How to Build Kitchen Cabinets?

Have you been looking for a guide on how to build kitchen cabinets DIY? Well look no further as we have you covered. This a big project and some DIY experience is required, and of course you must have the right tools and materials.


Required Tools and Materials

  • Jigsaw router
  • Sandpaper
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • Table saw
  • Clamps
  • Flathead screws
  • Finishing nails
  • Tape measure
  • Wood glue
  • Drawer slides
  • Knobs
  • Wood putty
  • Hinges
  • Dowels
  • 1x6 lumber
  • 1/2” plywood
Materials and Tools

Steps to Build Kitchen Cabinets

  • Determine the size of the cabinet. Most are 24 inches deep and 25 inches deep, 34.5 inches high, reaching up to 36 inches with the countertop. Typical wall cabinets are 12 to 14 inches deep, with lower cabinets 12 to 60 inches with increments of 3 inches. Other common sizes are 15, 18, 21 and 24 inches.
  • Use the MDF to make the cabinet sides. Cut the side panels so it is 24 inches wide and 34.5 inches high. Clamp the two side panels and create a 3x5.5 inch notch on one of the panel corners. This will serve as the toe kick.
  • Saw the bottom panel so it’s 24 inches deep or whatever the width of your cabinet is, without the side panels.
  • Cut the 1x6 lumber so it’s the same width as your bottom panel. Note: this step is not needed if you are creating wall cabinets.
  • Cut a couple of pieces from the 1x6 lumber. These two must have similar widths as they will serve as the side panels’ brace. This does not apply if you’re constructing wall cabinets.
  • Cut a couple of pieces from the 1x6 lumber. These two must have similar widths as they will serve as the side panels’ brace. This does not apply if you’re constructing wall cabinets.
  • Line up the base panel’s flat face along the bottom panel’s back edge. Position the second base about 3 inches off the bottom panel’s other end. Now that the toe kick is in place, glue the wood and drill holes. Use butt joints and screws to secure the pieces.
  • Put the side panels on the base, gluing, drilling and screwing into place like the previous step. Position the base so the toe kick notch connects with the edges. Make sure the angle is set at 90 degrees, using a level, angle measure or clamps.
  • If you want to learn how to make kitchen cabinets, the top braces have to be secure. Glue one of the upper braces so the flat plane is set against the cabinet’s back edge and against the wall. Repeat this step with the other brace along the front so the flat plane is on the countertop.
  • Trace the back cabinet’s outside frame. Create a back panel off the plywood. Screw the piece, but you’re going to need 3/4” plywood for wall cabinets however.
  • Use screws and corner brackets to fortify all the connections inside the cabinet.
  • Measure the shelf height and mark them, using a laser level if necessary. Put the four corner brackets on the shelf, a couple on each side. This will give the shelves some support when you slide them in.
  • After sliding the shelves in in the previous step, assemble the cabinet face panels using mitered or flat joints. Put it together via tenon joints, mortise, dowels or pockets holes. Choose the method you’re comfortable with.
  • After you have assembled the faces like a frame, glue the assembled piece and nail into place. After countersinking the nails, apply wood putty and then stain or paint the cabinet.
  • Place your cabinets in the desired location. When screwing the rear panel, make sure it goes into the studs. For wall cabinets you should use heavier support. Use a backsplash or appliances to conceal the bottom parts.
  • The last step is the door installation. The quickest method is to just buy doors that are the right fit for your cabinet and install according to the manufacturer instructions. Or you can cut lumber to size and use that as the door. If you opt for this method you’ll need hinges to attach the door.

Tips and Warnings

Building a cabinet, large or small, will take time especially if you have never tackled a project like this before.

Make things easier for yourself by preparing a sketch of the cabinet. Make it as detailed as possible including the measurements, the color, the number of shelves, where you want to position it, everything.

Buy all the materials and tools you will need ahead of time. You should also make allowances for the materials you’ll need. It is better to have an extra set of lumber, screws, wood putty and so on rather than run out to the hardware store again and again.

Also Read: How to Build a Kitchen Island?


Make sure you are working in a well ventilated environment. You’ll need the space so the paint or stain doesn’t get trapped in the area you’re working in. You also need to vacuum or dust the place so sawdust doesn’t scatter everywhere.

The best way to prevent this is to cover the floor as well as the other items around you so they don’t get sawdust scattered around them.

  • Always check your measurements twice.
  • Wear gloves and goggles. Put on ear protection if you’re going to use power tools.
  • Take your time when cutting so you don’t make a mistake.
  • Wait for each coating to dry before applying another one. Always wear a face mask to avoid absorbing the smell of paint.


Figuring out how to build kitchen cabinets DIY is really straightforward. It takes time yes, but with patience you’ll be able to make one like a pro. Was this article able to help you? If the answer is yes, please share this on social media.

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