How to Add Beadboard to Cabinet Doors

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Things You'll Need

  • Beadboard

  • Tape measure

  • Circular saw or jigsaw

  • Construction adhesive

  • Sandpaper

  • Clamps

  • Paint or stain

Beadboard has been a staple of interior design for over a century. The classic vertical lines break up horizontal surfaces, providing depth and detail. It is equally at home on kitchen ceilings or under a chair rail as wainscot. On cabinets, beadboard gives a traditional feel to doors and end panels. It is a simple and inexpensive way to update the look of kitchen cabinets. Buy your beadboard primed white for painted cabinets or unfinished wood grain for stained cabinets.


Step 1

Measure the dimensions of your cabinet door. You will need both the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the inset panel. Do not include any routered detail in your measurement. Measure only to the bottom edge of the design, if any, on the frame of the door.

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Step 2

Remove your door and take off any pulls or handles. Unscrew the hinges from the back or edge of the door, being careful to support the weight of the door as you do this. Remove the screws from the rear of the door and separate them from the door. Put the screws in their holes in the handle to avoid losing them.

Step 3

Lay the door on a flat, steady surface and secure it using a C-clamp. Sand the face of the door with a belt sander until the top glossy layer of the paint or finish is worn through to provide good adhesion.

Step 4

Cut a piece of beadboard using a circular or table saw to the dimensions of your door's inset panel. Sand the edges smooth. Apply a generous bead of construction adhesive to the door panel all the way around approximately ½ to ¾ inches from the edge. Add the glue to any portion of the center of the panel that is on this same level.


Step 5

Place the beadboard panel on the adhesive with the beaded face up. Apply pressure and slide the piece slightly side to side to set the beadboard into the adhesive. Line the edges up and clamp with C-clamps until dry.

Step 6

Apply stain and finish or paint according to manufacturer's instructions before reattaching the hardware. You will probably want to repaint or stain the entire face of the door if you are looking to match the existing finish. Handles and pulls may need longer screws to accommodate the extra thickness. Take the old ones with you to the hardware store and try to get an exact match for head style and threading for the best results.


Reattach your doors using a screwdriver to avoid stripping the screw holes.


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