How to complete inter-coat sanding steps when painting Cabinet Doors

Sanding between paint of lacquer coats can help insure a great looking finish on your painted or stained kitchen cabinet doors.

Here is a link to a video from the Woodworking Network explaining the proper sanding method between coats. (for more of the Chemcraft finishing videos click here).

We’ve talked about the importance of primer and sanding steps in several prior posts and this video from Chemcraft is another vote about the necessity of these steps.

Here are some additional links covering finishing steps in more detail.

The six rules for painting replacement kitchen cabinet doors

Paint grade cabinet doors: Which woods paint best and which woods to avoid

How to finish paint-grade cabinet doors and get a finish you can be proud of

How to paint unfinished wood and not screw it up + Links to dozens of web posts

How a do-it-yourselfer can stain and finish replacement kitchen cabinet doors


Browse our other CabinetDoors.Com Blog posts.

See and price our cabinet door selections on the manufacturers website.

The six rules for painting replacement kitchen cabinet doors

Here are some tried and true rules of thumb that relate to painting Kitchen Cabinet Doors.

* The first is the “prep-prep-prep” rule. That means that every hour spent preparing the cabinet door for painting saves two hours in repainting.

* The second is the 5-F’s rule. This rule is “Fine Finishers Finish Firewood First”. It simply means that experimenting with your finish on scrap wood can prevent ruining a door with a failed finishing attempt.

* The third is always break all sharp edges with fine sandpaper before painting. Sharp edges will not hold paint and will give the dried paint an unpainted spot to absorb moisture.

* The forth is to keep in mind that all wood types will expand and contract with changes in humidity. The paint will slow these humidity-caused wood movements, but no paint is totally moisture-proof, and paint will not stop the movements. This humidity-movement of wood presents another potential issue for the painted cabinet door. When the paint dries, it will no longer have the elasticity to move with the wood; so it will crack, usually along the glue joints where the Stiles & Rails join.

* The fifth relates to the hardness of the paint-grade wood. The softer the wood, the more easily it will dent, if hit with a pot or frying pan. The dent in the wood may be slight and hardly noticeable, but dried paint doesn’t dent without cracking. The weakest link in any painted cabinet door is not the door. Regardless of the wood type used, the weakest link is always the paint.

* The sixth practice covers the method of application of the paint. The desired look from painting a cabinet door is usually a high gloss finish, similar to the finish on a piano. A finish of this quality will certainly require a highly experienced finishing professional, and a dust-free spray booth. This doesn’t mean you can’t achieve an excellent finish, but it does mean you won’t get this piano-finish with a paint brush in your driveway. To get a professional looking finish you will need to spray-on the paint. Not from a Krylon can, but from an compressed-air, or airless, spray painting system.

Now for the step-by-step process I’ve learned through years of both success and a few failures.

Lets get started by working through the process step-by-step.

Lay the door on a flat surface and lightly sand the door with a flexible-foam sanding sponge (I like the 3M sanding block sponges best) or 220-grit sandpaper. Be sure to sand “with the wood grain” on the front, back, and sides.

Remove any residual grit with a clean cloth (tack cloth is best) or a vacuum.

Next comes what is probably the most important step in the entire process. Sealing and priming the wood.

The priming coat, is also called a sealing coat, or a Sealing indicating coat. These are essentially the same thing. It’s purpose is to seal the wood so that the final paint will adhere evenly and also make it easy to spot uneven areas in the wood while it’s still easy to correct the blemish. Primer can be applied by brush or roller. I like to use a roller for the bigger areas followed by a good quality brush for smoothing and painting the finer details on the cabinet doors. You won’t need the $25 brush but don’t get the $1 brush either. Expect to pay $6-$10 for a good, fine-bristle brush. Try not to get paint all over the brush, dipping only about 1/2″ to 1″ into the paint is best. Also, between coats you can place the brush in a plastic bag to keep it from drying out, and avoid cleaning it until the end of each day.

Any hardware or paint store will have a wide selection of sealer/primer and paint for your doors. Be sure and match the primer with the paint you plan to use. If you are going to use latex (water based) paint, use a latex primer. If using an oil based paint, use an oil based primer. Also try to use a primer with a drying time of 30 minutes or less. White primer works best because it will show the uneven areas of the door better. This allows you to spot (and correct) the areas that need filling before painting.

