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Installing Cabinet End Panels

When installing your own cabinets, sometimes finished end panels that match the door style get fastened to the cupboard sides. Kitchen and bathroom cupboard manufactures each have their own cabinet specifications for their unique designs of these false doors. How you attach the decorative sides may vary from one brand to another. Continue reading and I will explain the two main design types and how they should be installed.


Possible Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Jorgenson Clamps for Installing Cabinets
  • Belt Sander
  • Table Saw
  • Electric Drill
  • Double Face Foam Tape
  • Pilot Drill Bit
  • Screws
  • Pencil/Scribe
  • Counter Sink
  • Screw Cover Caps
  • Phillips Hand Screw Driver
  • Tape Measure

There are two types of cabinet side panels. One style is made to be installed flush with the cupboard door face and the other type gets fastened flush with the cabinet box.

This method will work for different door types:

  • Maple
  • Cherry
  • Oak
  • Thermofoil
  • Raised Panel
  • Formica Plastic Laminate
  • Painted
  • MDF
  • Vinyl Wrapped

Tip: The backside of the doors must be finished in order for the double face foam tape to adhere properly.

Installation Instructions for Fastening Cabinet Side Door Panels

Once your upper and base cabinets are completely installed it’s time to secure the decorative end panels.

  1. Remove the door that is hinged where the blank door panel will be secured.
  2. Hold the door against the wall to check how it is going to fit. If it looks good place two long strips (vertically) of double face foam tape along the front and back edge of the cabinet side.
  3. Stick the false front to the tape and then clamp it at the top and bottom.
  4. Fasten the decorative blank panel by pre-drilling from the inside of the cupboard and screwing it on.

What if the wall has a bump in it or is crooked?
If there’s a hump in the wall and the front of the door is extending past where it should be, clamp the door into position. Get it perfectly flush with the bottom of the upper or top of the base. Align the front of the cabinet side panel so that it is parallel with the cabinet face and determine how much you need to sand off of the panel in order for it to either be flush with the door or with the box.

For this next step watch this video on fitting cabinet parts to crooked walls. This video demonstrating how to fit base cabinets to floors will help also.

Starting at the top of the end panel place your pencil flat against the wall and begin pulling it in a downward motion and marking on the decorative cabinet panel.

Remove the clamps. Place the cabinet door panel flat somewhere on a work surface that is waist high or a little lower with the finished side facing up. Holding the belt sander in a vertical position, with the directing of the belt moving downward, sand off the excess of the cabinet panel all the way down to the pencil mark. You may need to clamp the door while sanding it or get someone to help hold it. An alternative to sanding is free hand cutting it on the table saw. This is only recommended if you are really good at handling yourself while cutting on a table saw.

Installing cabinet door panels on your kitchen or bathroom cupboard sides can really add a depth of richness to the overall design. When there is just a flat end that is finished those designs look OK, but fastening a fake panel door to the end of a cabinet really looks nicer.

Categories: Installation Tips
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