Add Timeless Farmhouse Style to Basic Recessed-Panel Cabinets

Create your own farmhouse kitchen cabinets with this DIY weekend project.

slate blue cabinet door with nickel pull
Photo: Brie Passano
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 day
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Banish boring with DIY farmhouse cabinets that complement your rustic kitchen decor. This easy project employs wood trim to create a barn door-inspired design across the cabinet front. Although the design is simplest to install on Shaker-style cabinetry, adding a frame to any slab door forms the recessed panel you need to do this project. When you're finished installing the trim, paint the door and dress it up with new hardware.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 Miter saw or circular saw
  • 1 Pencil
  • 1 Straightedge
  • 1 Clamps
  • 1 Sander

Materials

  • 1 Cabinet door
  • 1 Narrow, flat trim or molding
  • 1 E6000 or wood glue
  • 1 Wood filler
  • 1 Primer and paint
  • 1 Paintbrush or paint sprayer

Instructions

  1. Choose Your Door

    A Shaker-style cabinet door, which has a recessed center panel created by raised edges, is the simplest base for this project. However, you could also create a recessed panel on a slab door by attaching a frame to the top edges. Remove the door hinges and all hardware before starting.

  2. Cut and Secure Vertical Trim Piece

    gluing white board to cabinet

    Using a saw that makes precise cuts, such as a miter saw or circular saw, cut a piece of trim that fits inside the recessed panel lengthwise. We used a 1/8-inch x 1/2-inch x 96-inch finished flat molding, but the size will depend on your cabinet design and size. For example, for a cabinet with a larger recessed panel, you may want to use a wider cut of trim. You can use PVC or wood trim. Glue the trim piece vertically inside the panel using an adhesive that bonds well to wood, such as E6000 adhesive or wood glue.

  3. Add Horizontal Trim Pieces

    placing white board inside cabinet frame

    Cut two trim pieces to fit on either side of the vertical piece. Center the pieces to create a line perpendicular to the first trim piece. Glue them in place.

  4. Mark Angled Cuts

    marking white boards on cabinet

    Lay a long trim piece over the cross point of the attached trim pieces, extending it over the top left inside corner and the bottom right inside corner of the cabinet frame. Using a straightedge and a pencil, mark the trim at the cabinet corners and attached trim pieces. The lines will mark your angled cuts.

  5. Attach Angled Pieces

    placing last white board on cabinet door

    Cut the trim pieces along the marked lines, taking care to cut exactly for the best fit. Glue two pieces in place from corner to corner to create a diagonal line. Repeat for the opposite angled pieces to create an X. Clamp all glued pieces and let dry.

  6. Finish Farmhouse Cabinet

    slate blue cabinet door with nickel pull
    Brie Passano

    Use wood filler to fill any gaps between trim pieces and frame. Fill gap between trim and door front with wood filler for a seamless look. Sand, prime, and paint the cabinet door. Use a brush or sprayer to ensure paint fills all corners. Once dry, replace the hardware and rehang the door.

    Editor's Tip: Always work in a well-ventilated area when painting.

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