Once the first coat of primer is dry you will be able to see some small, uneven areas, scratches, or dents in the wood. Now it’s time for the filler. This is the most important step in obtaining that perfect painted finish.

All hardwoods have voids, which cannot be seen until it is primed. I use a filler to fill all of these spots. The two types of filler I’ve used with success are Bondo 907 Glazing and Spot Putty and Elmer’s Wood Filler Max White. The Bondo putty works best, mainly because it is an orange color than makes it easier to see where you have filled. The Elmer’s is white. Fillers must be sanded smooth after drying and then sealed with primer before painting to prevent the color from bleeding through.

After filling, sand the filled areas (use the 3M sponge to keep your fingers from sanding dips in the filled areas), wipe the dust off, and apply one last primer coat.

When the primer has dried, give the doors a light sanding and wipe them clean of any dust. If the final inspection doesn’t show any unfilled scratches or small voids, you are ready to paint.

Now comes the actual painting, which is actually the easiest phase of the project. But without going through the priming-sanding-filling-priming process, there would be little chance of obtaining a truly great painted cabinet door.

Using the same technique you used with the primer–roller for the large areas, and paint brush to smooth and paint the smaller and detailed areas–apply your paint to the doors.

There is no need to sand between paint coats but it is a good idea to insure there is no dried paint on the brush that could work its way into your finish on the following coats.

Although the finish may look good after one coat of paint, two coats are normally applied to assure durability of the finish. Just follow the directions on your paint (and primer) and follow the drying time recommendations.

Here is a link to the CabinetDoors.Com Blog where you will find several other posts on finding, sizing, ordering, painting, and staining Unfinished Replacement Kitchen Cabinet Doors.

Our complete line of Replacement Kitchen Cabinet Doors can be browsed here at CabinetDoors.Com

How to order Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Doors online

The Shaker cabinet door is by-far the most popular (by volume produced) cabinet door in the last 300 years. It was popular three hundred years ago and it’s still popular today.

The design of the Shaker is simple, clean, and extremely durable. Shaker doors use Cope & Stick joinery and are produced in every wood type.

CabinetDoors.Com manufactures Shaker doors in 12 wood types with a production time of 7 working days, and we ship daily to every state in the U.S.

We are the leading manufacturer of Custom Cabinet Doors online and we manufacturer Shaker doors in any custom size the home-owner may need.

To order the Shaker door simply just click here, or visit CabinetDoors.Com, select the picture labeled “Cope & Stick Cabinet Doors”, and click the picture labeled “Shaker”.
This will open our Shaker order page.
Next select the wood type you want from the “Please Select Wood Specie” pull-down menu. The prices in the pull-down menu are the per-square-foot prices for the Shaker Door in each wood type.
Next type the size you need in the width and height boxes and the price for the Shaker door in the wood you have selected will display.
Type the quantity of that door size you need into the Quantity box and click the “Add to Cart” button.
Your Shopping Cart will be created and each new door size and quantity will automatically update your cart.
When you have completed your order just follow the checkout instructions and submit your order.
All your credit card information is fully encrypted and processed through the industry leader,
Your order will go onto our production floor within 8 hours and will be completed and packaged for shipment within 7-to-10 working days.

We make and deliver more Kitchen Cabinet Doors through our website than any other door manufacturer and we have been working on the web longer than any other cabinet door website in the country. We have a Better Business Bureau rating of A+, and a customer review rating of 4+stars.

We guarantee our products and stand behind them.
See why we have shipped millions of cabinet doors into all 50 states and why we supply custom cabinet makers and luxury home builders with their continuing cabinet door needs.

Browse other Blog posts for tips on finding, measuring, ordering, finishing, and hanging new replacement kitchen cabinet doors here at CabinetDoors.Com/Blog/

How to find Top-Quality Replacement Kitchen Cabinet Doors

The most serious problem to overcome in purchasing a high quality kitchen cabinet door is to locate a source of custom cabinet doors as opposed to the lower quality modular doors. Here are the differences between the custom and modular marketing models, and how the two approaches will affect the end consumer.

