How to Make MDF Cabinet Doors

Updated April 17, 2017

Making your own cabinet doors can be a fast and cheap way to give your kitchen a designer makeover without the designer cost. With a few basic power tools and some commonly available medium density fiberboard (MDF), a new set of cabinet doors can be made in a weekend, adding style and value to your kitchen while leaving money in you pocket.

Measure the door openings in your cabinets to determine the size of the doors you need to make; add 1 inch to the measurements. Write down the measurements on a sheet of paper, numbering each measurement and door opening so that you will know where the finished doors go.

Cut the doors out of 3/4-inch-thick MDF. Sand the edges to remove any marks left by the saw blades. Also, sand the edges on the back of the door where the sides meet the rear face of the door.

Rout a decorative pattern along the front edge of the door where the front face meets the sides. For a small detail, one pass will do nicely, but for larger or deeper details, a second pass may be necessary.

Slightly knock down any sharp edges left by the router using fine grit hand sandpaper. You aren't trying to erase the detail, just dull the sharpness a bit so that paint will stick to the edges better.

Prime the doors with a primer designed specifically for MDF. Lightly sand the primer after it dries. Apply two finish coats of paint, sanding in between with a fine grit sandpaper.


Wear safety glasses and a dust mask when working with MDF.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • MDF
  • Saw
  • Router
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
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About the Author

Vance Holloman is a residential contractor and freelance writer living in Atlanta. Much of his writing centers on the expertise he has gained from two decades in the construction industry. His work has appeared in newspapers, magazines and numerous online sites, including and "Auburn Plainsman." Holloman has a Master's degree in business from the University of Maryland.