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Shim-Covered Cabinet Door

Give flat-panel kitchen cabinet doors a bold new texture by covering them with inexpensive shims painted fun colors.

 Red shim-covered cabinet door

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Wood glue
  • Utility knife
  • 120- and 180-grit sandpaper


  • 2 packs of wood shims (14 each), #3982
  • Brainerd 3-3/4-in bronze and copper pull, #361781
  • Valspar Signature semigloss, quart, Apple Spice (#LA306A)
Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online


Step 1

Lay the shims loosely on the flat panel of a door, alternating them as you go. If there's a gap between the last shim and the door frame, measure its width, divide that number in half and use a utility knife to remove that amount from the width of the two outside shims. Repeat for the remaining rows of shims until you cover the door. Remove the shims and leave them unsanded for a rustic look, or sand smooth with 120- and 180-grit sandpaper. Also, sand the door frame as needed with 180-grit sandpaper.
Good to Know
To save time, measure the height of the door and divide by 11-1/2-in for the number of rows you'll need. If the result isn't a whole number, round up to the next highest whole number and divide the door panel height by that amount. Cut all of the shims to that length.

Step 2

Glue and press each shim to the door panel. Apply weights for the best glue bond and let dry.

Step 3

Prime the door and shims and sand smooth. Then apply two coats of paint and let dry overnight. Drill holes to fit your door pull, screw the pull in place, and remount the door on your cabinet.