The hardware retail chain (selling modular doors) will forward your order to the stocking warehouse where the doors in your order will be pulled. The doors are then packaged and shipped to the retail store placing the order. This process usually takes 15-to-20 working days.
The modular doors will typically be thinner, use lower quality materials, and come in standard widths with 3-inch increments. These are the doors available through the hardware store chains and most internet websites.
Custom doors, on the other hand, can be ordered direct from the manufacturer in any width and height and in sizing increments of 1/16-inch. They can also be ordered in hundreds of door styles while the modular doors typically come in two or three styles.
The reason for the 3-inch increments and reduced style selection offered by the hardware chains relates to inventory investment. It’s much less costly to stock a few dozen door sizes than to stock the thousands of door sizes that would be required when offering true custom sizing.
Custom cabinet doors, on the other hand, are made by the door manufacturer and shipped directly to the consumer. There is no inventory to keep, all orders are made to order. There is no stocking warehouse to add cost and no retail store time delay or profit margin. The manufacturer will typically offer dozens (or even hundreds) of door styles and each of these styles is available in any wood type, where the hardware chain can offer only a few wood types.
The real benefit to the consumer is the quality of the doors. Because the Custom door manufacturer routinely processes hundreds of custom sized orders each day for cabinet shops all over the country, any web orders are easily added into the days production run. This web order is treated no differently than any other order from cabinet makers, remodelers, or kitchen designers everywhere. The quality supplied to these cabinet professionals is the same quality the web purchaser receives.
Other benefits to the consumer are the cost and the delivery time. The only added expense to the manufacturer is the cost of operating the website, which is considerably less that the hardware chain’s cost of operating a stocking warehouse and the retail chain’s required profit margin. So the cost difference is significant; Custom doors from the manufacturer’s website will be available in any custom size, cost about 30% less than hardware chain’s modular doors, be delivered in about half the time, and be of the quality a professional cabinet maker would expect.
When buying from the manufacturer’s website your order will be produced and delivered to your home in 8-15 working days (depending upon shipping distance from the factory).
These are the differences between what you will receive from the chain retailers and what is supplied direct from the manufacturer’s website.
It’s easy to see the value offered to the consumer as more actual manufacturers start to offer their products to the savvy web consumer.
If you would like to see the products offered by the oldest and largest manufacturer of custom replacement kitchen cabinet doors on the web please follow this link to CabinetDoors.Com.


How to Measure Kitchen Cabinet Doors for Replacement

When measuring for new or replacement kitchen cabinet doors, the type of hinge you intend to use will influence the door sizes.

If you plan to use your existing hinges simply measure your existing cabinet doors and order doors of the same sizes. Be sure to order your doors with an outside edge that your existing hinges will fit. If you wish to have us supply the hinges we will insure that the hinges you receive will fit the doors you order.

If you plan to use our Top-Quality, Blum Inserta, Clip-top hinges with 1/2-inch overlay, your hinges will ship with your order.

To insure your new doors are perfectly sized for use with our hinges, the door size measurements are figured as follows:

On single doors simply measure the cabinet’s opening size and add 1-inch to both the width and height. For instance, if the cabinet opening size is 12-inches wide and 24-inches high, the door size will be 13 x 25.

On wider cabinets with two doors (butting in the center), measure the width of the opening, add 1-inch, then divide by 2.

Height is figured the same as for single doors. Just add 1-inch to the opening.

For instance, if the opening is 28 inches wide and 30 inches high, each door width would be 28 + 1 = 29 divided by 2 = 14 1/2-inches wide.

Our Blum hinges have plus/minus 2 millimeters of adjustment which will allow enough side adjustment to have a gap of up to 1/8-inch between the butting doors. If you live in a high humidity climate you may want to subtract an additional 1/16″ from the width of your Butt Doors.

So, don’t be intimidated into thinking it’s difficult to figure door sized from openings. Just take the measurements and order the door style of your choice…of give us a call and we’ll talk you through the entire process.

