How to Size Cabinet Doors

Are you overwhelmed by having to size cabinet doors for your kitchen remodel? You’re not alone – it can be a confusing and intimidating task, especially if you don’t have experience with carpentry or home DIY projects.

Cabinet doors come in various sizes, styles, and materials, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, with the right tools and techniques, you can easily measure and cut your cabinet doors to fit perfectly in your space.

How to Size Cabinet Doors

Whether you’re hoping to do a significant makeover in your kitchen or replace existing door fronts with new ones, we’ve got all the information and step-by-step instructions you need on how to size cabinet doors. Keep reading for our guide on how to accurately measure, select, and install perfect fitting cabinet doors for any space!

What Will You Need?

First things first, let’s go over the tools and materials you’ll need to get started. You may already have some of these items on hand, but if you still need to, they can easily be found at your local hardware store or online. Here is a list of what you will need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge ruler or T-square
  • Saw (circular saw or table saw)
  • Clamps
  • Safety glasses
  • Cabinet door hinges and screws
  • Cabinet door pulls/knobs

Once you have all your tools and materials ready, it’s time to start measuring your cabinet doors.

8 Easy Steps on How to Size Cabinet Doors

Step 1: Measure the Cabinet Openings

Measuring the Width and Height of Your Cabinet

Begin by measuring the width and height of your cabinet openings where the doors will be installed. When taking these measurements, it’s essential to be as precise as possible because even a small miscalculation can make a big difference in how well your doors fit.

Measure each opening twice to ensure accuracy. Take note of these measurements. You’ll use them to determine the size of your cabinet doors. Remember to account for the space that the hinges will occupy and any gaps you want around the doors.

Step 2: Determine the Overlay

Next, you need to decide on the overlay of your cabinet doors. The overlay is how much the door will overlay, or overlap, the cabinet opening. This decision affects the overall look and functionality of your cabinets, so take your time to consider what will work best in your space.

Typical overlay measurements are 1/2 inch, 1 inch, or full (the door completely covers the cabinet opening). Add the overlay measurement to all sides of the door size. For instance, if you’re using a 1/2 inch overlay, add 1 inch to your width and height measurements (1/2 inch for each side).

Step 3: Calculate the Door Size

After determining the overlay of your cabinet doors, the next step is to calculate the size of your doors. Add your overlay measurements to the measurements of your cabinet openings.

For instance, if your cabinet opening is 18 inches wide and 24 inches high, and you’ve decided on a 1/2 inch overlay, your cabinet door size should be 19 inches wide (18 inches + 1/2 inch on each side) and 25 inches high (24 inches + 1/2 inch on each side). Ensure you make these calculations for each cabinet door to ensure a perfect fit.

Step 4: Marking and Cutting the Cabinet Doors

Wearing Safety Glasses for This Part

After determining the size of your cabinet doors, the next crucial step is to mark these measurements on the materials you’ll be using for your doors. Using a pencil and a straight-edge ruler or T-square, accurately mark out the dimensions on each door panel. Once you’ve marked the door sizes, it’s time to cut. Ensure you’re wearing safety glasses for this part.

Using a circular saw or table saw, carefully cut along the marked lines. It’s advisable to cut slightly outside the line, then sand back for precision. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines when operating power tools. Once all of your doors are cut, proceed to the next important step: sanding and finishing.

Step 5: Sanding and Finishing

Now that you have cut your doors to size, the next step is to prepare them for finishing. Start by sanding down the doors using medium-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges or imperfections. Always file along the grain of the wood to avoid scratches. After initial sanding, switch to fine-grit sandpaper for a smooth finish.

Once the doors are sanded, wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove any sawdust. Apply a wood primer, if necessary, and allow it to dry completely. The final step in this process is painting or staining your cabinet doors. Choose a finish that matches or complements your existing cabinetry. Apply the finish according to the manufacturer’s instructions, let it dry, and add additional coats.

Step 6: Installing the Hardware

Make Sure to Tighten the Screws Securely

Once your doors are dry and ready, it’s time to install the hardware. Start by determining where you want your door pulls or knobs to be placed, then mark these locations with a pencil. Using a drill, make holes at the marked spots.

After that, install the door pulls or knobs using screws. Make sure to tighten the screws securely, but be careful not to over-tighten, as this could damage the wood. Next, attach the hinges to your doors.

