How to Build European Style Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re looking for a way to add elegance and sophistication to your kitchen, building European style cabinets is the perfect solution. From sleek lines and recessed door handles to painted wood finishes in unique colors, this cabinetry lends an air of luxury that will make any kitchen feel like home.

How to Build European Style Kitchen Cabinets

European style kitchen cabinets are also known for their functionality and efficient use of space. They typically feature frameless construction, meaning there is no face frame on the front of the cabinet box, allowing for a slightly larger storage capacity.

Whether you know exactly what you want or need help understanding all the design elements involved, this guide will walk you through each step of how to build European style kitchen cabinets. Read on for how-to tips and tricks that show how easy it is to construct European style kitchen cabinets yourself!

What Will You Need?

Before we get started, let’s go over the materials you’ll need to build European style kitchen cabinets. For this project, you’ll need:

  • Plywood (3/4 inch thick)
  • Table saw
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood screws
  • Soft-close hinges
  • Cabinet doors

Once you have all your materials ready, it’s time to start building!

10 Easy Steps on How to Build European Style Kitchen Cabinets

Step 1: Measure Your Space

The first step in building European style kitchen cabinets is taking precise measurements of your space. This will help you determine how many cabinets you’ll need and their sizes.

Measure the width, depth, and height of each wall where you plan to install cabinets. The depth should be taken from the back wall to the front edge of your countertop.

Step 2: Design Your Cabinets

Available Space and Create a Layout

After taking measurements, it’s time to design the layout of your European style kitchen cabinets. Consider the available space and create a layout that maximizes storage while maintaining good flow in the kitchen. Remember, European style cabinets are known for their efficient use of space, so plan for cabinets that reach up to the ceiling and use corners. Draw out the design, marking where each cabinet, drawer, and appliance will go. This blueprint will be your guide for the building process.

Step 3: Cut the Cabinet Pieces

With your design in hand, it’s time to start cutting the plywood to create the cabinet boxes. Using your table saw, cut the top, bottom, and side pieces for each cabinet box according to the measurements from your design.

Remember to account for the thickness of the plywood when you’re calculating the size of the side pieces. Also, cut out the back of the cabinet from a thinner piece of plywood. Ensure that all pieces are cut accurately; any discrepancies in size can lead to problems during the assembly stage.

Step 4: Assemble the Cabinet Boxes

Use Wood Screws to Secure the Corners

Start assembling the cabinet boxes. Align the top, bottom, and side pieces together. Use wood screws to secure the corners, making sure they are square. Attach the back panel to the box using wood screws.

It’s recommended to pre-drill the holes to prevent the plywood from splitting. Repeat this process for each cabinet box according to your design. Remember, precision is key here. Any misalignments can affect the outcome of your European style kitchen cabinets.

Step 5: Install the Soft-Close Hinges

Next, you’ll want to install the soft-close hinges on your cabinet doors. Mark where the hinges will go on the doors, ensuring they’re evenly spaced and level. Use your drill to make the holes for the hinges, then secure them with screws. Once the hinges are installed on the doors, you can attach the doors to the cabinet boxes. Ensure each door is level when closed.

Step 6: Fix the Cabinet Boxes in Place

Now, it’s time to attach the cabinet boxes to the wall. First, locate the wall studs using a stud finder and mark their positions. Align the cabinet boxes with the drawn studs and ensure they are level. Using your drill, fix the cabinet boxes to the wall through the back panel and into the wall studs.

Be sure to use screws that are long enough to go through the cabinet and into the studs for a secure fit. Repeat this process for all cabinets. This step can be tricky, so it’s recommended to have someone assist you in holding the cabinets while you drill.

Step 7: Install the Base Cabinets

Install a Ledger Board to Support the Cabinets

For base cabinets, the process is similar but with a few added steps. Start by marking the height of the base cabinets on the wall. Remember, the standard height for base cabinets is 34.5 inches, but you need to consider the height of your countertop. Once marked, you’ll need to install a ledger board to support the cabinets during installation.

Align the top of the ledger board with your height mark and screw it into the wall studs. After that, you can install the base cabinets in the same way as the wall cabinets, making sure to level them and screw them into both the wall studs and each other for stability. Once all base cabinets are installed, you can remove the ledger board.

