Cabinet Door Insert Replacement Ideas


Replacing cabinet door inserts is an easier and more cost-effective way to update your kitchen decor than installing new cabinets. Well-chosen inserts add a customized look to cabinets, whether you want to increase the rustic charm of a Shaker-style kitchen with fabric or embellish a sleek, contemporary decorating scheme with stainless steel.


  • Replacing cabinet door inserts with glass will brighten the room, showcase your cookware and china and keep needed kitchen implements in plain sight. Choose a ribbed or frosted glass to soften the decor and partially blur cabinet contents. Install molding over glass inserts to make them look like old-fashioned paned windows. Beveled or leaded glass inserts add a formal touch to any kitchen, while stained glass inserts add an artistic feel. All glass inserts will be more dramatic if you light them from behind with a small light inside the cabinet. Consider replacing only some of your inserts with glass, since even the neatest cooks may find it difficult to keep the contents of their cabinets display-worthy all the time.


  • Handcrafted stainless steel or copper inserts with embossed or punched patterns add a rustic look to cabinets. Consider shiny stainless steel or aluminum panels if you prefer a modern look. Copper, brass or nickel mesh wire grilles are an old-fashioned touch that leave cabinet contents partially on display. The edges of metal inserts may be sharp, so be sure they are completely covered by cabinet trim after installation.


  • Fabric cabinet inserts complement a Shaker-style kitchen. Choose a pattern that complements your china or a solid color that balances other hues in the room, and consider changing the panels to go along with holiday or seasonal decor. Sandwich the fabric panels between two layers of glass, hold them in place with net wiring or hang them on a tension rod. Be sure the contents of your cabinet are safe for children and pets if the panels are easy to remove. Fabric inserts are easy to clean; simply remove them, wash them and re-attach them to the cabinet doors.


  • Replace your cabinet door inserts with painted wicker panels for a shabby-chic or country look. Consider dry-brushing paint onto the wicker to make it look weathered.

Beaded Board

  • Add a beaded board cabinet insert to give your kitchen a country or Shaker flair. Paint or stain beaded board panels before installation. Use a distressed faux-finishing technique to give the boards an antique look.

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  • "The Kitchen Planner: Hundreds of Great Ideas for Your New Kitchen"; Suzanne Ardley; 1999
  • Photo Credit kitchen image by Rich Johnson from
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