To return to our Blog visit CabinetDoors.Com/Blog/ To browse our offerings of replacement kitchen cabinet doors visit

How to confirm a website can be trusted

When looking for Replacement Kitchen Cabinet Doors on the internet CabinetDoors.Com offers complete privacy and total peace of mind for web ordering. But not all websites are equally cautious!
As the number of e-commerce websites grows into the millions, it can be difficult to determine which sites are legitimate and which sites are not so much.
Here are a few things to look for when selection a trust worthy website.
Read the About tab. If the website is new or doesn’t tell you how long they have been in business, that is a red flag.
Does the website have secure credit card processing? Look for proof that your credit card information is encrypted. The Logo of the largest online card processor is If you see this logo you should have added confidence.
Look for indications of the website conforming to excellent business standards. The Better Business Bureau Logo assures that you are about to deal with a reputable online business.
Does the website have a phone number and a physical address? Give them a call before placing the order just to confirm someone actually answers the call. Keep in mind that if you have a problem you will be calling that same number, and listening to “how important your call is to them” for 20 minutes will get really annoying while you are trying to correct a problem.
Look at the pricing for the products. Are shipping costs explained and are those costs firm (or will they adjust after you place the order). If you don’t know the total cost before you place the order then don’t place it.
Read the customer reviews. Especially look at the reviews addressing you errors were handled.
It’s always a concern when ordering from an unknown website, but a little research before ordering can usually prevent the unexpected.
CabinetDoors.Com offers totally secure credit card processing and guarantees your safety. We are a Better Business Bureau listed company with an A+ rating, so you can be assured we will quickly correct any issues that may arise, and our 800-phone number is answered promptly during working hours. We invite you to call, even before you place your order to confirm our existence and remove any internet ordering concerns you may have.

How Replacement Kitchen Cabinet Doors are made

Basically there are three designs if cabinet doors; these are Slab (or Plank), Cope & Stick and Mitered.
Slab, or Plank doors are simply edge-glued strips of wood. Slab doors are very susceptible to warping and twisting caused by variations in humidity. Most cabinet door manufacturers don’t offer Slab doors for the reasons stated, but some small, local cabinet makers still make this door style. Sometimes “look-alike” Slab doors are made of laminated MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) and offered as Slab doors. These doors overcome the slab’s tendency to warp but have a plastic-like look along with all the negatives of MDF.

Cope & Stick doors are the oldest of the 5-piece cabinet door designs. They have been manufactured for several hundred years and are still popular today.
Cope & Stick doors consist of a frame made up of two stiles (the vertical side pieces), two rails (the horizontal top and bottom pieces), and the center panel. Those two stiles, two rails, and panel make up the components of the 5-piece cabinet door.
By using various machining methods and cutter profiles Cope & Stick doors can be manufactured in literally millions of design variations. A large door manufacturer may have 40 different Stile Cuts, 40 Panel Cuts, and 60 outside edge designs. When multiplied by several hundred different style possibilities, twenty wood types, and the various arch possibilities, the permutations multiply to many millions of unique door designs.
The most recognizable of the Cope & Stick door designs from the 1700’s is probably the Shaker Cabinet Door, which is actually still very popular today.

Mitered Cabinet Doors are also 5-piece doors with a different method of attaching the stiles and rails. Mitered rails attach to the stiles at a 45-degree angle, while Cope & Stick stiles attach to the rails at a 90-degree angle. Examples of Cope & Stick and Mitered cabinet doors can be seen on our site, CabinetDoors.Com.
With the invention of computer controlled mitering machinery, mitered doors have dramatically increased in dependability and popularity. Computerized machining allows for a mortise & tenon joining method that produces mitered joints that are as durable and tight as cope & stick joints. This dependability improvement, coupled with the greater design options have accounted for the steady growth in mitered door popularity.
Today, properly machined mitered doors are even more sturdy and reliable than cope & stick doors. Also, because of the increased productivity provided by the CNC Mitering machinery, mitered door prices are now equal to, or lower than comparable cope & stick doors.
See the CabinetDoors.Com Blog.

How to fix a stripped screw hole so cabinet doors can hang straight

We get lots of calls about how to fix cabinet doors that don’t hang straight.

This seems to be a problem that quite a few folks have come across so I’ll take a minute to offer a simple and quick fix.

If the problem is a bent, warn, or broken hinge it will need to be replaced, and a trip to the hardware store should do it.

However, the most common problem is that the screw hole is stripped and the screw just can’t hold it’s grip.

The usual cause of the stripped hole is that the door started to hang crooked and the screw was over tightened while attempting to fix the problem.

Here is the quick way to fix the stripped hole…

Get a few toothpicks.

Dip a toothpick in a little white glue (Elmers works great).

Stick the toothpick in the stripped hole.

Repeat with the toothpick into the glue into the hole until the hole is full.

Wait a day then replace your hinge and the screw.

Now the hinge should be able to be adjusted within it’s design parameters.

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