...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Back when our kitchen got a major (yet inexpensive) overhaul, we removed the door of the upper cabinet to the left of the sink.  You can somewhat see it here… 

With all the closed cabinetry, I thought it would be nice to have one open cabinet to add some of that lightness and airiness that I love.  I liked it well enough and was all set to paint the inside of the cabinet and call it a day.  Until Handy Hubby declared, “I could make a glass front out of the old door.”  My hero

Working from the back of the old door, he routed the frame and popped out the inset raised panel.  (No, that’s not a dungeon he’s working in.  It’s our unfinished basement that serves as a messy workshop in the winter.)  The key to this step is setting the router just deep enough to cut through the back part of the groove that holds the raised panel in place.  The routing actually serves 2 purposes:  removing the raised panel and making a “frame” for the glass to rest in. 

 

Once the panel was removed, the door sort of looked like the back of a picture frame.

Handy Hubby primed and painted the newly routed area where a glass panel would soon reside.  (Then I let him come upstairs!) 

We had glass cut to fit inside the door frame at a local glass shop.  It cost about $30.  Handy Hubby applied a strip of latex window glazing all the way around the routed framed.  The glazing putty acts as an adhesive to hold the glass panel in place. 

Then Handy Hubby carefully lowered the glass panel into the routed frame.  You can see how the glazing squeezed up and around the glass. 

 

At this point, metal tabs called glazing points were added to further secure the glass panel.  Handy Hubby precariously tapped them into place making very sure not to break the glass.  (A side note:  glazing points are meant to be pushed into a wood frame.  However, our oak cabinets were putting up a fight and Handy Hubby had to gently tap the end of a putty knife to push the points into the frame.)

Then a second bead of glazing… 

According to Handy Hubby, the most difficult part for him was this next step:  removing the excess putty and making what putty remained look smooth and cohesive with the rest of the door frame. 

I, for one, think he did an excellent job (but I may be biased).  Here’s the back of the glass front door (confusing, I know) now that it’s all hung…

A close up of the putty job shows where the glazing points are…  (Handy Hubby says you aren’t supposed to be able to see them but I wouldn’t have even noticed them if he didn’t point ’em out.)

The screw holds the lower end of our cabinet handle in place.  Here’s the front of the cabinet in all its glassy glory…

Because I’m all about function, the cabinet mostly holds our everyday dishware.  I did throw a few vases up on the higher shelves but I still need to work on accessorizing a little.  On my to-do list is priming and painting the interior of the cabinet.  I’m thinking a pop of color on the back would be cheerful.  What do you think?  Didn’t Handy Hubby do an awesome job making his wife happy adding a glass front to the cabinet?!  And all for less than $50.

In other kitchen-related news, the granite guy came out to make a template for our perimeter countertops yesterday.  ETA = May 27th.  So stay tuned for more kitchen pics in the weeks ahead!

FYI – In hindsight, Handy Hubby says he would have rather tried working with mold-able glazing putty versus the caulk-like putty shown above.  It’s what he wanted to work with originally but couldn’t find it anywhere at the time of this project.  Hence, the caulk-like glazing putty was put to use instead.  Mold-able glazing putty can be rolled out manually into long strips and then placed into the frame.  Word is it’s easier to smooth out (i.e. tool) once it’s placed.

8 Comments

It looks amazing! Makes me with I had wood cabinets, so I could ask mine to do something like this. It really adds a light, modern touch to the kitchen.

I think a pop of color would be brilliant! Maybe an apple green or a pale aqua? Pink would be fun too, but depends on what the boys think, right? I painted our living room pale pink and my fiance says “No more pink”!

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That was supposed to be “Makes me WISH I had wood cabinets…”

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replied on May 17th, 2010

Oonafey – I like the idea of green, aqua or pink! With a house full of boys, green is probably my best shot.

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01.October.2010

I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to undertand. Unlike additional blogs I have read which are really not tht good. I also found your entries very interesting. In fact after reading, I had to go show it to my friend and he ejoyed it as well!

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23.January.2011

When I moved into my house there was this built in looking cabinet to one side of the kitchen. There was a bottom cabinet door to the left and three drawers to the right. Then an open counter with two sets of two cabinets stacked ontop of each other (right up to the ceiling). The cabinets right above the open counter have a middle shelf running across them. They are one big shelf with two doors really. So we took the doors off (they were weirdly big doors and hard to use) and when we painted the kitchen white we painted the background of the shelves (cabinets and open counter) a bright spring green. It turned out awesome! We keep our everyday dishes and cups and wine glasses and mugs.

Now we have the closed cabinet and drawers 3 shelves and two doors on top (to hide blender, waffle iron, coffee machine and platters).

I think taking the doors off or putting up a glass door on your cabinets can really make over a kitchen! Tell Handy Hubby that he did a fantastic job, moldable glazing or not!

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05.February.2012

Hi there,
We are trying to put glass in our cabinets and doing a very similar job to yours. The corners of the wood where the glass will be set are rounded. My husband used a router, same as yours. But when looking at your pictures I can’t tell if you got glass with rounded corners or not. I would like to know how your glass was cut?

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replied on February 8th, 2012

Kathleen – Our glass was cut without round corners. The corners weren’t sharp but definitely not rounded either. Hope that helps!

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27.June.2012

Hello! I used to work in custom picture framing, and one of the tricks we’d do for a glass front display case is to just buy balsa (or similar lightweight) wood strips. They are available at any good craft/hobby store. Instead of using the glazing points and caulking, you’d simply paint & cut the strips so that they lay over the edges of the glass at the back, and push small finishing nails in from the side to hold them to the oak. Oak is REALLY hard to get nails into, so I’d definitely make some pilot holes first, by pressing all the nails through the balsa strips, laying then on top of the glass, and then tapping them into the oak. Once you know where the nails are going to go in, remove the glass, tap in some pilot holes, and then finish it up by nailing it all together.

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