How to Cut Out a Kitchen Cabinet Door to Put Glass in it

Robert Gray

Changing your solid wood cabinet doors to glass doors will give your kitchen an easy, inexpensive makeover, and you can do it yourself. You don't have to be highly skilled but you do have to be focused and detail oriented.

Before you start the project, cut out some different sized paper templates and tape them to the front of the cabinet doors. Study them for a few days before selecting the one to have your glass inserts cut to.

  1. Remove a cabinet door from it's hinges and all the hardware using a screwdriver.

  2. Lay the door face side down on a work surface. If you're concerned about marring the finish lay a blanket down first.

  3. Put on work gloves and lay the glass panel on the back of the cabinet door. Center it. Trace around it with a black marker.

  4. Slide the door so the horizontal black line at the top of the door over hangs the work table by at least 2 inches. Clamp the door to the work surface with a C-clamp, a metal clamp in the shape of a C with a screw handle to close and open the clamp.

  5. Insert a 3/8-inch spade drill bit (a flat drill bit) into an electric drill. Put on safety glasses. Set the tip of the drill bit at one of the inside corners of the drawn lines. Make sure the drill bit is held perpendicular to the cabinet door and that the edge of the spade drill bit doesn't cut beyond the marker lines.

  6. Press the trigger of the electric drill and drill all the way through the door. Repeat Steps 6 and 7 for the remaining three inside corners.

  7. Insert the blade of an electric sabre saw through one of the holes. Start the saw and slowly saw along the marker lines. Saw all the way around until the center panel of wood is cut free from the surrounding door.

  8. Tip

    A rule of thumb is that there should be at least one inch of wood remaining all the way around after the hole has been cut out of the door for the glass insert. Purchase lengths of wood moulding trim. Determine the size frame needed to face the cut edges on the front of the cabinet door. Miter cut the the lengths of moulding, place them in position and nail them to the front of the door.


    The opening in the door should be cut slightly larger than the glass panel to allow for expansion and contraction of the wood during the annual seasonal changes. If the glass fits to tightly it might crack should the wood swell from humidity.