DIY Shaker Cabinets

When I decided to give our bathrooms a freshen up without a huge outlay it meant one thing…. everything had to stay WHERE IT WAS! That included the lovely 80’s style moulded bench top that runs the length of the wall & the oh so glamorous laminate cabinets that had seen better days.

The lovely before

I warned you…there is nothing special about these cabinets but I see potential! Stick with me guys and I’ll take you through how I turned these into a statement piece at minimal cost, mine cost me $0 as I had everything on hand…winning!



1 Sheet of 600x900x3mm MDF – $4 (hey big spender)

1 tube of Monarch mini construction adhesive $2.65

Wood filler (if required)

Sander or sanding sponge

A priming product that will prime laminate (if that’s what your doors are made out of) I used White Knight Laminate primer as I had it on hand

Bathroom/kitchen suitable paint that will protect the MDF from moisture (I also had this on hand)

Paint brush/roller

Clean cloth to clean your doors

You will need some wood cutting materials whether its a drop saw and circular saw or a jigsaw and handsaw the choice is yours…you could also ask your local Bunnings cut station to make the majority of the cuts (you will still need to do the mitre cuts unless you do a but join instead)

White Knight Laminate cleaner & primer
Brush & roller
Clean cloth

The Process (per door)

  • Measure the height and width of your door
  • Cut 2 of the MDF pieces to the length of your door and 2 to the width of your door (my strip widths were 3.5cm each but you choose what thickness you prefer)
  • You will then need to cut the Mitre cuts on each strip (this is basically a 45 degree cut that allows your pieces to fit together like a puzzle. To do this you can use a drop saw or even a use a set square to mark your 45 degree line and use a hand saw (MDF is super easy to cut)
Here you can see I’ve marked my mitre cuts for my strips using my set square
  • Once you’ve cut mitres on both ends of your strips it’s time to check that your pieces all fit in together (if they don’t fit exactly you may need to sand some edges)
  • Now crack out the glue and run your glue along all edges of the door & then one by one place your pieces on the door. A little tip: if you jiggle each piece a bit to spread the glue more you will get a better adhesion
  • Now let the glue dry for a bit
  • If you have small gaps between the mitre cuts (highly likely unless you are a pro mitre cutter and you have the ducks nuts of drop saws) grab your wood filler and get filling the gaps… remember over fill the hole to allow for a bit of shrinkage.
  • Let wood filler dry and then grab your sanding buddy and get busy until all the fill is smooth with your MDF
  • Dust off your doors with a soft brush or cloth
  • Eeeeep it’s now time to crack the paint tin! Now it does depend on what your cabinet is made from, mine was laminate so I used the laminate primer and then two coats of bathroom paint
  • Once they’ve dried rehang your doors
  • Now for added protection against the elements (kids anyone) I also ran a bead of white silicone along the top edge to seal from from water damage
Voila! What an incredible difference…
Keep watching as these pink tiles are next to get a fresh look

Video Tutorial

Coming next…

This is stage 1 of our bathroom renovation complete… stay tuned for my next post on the whole budget friendly bathroom process

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