Fixing the Kitchen Cabinet

Back at the end of July, our awesome friend Erin helped us primeone of the free kitchen cabinets we found on craigslist.

free cabinets

As you can see, the base cabinet is most definitely used and has holes from its prior installation.


It was FREE! What’dya except?


Part of the larger hole on the right is on the bottom of the cabinet, all the others are in the sides. Covering the holes doesn’t really need to be structural, it just needs to keep fondue forks from falling through. {Doesn’t everyone keep their fondue pot at the ready?}

Enter -> Scrap Luan! Yes my friends, this project cost zero dollars because I was able to use stuff we already had laying around.

I used luan for two reasons.

  1. I already had some stashed in the basement
  2. It’s thin stuff. I was looking to cover the holes while encroaching as little as possible on the interior storage dimensions.

I started with the floor; measuring the length & width of the space and completely ignoring the center support. Just cut a big rectangle.


Great! Now measure from the right wall of the cabinet to the left side of center support.

Your cut should be a little left of the exact middle.

cut in 2

Tip: Using a guide helps keep the circular saw moving in one straight line, without the worry of fading off to one side or the other. In this case, I used the metal drywall square. The guide doesn’t get clamped directly at the measurements though! If you’re using a circular saw, you have to account for the plate around the saw blade. My saw is set in 1″ from the left side of the plate & 4″ from the right but yours is probably different.

Just mark your measurements at the top & bottom of the cut, line your guide up and slice away.

You should end up with 2 rectangles, one slightly wider than the other.

2 bottom pieces

Next, we have to cut a notch for the center support.

Measure the interior support and mark the cuts on the larger of the two floor halves (I did mine on the right half).

marked center cut

Using your cutting tool of choice, cut your notch. I used our nifty little Rockwell. One of the few power tools my husband has claimed as his own {Although I’m plotting it’s secret takeover as we speak. It’s that awesome.}.

cut with the Rockwell

Make sure the piece fits.

Right floor piece

Look at that notch!

notch close up


{this is the part where you say, “damn you’re good!” and I say, “aww shucks; it was nothin”}


Fit in 2nd half and glue everything down.

glue it down

I added some screws for added adhesion. The luan had a couple wavy spots {which is also why one half is flipped upside down}.

floor in

{Ignore the overhang of the left half front edge, it got sanded down flush with the cabinet.}

Moving on to the walls. Easy-peasy as they’re just rectangles.

sides installed

I cut mine short enough so they wouldn’t interfere with the cabinet drawers above and shallow enough to not interfere with the door hinges {black arrow}.

save room for hinges

Even with the primer you can see the holes from the door hinge holes, so they’ll be easy to pop back into place {blue arrows}.

The back piece gets cut to fit in between the 2 side pieces. I cut the back the same height as the sides, so it’ll look like one big piece when it’s painted.


I caulked the seams & spackled the holes.


After a quick sanding, we’ll be ready for paint!

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2 Responses to Fixing the Kitchen Cabinet

  1. Kim says:

    Wow! Great work. We had to do something similar in the little house in the Craigslist cabinets. It’s always satisfying to fix up something to work for you. =)

  2. eric says:

    Good thinking with the guide, a lot of people don’t go that route. I did this as well for my pocket door end that had been chopped off. And I mean chopped litterally.

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