How to Put Glass in Cabinet Doors

Happy Monday!  If you haven’t already read why I’m such a big fan of having at least one glass cabinet in your kitchen click here.  Today I will teach you how to put glass in your cabinet doors.

 

How to put add glass to cabinet door

 

Before I start a DIY project of this nature I always ask myself, if worst case scenario happened during this project what would be the next step?  I don’t start the DIY project until I have a Plan B intact.  In this case, worst scenario is the door gets ruined and becomes unusable (well, of course you could saw your fingers off, drop a piece of glass on your barefoot, or while you are doing this project an asteroid could hit planet earth, but most likely the worse case scenario is a ruined door). 🙂

Never fear though, if worst case scenario happens and you ruin the door I have found a great online source that sells cabinet doors that are already pre-cut for the glass to be inserted and they are fairly inexpensive.  Your price depends on the specific options you choose for your door as can be seen in the picture below.

 

glass cabinet doors

 

After entering in my specifications the door came to $50.  I went forward with this project because I was fine with spending $50 on a new, precut door if the things went awry.  You will have to make this decision as well, as there is always the risk of failure I mean accidents happening that are never your fault at all of course!:-)

 

So here is the Step by step SO doable tutorial!

 

Supplies:
Drill
Jig saw (bought mine Lowe’s for $40)
router (optional)
sandpaper
caulk
glass
glass clip or fastners

 

*****A word on glass.  I have found my glass at Lowes for super cheap.  To find it, go to the back of the store to the Doors Desk and tell them you want glass cut.  A couple aisles down there will be a glass cutting station that looks like this.  They will ask you what size you want and then cut it for you.

 

Where to buy glass for cabinet door
Prices are below.
prices
Glass cut size will depend on what style of cabinet you have and if you want to use a router or not.  If you have a panel that tapers off similar to the one below (tapering can be seen below the green banners) you will most likely not need a router.  In this case you would buy a piece of glass 1/2 –  3/4 an inch wider and taller than your measurements.  So if your measurements are 15 x 28 than you would ask them to cut a piece of glass to abt. 15 3/4 X 28 3/4.

 

How to measure what size glass you need for cabinet door
If you choose to use a router you will need to do the routing first and then measure the area to determine glass size.

 

******A word on glass clip/fasteners.  These can be found at Lowes too.  Go to their Hardware Desk and the aisle to the left of the desk will have rows of small drawers that look like this.

 

where to get bracket to hold glass in cabinet door

 

 

Find the section that says “Automotive” and look for the drawer labeled J5.  You will want to the black fastener on the left, 4-6 of them.

 

supplies needed to hold glass insert in cabinet door

 

Steps:

 

1.  With a screwdriver or drill unscrew the door off it’s hinges.
How to install glass in cabinet doors

 

2.  Place the door on buckets or something that keeps the door at least a foot off the ground and make sure there is nothing under the center area of the door.  Door should be front side up.

 

3.  With a large drill bit, drill a hole in the bottom left corner of your door.
Drilling hole to put glass in cabinet door

4. Drill another hole right above the hole you just made.  What you are doing is making the holes in the corners of door large enough so that our jig saw blade can fit in them.  It must be done in all 4 corners of the door like the below picture (green marks represent where the holes should be made and hence where the jig saw blade will be inserted).

A friend's cabinet.

My friend, Wendy’s kitchen cabinet door. I got her started but she finished up the rest without any help!

 

5.  Put your jig saw blade into the first hole (jagged side of blade will be facing towards the top of the door).

jigsaw

 

6.  Okay, you with me?  You SO have this!!!  Squeeze the button to make the jig saw go forward.  Slowly move towards the top left corner and stop at your next set of holes.  Note:  If this is your first time using a jig saw then awesome, just make sure you practice a bit first on a spare piece of wood so that you get the feel of how it moves.

 

How to put glass in cabinet doors

7.  Stop motor, pull jig saw blade out, and place it in the second hole.  Now turn on jig saw and carefully move it along the bottom of the slope toward the 3rd hole.

 

8.   Now stop motor, pull jig saw blade out, and place it in the third hole.  Turn on jig saw and carefully move it along the bottom of the slope toward the 4th hole.

 

9.  Once you’ve reached the 4th hole you are a Pro.  Take out your jig saw place it in the 4th hole going towards the 1st hole and bring it on home!  You have successfully cut out the panel of your door where the glass will go.

 

10.  Take a piece of sandpaper and gently sand the inner rim where you made your cut.  The jig saw probably made some rough edges so lightly sand them and with a damp paper towel wipe away the dust.
Sandpaper

 

 11.  If you choose to do a router do so now.

12.  Turn your cabinet door face down on a work table or floor with newspaper under it.  Put a very thin line of caulk around the entire perimeter of the frame.

 

13.  Now carefully center and place already cut glass over the frame.  There should be about a 1/4 – 1/2 inch overlap excess of glass on all sides as can be seen here.
Note:   Make sure if caulk oozes out onto the front side of the glass that it is wiped up right away.
DIY glass cabinets caulk and clip
14.  Let sit for 30 minutes.

 

15.  Now add fasteners by putting them over the glass but not too far in or they will be seen through the glass.  You may need to drill a small hole first before screwing in to prevent to much stress to the glass.  With a screwdriver or drill fasten screw in snug but not too snug or the glass can break.  Use however many fasteners you want.  I typically use 4-6.

 

clips on glass cabinet

 

16.  Reattach your cabinet to the hinges and enjoy your beautiful new glass cabinets! 🙂

 

How to put glass in cabinet doors

Great job, Wendy!!! Thanks for letting me take pictures of your beautiful glass cabinet!

 

Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions! My DIY glass cabinet only came to a whopping $18–that’s a lot bang for your buck! Think you’ll try it???

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  1. I am so glad I found you Tamara, love all your wonderful ideas and the tutorials. You are so thorough, fancy providing pics of where to find the materials needed and the handy website for replacement doors. Thanks so much for this. I have been wanting to do this for ages in my kitchen. My only hesitation is that the cupboards would have to be tidy at all times…might be a challenge for me. 😉

    • Aww, thanks for such a nice comment, Margaret! I agree, I definitely could not have glass in all of my cabinets due to some of the clutter in my cabinets. But even doing one or two cabinets makes a huge difference in the feel and openness the room! It’s definitely worth the upkeep! Let me know if you end up giving it a try!:-)

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  4. Thanks for the great tutorial! Now maybe I can work up the courage to give it a try. have wanted to do this for a long time. you have inspired me to bigger diy things! shirl

  5. Hello!

    Thank you so much for your time. Please help me! The inside of your cabinet door looks different than mine. My cabinet doors have a square frame. It appears that I do not have that 1/2″-1/4″ edge space to hide the caulked glass. I’m assuming yours already came with that specific inner edge cut on the back of the cabinet door?

    for instance: my glass will not sit into the cabinet frame (like yours) if i cut a straight square. It appears as if it will fall through. I’m not sure how to support it without the inner edge to hide the caulking and so that it aligns with the door…. I hope that makes sense LOL!

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