Door for airing cupboard

30 Mar 2015
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United Kingdom
I am attempting a door for this cupboard today:

I was looking at the shaker style doors on the web as a format I could follow.

Ideally, I would like to achieve this finish on the door:

Could I use this type of wood to build the horizontal and vertical slats, mount them on 12mm MDF and then use Osmo Oil for the finish?

Will this work and will the Osmo Oil take to this surface?
Thanks in advance.


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Wood for main frame not large enough and from the wrong source IMO, think about the hinge system as well before building
I was thinking that this wood is purely for aesthetic purposes (to create the look of my existing doors) as it will be fixed on to a 12 mm MDF base using glue and pins. Hope that makes sense.

On hinges, I was thinking of using two hinges that you would use on a regular door. This will also have a door jam and operate similar to a regular door. The size of the opening is 126cm x 60cm.

Thanks for your help.
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I’m not sure what you mean by proportion?
I was thinking of using the 44mm width wood around the sides and then some horizontal slats in the centre to mimic my bedroom door.

you can see the stick onto MDF base approach in this image


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I'd be worried about the timber warping.

18mm veneered MDF might be a better option. You could use a router or track saw to create the grooves. Downside is that you wont have the perpendicular grain where the rails and styles meet and grooves will be brown MDF. Oh and the edge of the door will be naked MDF, unless you use a veneer edging.

Alternatively, a thinner veneered MDF which you can cut into strips and a slightly thicker MDF back.

Rather than using butt hinges, I would use three concealed hinges (the types used on kitchen cupboard doors). They can be adjusted if the door starts to bow.
Is there a different type of planed timber I could stick onto an MDF sheet to create the look I am after?

I thought that the planed timber grain would take well to the osmo oil finish.
There is probably no type of wood that you can stick onto MDF without there being issues down the line. The problem is that wooden parts expand and contract at a different rate to MDF (which is in fact relatively stable on comparison), so your door will probably warp. You could make up a frame from solid wood using, say, dowels to join the rails and stiles together, then if your rails and stiles are grooved on the inside (this requires a router and a bearing guided slotting cutter) an MDF panel could be installed in the grooves as the door is assembled (providing it is slightly loose to accommodate movement of the wood frame).

BTW oil finish will do a absolutely nothing good to MDF - it may just end up looking like damp tea stained blotting paper.

Incidentally you can stick MDF to MDF succesfully, then paint it
I’ve got a dowel jig and could use this but I am unclear on how I could end up with a look similar to my current door - as seen in the original image.

The vertical slats in the middle are not connected to the surrounding frame and hence will not be dowel joined to anything. Hence the suggestion of mounting it on to MDF.

I’d appreciate your advice on this.
As this is a cupboard door going into what looks like a door casing then concealed (kitchen door) hinges are far from suitable- you really need to go for something like butt hinges. Whatever material you use for the door frame, its' thickness must be great enough to accommodate the hinges. I'd therefore start by sourcing some appropriate size butt hinges

Because you are not constrained to the 15 to 22mm thickness range that the vast majority of concealed hinges can accommodate your door frame can be thicker. I'd suggest that you should consider something like 30 to 35mm thick timber for the door frame (I.e a similar thickness to a thin domestic door). This would allow you to groove the inside of the frame components to take a panel section thick enough to have the tongue and groove pattern you desire. The door frame would be assembled in a U-shape with one stile missing and thin match board (tongue and groove) pieces would be slid in to form your panel. Finally the second stile would be fixed in place.

This approach requires a router and a bearing guided grooving cutter of appropriate thickness for your match boards and with a depth of cut of 6 to 10mm. I recommend that your panel section is made up by glueing the t&g boards together on the bench as a single section then trimming to size before they are inserted into the frame. Solid wood would allow you to stain (it will need to be stained, I'd say) then oil it to the required shade to match the door

As an alternative you might want to consider using a routed MDF panel. Instead of t&g matchboard you make up a single MDF panel to go into the door. To get the T&G look a number of parallel v-groove cuts are made using a router, v-groove cutter, straight batten (as a guide) and a pair of G- cramps (or similar). This approach would only be suitable for a painted finish (or possibly a stained and oiled door frame with a painted centre panel


If using solid wood allow it to acclimatise in your house for 3 to 5 days before starting the project.

You should NOT glue the panel section in place and you must leave a bit of room (a couple of millimetres off both height and width) to allow for wood movement.

It is far better to pre-finish your panel section before installing it this avoiding a white witness mark at the edges should the frame shrink slightly (which can happen in centrally heated houses)

It looks as though you will need to add a stop lsth inside the opening

An alternative approach is to make the frame up, put a rebate in the back (router, bearing guided rebate cutter), square the corners of the rebates (sharp chisel), install your panel.into the rebate then secure it with a small profile beading all round, something like a quarter round profile with mitred corners (saw, mitre block, rampin)
Really appreciate your advice @JobAndKnock. Whilst I own several tools, unfortunately this does nit include a router.
I do have a chop saw and a circular saw and am comfortable in cutting straight sections. I recently built a bookcase using this approach.

Not trying to manufacture a solution that does not exist but is there any way that I could build the door frame using solid wood (I have a dowel jig to form the joints), have a backing in the centre of the frame and then glue on strips of wood in the central section to create the effect I have on my current doors? All of this I can comprehend and relate to, based on my priori experiences.

Thanks again.
Make up a frame of something like 3" x 3/4" or whatever size looks right an d as you don't have means to rebate the back to let T&G board in flush , fix them on to the rear...So to simplify it, make a frame, lay it outside face down and tack boards on top...turn it over and admire your handwork.:)
I made lots like this but rebated the boards in and beaded them.
I think the boards were about 7mm from the sheds which are ample for that size door
Can I check a few things please @lostinthelight
Can I use this wood for the frame of the door?

There was a suggestion that I need a certain type of wood to avoid warping, expansion and to take to the osmo oil.

Once I have created the door frame and presumably using dowels and glue joints if that's recommended, what type of board do I apply to the back of this frame and will this board and frame timber give me the combined thickness to use butt hinges?

If I've understood the above, I can then finish it off by gluing some strips of wood on to the base to created the door effect?

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