Adding Glass Panels to Cabinet Doors
Glass panes in doors of kitchen cabinets can change the look of your cabinetry, adding visual depth and allowing the display of attractive kitchen utensils, dinnerware, or curios. Best of all, you can complete this modification easily in a weekend at very little cost. Adding stained glass panels adds a touch of old world class.
Replacing wood with glass in a panel door of your kitchen cabinets requires routing out the rear edge of the dado (groove) that holds the panel in the door frame, removing the panel, and replacing it with glass. If you don't own a router, you can rent one. Tell the rental agent what you are doing so your router will be equipped with the proper straight bit for the job.
Remove the doors from the kitchen cabinet frame by unscrewing the hinges from the doors. Leave the hinges attached to the frame for easy replacement.
Preparation for installing glass door panels
In "inset" door construction, the edges of the kitchen cabinet door are assembled around the wood panel. With one exception, plywood panels- once you rout out the rear lip of the dado, you can remove the wood panel. Plywood panels are usually glued in place. Even after routing, you may find it difficult to pop the glued panel out without damaging the color.
Some doors on kitchen cabinets have loose panels with edges cushioned by a piece of sponge rubber to allow for expansion and contraction. Other doors have floating panels with no cushioning. Both of these styles contain small staples or brads to keep the brads from rattling. Remove the fasteners before routing. If you can’t get a grip on them, dig out the wood on the lip with a utility knife until you can grip them with a needle-nosed pliers The router will remove the damaged spots.