How to Reface Bead Board on a Cabinet

Written by f.r.r. mallory
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Refacing a cabinet, particularly a panelled cabinet like one with a bead board insert, is a relatively easy project for a handy person. By changing the bead board insert and replacing it with a different style of panel, you can completely transform the look of the cabinet. This type of renovation is a good way to increase the value of the home and update the kitchen without enormous expense.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Utility knife
  • Table saw
  • 1/4-inch cabinet grade plywood
  • Painter's tape
  • Pencil
  • Brads
  • Hammer
  • Wood filler
  • Caulk

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  1. 1

    Remove the cabinet door from the cabinet, after you have thoroughly cleaned the outside of the door. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the door from the hinges. Leave the hinges attached to the cabinet face unless you plan on refacing the cabinet frames.

  2. 2

    Remove any door knob or handle attached to the cabinet door.

  3. 3

    Turn the door face down on a flat work table. The insert panel should be held in place by some type of brad, small plastic or metal tab or glazier points. Remove these brads using a screwdriver and needle nose pliers.

  4. 4

    Turn the door right side up and lightly press on the panel to see if it pops out. Sometimes glue, caulk or wood fill will cause the panel to stick to the frame.

  5. 5

    Slide the tip of your utility knife between the panel and the frame where you see a gap or opening. Being careful not to scratch the frame, slide the knife between the panel and the frame all the way around the frame. This should cut through any residual glues or adhesives.

  6. 6

    Remove the panel. Use the panel to trace an exact copy on your 1/4-inch cabinet grade plywood. Cut the plywood using a fine bit saw blade in your table saw. If the plywood edges want to splinter when you cut, cover your cut lines with painter's tape and cut the panel from the back side of the plywood.

  7. 7

    Insert your replacement panel into the cabinet door frame from the back side. Use brads and a small hammer to hold the panel in place.

  8. 8

    Use wood filler or caulk as necessary to cover any nail holes or defects in the wood.

Tips and warnings

  • It is often a good idea to change the cabinet hardware at the same time and to paint the refaced cabinets rather than stain them. Staining is less forgiving than painting, and any residual glues, old paint or stain will be visible on the new cabinet face. Prime and paint your doors on both sides to prevent warping and produce the best result.

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