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