Start a discussion

The Bunnings Workshop community can help with your home improvement projects.

Shaker-style kitchen reno with paint and plywood

Junior Contributor
Junior Contributor

This ingenious kitchen makeover uses 3mm plywood glued to cabinet doors to create a Shaker-style trim.





The project


I wanted to replace our high-gloss polyurethane kitchen with a Shaker style look but we couldn't afford to have it done by professionals.


To change the cabinet doors, drawer fronts and end panels, I ripped down some 3mm plywood into strips and attached it to the fronts to create the Shaker trim.


To allow for the additional thickness of the doors I simply adjusted the concealed hinges to move the doors ever so slightly away from the cabinet edge. I also created the illusion that there were more drawers by adding trim to the tops of doors, creating a faux drawer, and by "dividing" three large drawers into six.




As well as using trim to make the three big blue drawers look like six smaller ones, I also gave the cabinet door on the right a faux drawer at the top.




The cabinets were prepared with ESP primer and Zinsser B-I-N, then painted with a water-based enamel, using a 4mm nap microfibre roller.


I removed two of the cabinets over the stove and converted the remaining centre cabinet into a custom range hood cover, using ply, Pine and MDF. The front cover comes off that, so there is still storage there if needed.


I extended the ends of the breakfast bar, where it originally cantilevered, just to give it more substance. I added colonial skirting to the base of the kitchen, and brought the kickboards out by adding 18mm Pine to the fronts.


I replaced the sink with a ceramic butler's sink, cutting down the doors below it to accommodate it.


I had two big issues regarding the sink. The sink I wanted (and subsequently bought) was too deep for my existing cabinets. I chose to have the benchtops cut to a slightly deeper depth, but still the sink was a little too deep. When I cut down the cabinet doors below the sink, it left a substantial hole, which I filled with one layer of 18mm x 138mm half-splayed skirting. This still left a gap, so I added a second layer over that, of a smaller half-splayed skirting. It looks quite OK, and intentional.


The other issue was that the sink was a discontinued item when I bought it. I worried that if it cracked one day I would have to have my benchtops redone to accommodate a different sink. As an insurance, and because the sink was so cheap anyway, I bought two! It was certainly cheaper than replacing my benchtops should the sink crack!






I also added an architrave to the bay window and lined the plain plasterboard walls with 3mm ply planks. To fill in the cut-out area around the sink, I used half-splayed skirting, mitred at the corners.


Apart from researching and shopping for materials, the actual reno took me 293 hours, averaging six hours a day over 53 days.


Before and after






More inspiration for your kitchen


Experienced Bunnings Workshop contributor Adam_W has put together this handy guide to planning a kitchen renovation. You can also check out our Top 10 most popular kitchen projects.




If you just need a quick kitchen refresh, check out our collection of 10 kitchens transformed with paint. You can begin transforming your own kitchen with our step-by-step video guides to painting kitchen cabinets and painting a tiled splashback.


Let us know if you need a hand with your kitchen project. We're here to help.


Why join the Bunnings Workshop community?

Workshop is a friendly place to learn, get ideas and find inspiration for your home improvement projects