Step 8: Install the Cabinet Doors

After all the cabinet boxes are securely fixed, it’s time to install the doors. Attach each door to the soft-close hinges you installed earlier. Ensure the doors are positioned correctly and open and close smoothly without interfering with adjacent cabinets or appliances.

You can adjust the position of the doors by tweaking the adjustment screws on the hinges. This step requires patience and precision to ensure all doors align perfectly, giving your European style kitchen cabinets a professional finish.

Step 9: Attach the Handles or Knobs

The next step involves attaching your handles or knobs to the cabinet doors. First, you must decide where you want the handles or knobs placed. Typically, they are positioned towards the edge of doors and center of drawers for easy access.

Once you’ve decided on the placement, use a tape measure and pencil to mark the drill points on the doors. Then, using a drill, make holes at the scored points. Finally, screw the handles or knobs into place. Make sure all handles or knobs are securely fitted and aligned with each other.

Step 10: Final Touch-Up

Scrutinize Your European Style Kitchen Cabinets

The final step is to scrutinize your European style kitchen cabinets, checking for misalignments or loose screws. Tighten any loose screws and adjust any misaligned doors or drawers. Clean your cabinets to remove any dust and debris from the installation process. Lastly, step back and admire your homemade European style kitchen cabinets!

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of this guide on how to build European style kitchen cabinets. Now, it’s time to enjoy your new, functional, and stylish kitchen!

By following these steps, you can save money and create custom European style kitchen cabinets that perfectly fit your needs and space.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Measure Twice, Cut Once: Always take accurate measurements before cutting your materials. This old carpentry adage is essential when building European style kitchen cabinets, as precision is critical to achieving the sleek, seamless look.
  2. Choose Quality Materials: Opt for high-quality materials such as plywood and hardwoods for durability. The suitable materials will ensure your cabinets are not only beautiful but also long-lasting.
  3. Invest in Good Tools: A few essential tools can make the process much easier. Consider investing in a good table saw, a cordless drill, and a set of chisels.
  4. Use Adjustable Shelves: European style cabinets often feature adjustable shelving. This allows for customization of space to accommodate your specific kitchen needs.
  5. Consider Soft Close Hinges: To truly capture the European style, consider installing soft close hinges. These give your cabinets a smooth, quiet closure – a subtle touch of luxury.

With these additional tips and tricks, you can take your European style kitchen cabinet building skills to the next level.

5 Things You Should Avoid

Take Your Time With Sanding
  1. Avoid Skipping the Planning Stage: Do not rush into the building process without a plan. Be sure to consider the size, layout, and design of your kitchen, as well as your storage needs.
  2. Don’t Neglect the Finishing Touches: While it can be tempting to skip or rush through the finishing process, remember that this gives your cabinets their final look. Take your time with sanding, priming, and painting or staining.
  3. Avoid Using Subpar Materials: While it may be tempting to save money by opting for cheaper materials, this can lead to problems down the line. Stick to quality plywood and hardwoods, even if they cost more upfront.
  4. Don’t overlook the Importance of Proper Ventilation: When painting or staining your cabinets, ensure your workspace is well-ventilated. Failing to do so can lead to health issues.
  5. Avoid Rushing the Installation: Take your time when installing your cabinets. Rushing can lead to mistakes and potential damage. Patience is vital when hanging your newly built European-style kitchen cabinets.
  6. Don’t Ignore Safety Measures: Always wear appropriate safety gear when working with power tools or handling materials. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take necessary precautions to prevent accidents.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure a successful and professional-looking result in your European style kitchen cabinet building project. Keep these tips and tricks in mind to achieve the best possible outcome.


In conclusion, creating European style kitchen cabinets takes time and effort, but the results are worth it. It requires thoughtfully studying your desired style, gathering materials, understanding tools and techniques, and devoting your craftsmanship to the project. Following these steps helps ensure that your cabinets meet expectations in terms of both aesthetics and functionality.

Although it may be intimidating to take on such a project initially, by breaking it down into sections and steps, you can confidently put together your very own custom set of European style kitchen cabinets.

Hopefully, the article on how to build european style kitchen cabinets has given you the necessary knowledge to get started on your project. Remember, precision and quality are vital in achieving the sleek, elegant look of European style cabinets. So go ahead – get creative and try something extravagant today!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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