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My DIY Kitchen Cabinets: Two Years Later

My DIY Kitchen Cabinets: Two Years Later

Two years ago, my husband built Shaker style cabinets in our butler’s pantry, right off of our kitchen, for under $200. In this honest review, I am sharing how they are holding up after 24 months of use…

In my five and a half years of blogging, my DIY Kitchen Cabinets tutorial has been one of my most popular blog posts to date.

But with virality and fame, often comes the haters. You see…

I have had some internet trolls leave a bit of a$$hole commentary about this cabinetry tutorial- mostly claiming that the project is too good to be true, and that there is no way one can build legitimate, durable cabinets for under $200.

easiest way to build kitchen cabinets

From what I could gather from the skeptics , the controversy mostly stems from the materials we used for the cabinet doors.

Building the face panels of our doors out of plywood (which is what kept costs at a minimum), really got some folks’ panties in a wad…

how my diy kitchen cabinets are holding up after 2 years

So were the haters right? Could you truly get away with using such a cheap material for something as vital and utilitarian as cabinets?

diy kitchen cabinets for cheap

Well…I am not going to lie to you guys. The actual weight of the cabinet doors do feel a bit lighter than solid wood cabinets.

If you are a stickler about tactile matters, you might not be able to get past the light weight feel of the doors. Would I recommend this for an upscale, custom home? Probably not.

But door weight aside, over the past two years, the functionality of the doors has proven rock solid. We really haven’t had any issues with the cabinets.

That being said, to make this review as candid as possible, I am going to show you two areas on the cabinets that are experiencing some wear and tear…

my diy kitchen cabinets after 2 years

Pictured in the image above, you will see a small dent in the face board of the door. This was actually a pre-existing defect in the plywood.

To avoid this, we should have been extra selective when purchasing our plywood.

Unfortunately for us, I didn’t catch this blemish until I began painting the cabinets. And by that point, I just said f**k it- painting directly over it, because I am impatient like that.

Given this door was so cheap to build, it really wouldn’t be that big of a deal to rebuild and replace (if we really wanted to). Even simpler of a solution, I could probably use wood filler to remedy this issue.

Moving on to the next problem area, you will see how some of the paint has been scratched off- revealing the white primer which I initially used to prep the doors with.

From my vast experience with painted cabinets, I can tell you that chipping is simply inevitable. If the cabinets had been painted a lighter color, it wouldnt be so noticeable.

Nevertheless, what I have done in the past with my painted kitchen cabinets (which were professionally re-faced) is implement sporadic paint touch-ups. But….

Given this is a butler’s pantry and an area that most guests do not see, I have just let it slide for now.

a review of my diy kitchen cabinets

To see the full details on everything we did in this room, you can click here!

Ultimately, I am very pleased with how these cabinets have held up. Using plywood for a face panel was a bit of a risk, but these babies have served their purpose and look pretty darn good to me!

Hopefully this post has taken away some of the skepticism.

No….this tutorial is not too good to be true; and no…you don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on new cabinetry!

If you would like to read the full DIY cabinet tutorial, click here

If you would like to see how we built the DIY wood countertops on the cabinets for under $50, click here.

Thank you guys so much for stopping by neck of the internet woods.

Now get out there and design some good vibes along with a fabulous life.

PS. If you found this post helpful, it would mean so much if you could share this with a friend or on social media!

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a review of my diy kitchen cabinets


My journey in interior design and home improvement began with transforming my first fixer-upper home, all while managing a budget and raising two young boys. My work, a reflection of my passion for creating beautiful, uplifting spaces, has been recognized by top publications like Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, HGTV, and more. I invite you to explore my site and witness the transformation of my home and the vibes we've designed.Read more...


Friday 16th of April 2021

People are funny. Not really!!!

Designing Vibes

Monday 19th of April 2021

I know youve got my back, Maria! Sending you hugs. xoxo

Jacquie O

Wednesday 14th of April 2021

I always find it fascinating how people hate on others. That USUALLY comes from someone being dissatisfied with themselves and having to take it out on others. I PERSONALLY find most of your posts very fascinating and full of wonderful information AND I LOVE your "colorful" language ;) I can't wait to share this article with my hubby who built me a pantry in our last home and is now trying to figure out how to do it in this one. Sending hugs and good vibes YOUR way Erica, make it the best day ever!

Designing Vibes

Wednesday 14th of April 2021

Thank you so much for the kind words of support, Jacquie! Hopefully this will help your hubby figure it all out. I hope you have an awesome day. xoxo