A Touch of Glass

Change the look of your kitchen by converting your panel-style cabinets to have glass fronts.

By Kaitlyn McConnell

Mar 2011

Add glass to your kitchen cabinet doors

Standing out from the crowd is a good thing. When it comes to your kitchen, the answer is in the cabinets. Adding glass-front doors to your cabinets is one of the easiest ways to achieve a new, one-of-a-kind look without breaking the bank.

According to Dan Fritz, owner of Fritz Designs and Concepts Inc. (620 N. Prince Ln., Springfield, 417-869-6499), glass-fronted cabinets offer something that traditional cabinets just don’t have. They look fresh, crisp and clean. “There’s something about glass doors,” says Fritz. “I think it’s something that adds more character to a set of cabinets.”

Like everything, there are a few exceptions to the rule. Only panel-style cabinets can be converted with the following method. But Fritz says that most (roughly 95 percent) of the cabinets he has installed in the past six years have been panel-style. Also, Fritz warns that there is a bit of a trick to converting cabinets, so be prepared for a challenge.

Still interested? If so, you’re not far from a dramatic face-lift for your kitchen, sans the anesthesia.

1. Out With the Old
First, you need to remove the panel in the middle of each cabinet door. Many cabinets on the market today are built with a floating panel in the middle, which works well for cabinet conversion.

However, Fritz also says that it’s not the easiest thing in the world to accomplish. “There’s no simple way to get that panel out, because it’s in a groove,” says Fritz. To do this, Fritz suggests taking a straight edge and measuring approximately 3/8-inch out from the floating panel’s edge  (where it connects to the frame). On the back of the panel, score four lines (one for each edge of the door) and repeat. “Score that line, and score it again, and score it again, until that ¼-inch piece falls out,” says Fritz. The piece should fall out of the groove. This allows you to remove the panel and gives the glass a place to sit.

2. Get the Glass
For the adventurous, you can cut your own glass for each door. For the average home-improver, however, making a trip to the store is recommended. Places such as Lowe’s Home Improvement and Home Depot offer the clear stuff, but you can get as creative as you want with stained and other specialty glass from places such as American Glass Company and Merry-Go-Round. For the more environmentally minded, however, there is another option. “We’ve actually cut a lot of glass out of random storm windows,” says Fritz. “It’s kind of nice to recycle the glass that came out of some window that a lot of people throw away.” When ordering specific sizes of glass, be sure to go slightly smaller than the actual opening. “You want some play,” says Fritz.

3. Glue the Glass
Now it’s time to place the glass. Simply put each piece of glass in your cabinet door openings. Caulk a line of clear silicone around the edges, and wipe off excess silicone with your finger every few inches.

4. Wait and See
After the glass is glued in place, be sure to let each door dry at least overnight. If you don’t, you may be in for a surprise. “It’s really important to let that glass dry before you go to hang the door back on its hinges,” Fritz says.  The glass will start moving down if the silicone is not all dry.

5. Hang the Doors
Now it’s time to see the finished product. Simply replace each door onto its respective spot, and you’re done.

Straight edge, caulking gun, clear silicone, utility knife, sheets of glass

Trust the Pros

Not up to making your cabinets glass-front by yourself? Trust these local experts, who can do the work for you.

Fritz Design and Concepts Inc.
620 N. Prince Ln., Springfield

Cabinet Concepts By Design
1342 W. Schatz Ln., Nixa

Kitchenland USA
2001 Michael Ln., Nixa

Cabinet & Bath Supply Inc.
882 W. Tracker Rd., Nixa

Maco Creations
305 W. 11th St., Lamar

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