These should be installed at a distance from the top and bottom edges of the door, typically about 3-4 inches, but the exact location can vary depending on the size of the door and personal preference. Use screws to secure the hinges to the doors.

Step 7: Mounting the Cabinet Doors

Now that your doors are equipped with their hardware, it’s time to mount them onto your cabinets. Line up the hinges with the cabinet frame, ensuring the doors are level and at the correct height. Once you’re happy with the alignment, secure the hinges to the cabinet frame using screws. After mounting, open and close the cabinet doors a few times to make sure they’re functioning correctly.

If required, you can make minor adjustments to the door alignment by loosening the screws, repositioning the door, and retightening the screws. This step completes the process of sizing and installing your cabinet doors.

Step 8: Final Check and Adjustment

Successfully Installing the Cabinet Doors

After successfully installing the cabinet doors, conduct a thorough final check. Carefully inspect each door for proper opening and closing. The doors should not drag, stick, or have excessive gaps. If you notice any of these issues, then adjustments may be needed. You can adjust the doors by slightly loosening the screws on the hinges, repositioning the door, and then retightening the screws.

Furthermore, ensure the knobs or pulls are firmly attached and comfortable. Once all doors function correctly and to your satisfaction, the process of sizing and installing your cabinet doors is completed. Congratulations on your accomplishment!

By following these steps and taking the time to accurately measure, cut, and install your cabinet doors, you can achieve a professional-looking finish that will enhance the overall aesthetic of your space.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

 Leave a Gap Between Doors
  1. Measure Twice, Cut Once: Before you begin to size your cabinet doors, measure the dimensions twice for accuracy. An incorrectly sized door not only impacts the aesthetics but can also affect the functionality of your cabinet.
  2. Consider Door Overlap: When sizing your cabinet doors, factor in the door overlap. Typically, cabinet doors overlap the frame by about 1/2 inch on all sides.
  3. Account for the Door Gap: Remember to leave a gap between doors. A standard gap for a pair of doors is 1/8 inch.
  4. Use the Right Tools: Invest in a good tape measure and a square tool. These are vital for precise measurements and ensuring your cabinet doors are square.
  5. Consult a Professional if Necessary: If you need help sizing the doors accurately, feel free to consult a professional. A poorly fitted door can lead to more significant issues down the line.

With these additional tips and tricks, you can size your cabinet doors like a pro.

6 Things You Should Avoid

 Invest in Good Quality Wood or Materials
  1. Avoid Guesswork: Don’t estimate or guess – always use a tape measure for accurate dimensions. Guesswork often leads to errors in sizing, which can be costly and time-consuming to correct.
  2. Never Ignore the Door Swing: When sizing your cabinet doors, it’s crucial to remember the door swing. Inadequate clearance space can result in doors that don’t open fully or collide with other elements in your kitchen.
  3. Refrain from Neglecting the Hinge Side: Failing to account for the hinge side can result in improperly sized doors. Always remember to include this in your measurements.
  4. Avoid Using the Wrong Tools: Using suitable measurement tools can lead to accurate results. Invest in specific tools like a tape measure and a square tool for precise readings.
  5. Refrain from rushing the Process: Rushing the process of sizing your cabinet doors can lead to mistakes. Take your time to measure carefully, and double-check your measurements before cutting.
  6. Avoid Poor Quality Materials: Using poor quality materials for your cabinet doors will result in a less durable and visually unappealing final product. Invest in good quality wood or materials to achieve the best results.

By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that the process of sizing and installing your cabinet doors runs smoothly and the end result is a beautiful and functional addition to your space.


To conclude, the process of adequately sizing a cabinet door is not a daunting task. Taking precise measurements, knowing the suitable types of hinges, and knowing various design considerations are all critical elements in correctly sizing cabinet doors.

With this information, you’ll have no problem fitting your doorways into their designated spaces. So don’t hesitate! Contact experts if you get stuck or need advice—they’re here to help you bring some beauty into your home with well-fitting and good-looking cabinet doors. While there may be plenty of challenges along the way before you see results, succeeding in this project will equip you with knowledge and experience that can help you tackle future projects as well!

Hopefully, the article on how to size cabinet doors has provided valuable insights and helpful tips for your next home improvement project. So, transform those old cabinets into beautifully customized ones that perfectly fit your space. Happy measuring!

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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