If you want to update your kitchen but don't want to put out tens of thousands of dollars for a complete kitchen remodel, replacing your cabinet doors can give you a new-looking kitchen for a tiny fraction of the price.
Choose Your Wood
Choose a hardwood with a nice, straight grain. Cherry and Oak both work nicely for this project, and will withstand the test of time. Choose a wood that complements the decor of your kitchen - if you have hardwood floors in your kitchen, you may want to purchase a complementary wood, or stain your cabinet doors in a similar color. If your wood is not already stained or sealed, you will want to stain and seal the wood once the cuts and v-grooves have been completed, before installing the cabinet doors on the cabinets themselves.
Measure and Cut the Cabinet Doors
The easiest way to complete this task is to measure your existing cabinet doors. Remove the existing cabinet doors and measure them. Once you have chosen your wood, take these measurements to your local lumber yard or hardware store. Purchase quality hardwood for building your cabinet doors, and have the lumber yard cut the lengths of wood to the specifications of your cabinets.
V-Groove the Cabinet Door Panel
Use your router to round the edges of the panel to your desired specifications. Measure the distance from the edges of the cabinet door that you want the V-Grooved panel to sit. Make sure that it is an equal distance from the sides and the top and bottom of the door. Use a pencil to mark the edges of the V-Groove. Making sure that the edges are even is essential to producing a quality-looking finished product. Take your router with the V-Groove attachment and line it up with the pencil marks.
Set it to the desired depth of your cut, and carefully trace along the pencil marks with the router to make your V-Groove. Use your sander to inset the center panel slightly, making sure to apply pressure evenly for a finished look. You can use a rotary tool with a sanding bit to finish any uneven edges and add finishing touches. Measure the location where you want to install the hinges for your cabinet door, and mark them against the cabinet and the door itself carefully to make sure that they line up properly. Drill the holes for your hinge hardware where you have marked these measurements.
Stain or Finish
Apply stain or finish to the cabinet door prior to installation to save on time and mess. Use fine-grain sandpaper to smooth the surface after applying any varnish--but first wait the time specified on the varnish label.
Install the Cabinet Door
Once the stain or varnish is dry, you are ready to install your new v-groove cabinet door. First install the back-end hardware to the marked locations on the cabinet itself. Then carefully line up the cabinet door and install the hinge in your predrilled screw locations. Make sure that you do not over-tighten the screws, and that the screw depth is appropriate for the thickness of your cabinet door. Wood glue may be used on the cabinet door where the screws are inserted to reinforce the connection. Open and close the door to make sure that everything is properly lined up, and enjoy your new V-groove cabinet doors!