Making my own kitchen unit doors.

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Hi all,

I've got some 'shaker' type doors (MDF I think) which are bulging at the joints due to moisture ingress. The unit carcasses are fine though - the kitchen was fitted around 5-6 years ago - so I thought I might turn my meagre carpentry skills to making some new doors myself.

I was thinking of getting some door material cut to the correct size before bevelling the edges, drilling holes for the handles & recesses for the hinges and painting them in a gloss finish, thereby ending up with high gloss 'slab' style doors.

Can anyone suggest which material would be best for this job? I'd guess MDF would be cheap but what kind of painting treatment would be required?

Regarding the bevelling of the edges, is there a particular tool or technique that I should use to get a good and even outcome?

Lastly, I have wire pull-out baskets within many of the cupboards and the baskets' edges have scored the inside surface of some of the doors. Is there a fix for this? Perhaps using a thin metal or plastic plate screwed to the inside of the door?

Thanks for reading this far. All comments & suggestions greatfully received,

Chris.
 
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I dont like to be discouraging but a DIYER has zero chance of replicating a high gloss slab door

I used to run a joinery company and we wouldnt do them either -you need a complete spray set up, dust free and able to spray isocyanate polyester.

normal MDF is not suitable, it has to be moisture resistant mdf, ideally like medite or Finsa brand

and the edges need special treatment -either edgebanded or burnished by machine and edge sealed




you best bet would be to go a made to measure door company and get the doors made

here is a gloss door, made to measure 715h x 550w price £60.26

 
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Just a DIYer,
I had the same issue , My brother and I made a replacement door and end panels for a kitchen (MFI, which went out of business) I used moisture resistant MDF , i then used zinsser bin on all the end panels and door - to add more protection for the moisture problem.
I then colour matched the finish at my local B&Q , which worked really well.

And then a router to get the groves matching the wall cupboard end panels so the new base unit end panels matched

My brother is excellent at painting, and so the door/end panels looked really good - NOT the same quality of finish, but was good enough for us, and the kitchen was not a high gloss finish anyway

There are lots of videos on youtube on making shaker doors - Peter Millard is one i follow, and has series on shaker doors
 
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I was thinking of getting some door material cut to the correct size before bevelling the edges, drilling holes for the handles & recesses for the hinges and painting them in a gloss finish, thereby ending up with high gloss 'slab' style doors.
I'm with @Notch7 on this - MR-MDF is the right material, but the issue will have is getting an acceptable high gloss finish. To be successful requires a reasonably good spray set-up, you have to have a scrupulously clean working environment (dust is the enemy) and your approach to the job has to be meticulous in terms of sanding through the grits, thoroughly cleaning the sanding equipment between grits, etc. I've done a bit of high gloss spraying in the past using acrylic spray systems (matt high solids colour coat with a separate clear lacquer over the top - 3 to 4 clear coats) like some car sprayers use, but I could never make it pay commercially - people wanted the finish but didn't want to pay for the work that went into it. The biggest bugbear I found was dust getting onto the surface as the paint dried. Even a few specks of dust and you have to flat back and recoat or it will "scream" at you through the next coat

Regarding the bevelling of the edges, is there a particular tool or technique that I should use to get a good and even outcome?
For a slight corner, up to about a 1mm radius you could just hand sand, above that, or for a bevel edge or larger radius round-over you'll require a router and an appropriate bearing guided profile cutter, 2 to 3mm radius is quite common

Lastly, I have wire pull-out baskets within many of the cupboards and the baskets' edges have scored the inside surface of some of the doors. Is there a fix for this? Perhaps using a thin metal or plastic plate screwed to the inside of the door?
Either fix a piece of aluminium or stainless steel or Tufnol plastic (drill and countersink the fixing holes, radius the corners) to the inside of the door.
 
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I occasionally spray MDF units for customers from time to time. I limit myself to 20- 30% sheen levels. As the others have said, you need a perfectly dust free environment and an air filtration system to remove the fumes and dry overspray. At an absolute minimum you would need to spend about £700 just for a suitable sprayer, but you will still lack the clean environment. You may be able to find a local car accident repair centre that will be willing to spray the doors for you but it won't be cheap.
 
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Vinyl wrapping seems to be a big thing at the moment. I could see that it would produce a quick win for tired doors, but have no idea what the durability would be like!
 
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Thanks for all the replies... Food for thought indeed.

Notch, the door making service is probably too expensive for me -around £1500 as opposed to £184 delivered for cut-to-size 18mm slabs of Medite Moisture Resistant MDF (inc.VAT).

I guess the stumbling block is the high gloss finish but I don't necessarily need such a finish. Perhaps a matt finish, or even a woodgrain effect would be better.

ETAF, I've used Zinniser BIN before to treat some water damage to a kitchen windowsill and it seemed to do a very good job. I guess I should use that as a primer and then apply an undercoat before applying the finish. Have you (or has anyone else) got any more tips for painting MDF?

J&K, thanks for your input too. I guess just taking the edge off the face of the doors with some fine grade sandpaper would be suitable. Have you any links for material suitable for the inside of the doors? what do you all think of this stuff?

https://www.cutmyplastic.co.uk/acrylic-sheet/clear/2mm/L550-W50/

Once again, thanks all, for all the input. I really do appreciate it.

Chris.
 
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If the blown MDF is furry, you need to sand it back. The problem that you currently have is that as you sand it, is so soft that the sander will dig in and create divots.

BIN isn;t the ideal product though. It is a great product but doesn't penetrate deeply enough. It is also a tad difficult to sand.

I normally apply a coat of Owatrol oil but you could try a couple of coats of dilute oil based varnish to seal the "punky" mdf.

With regard to painting MDF. For many years, I specialised in hand painting (on site) MDF cabinets. I am happy to offer advice.
 
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I made the wife's kitchen doors as she wanted full height (to ceiling) ones on the wall cabinets. Used 18mm Contiboard. Sealed the edges with iron-on trim and home made handles from aluminium angle.

However if you want a high gloss finish then Conti board is unlikely to suit as is a Matt finish. Guess you could try varnishing the Conti board to see If the memsarb is happy...

If you go that way buy a hinge jig to set out the hinge drilings.
 

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