I disassembled the cabinet over my fridge and shortened it to fit a taller fridge. It turned out well, about 4 inches shorter than before. But I'm at a loss about what to do with the two doors. I figured it would be easy to get them shortened, but it hasn't been.

Cabinet contractors I've contacted around me mostly only work with one brand and only want to do big jobs. I'm not ready to replace all of the doors right now.

One handyman said he could get it done but eventually gave up and returned them to me.

I've searched the other cabinets and can't find the manufacturer sticker, so I don't know who makes them. The sticker is probably painted over. Otherwise I'd just order a replacement.

I might be able to do it myself if I go to a shared woodshop with a router, but I'm afraid of messing them up, so I'd prefer to have them shortened professionally.

How would you go about shortening or replacing these two doors?

Are there vendors online who could do this kind of custom job and I could ship them the doors?

too tall..

  • BTW this is in San Jose, CA in case anyone knows someone in the bay area.
    – Travis
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 5:30
  • If you don't have a router table and the correct bits for that door your best bet is to take it to a custom cabinet maker and have them resize it. I've had this done in the past and it came out great. Cheaper than getting 2 new doors but not cheap. Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 5:33

4 Answers 4


How would you go about shortening or replacing these two doors?

I'd only attempt this if

  • The door was to be shortened by more then the maximum width of the top rail.
  • I could find router bits that give a reasonable match to existing profiles.
  • I had a plan B in case I wreck the door.

I would cut the top off at the new height and see if the panel is loose or glued. In my kitchen the panels are loose and retained by slots in the rails and stiles. If loose I would remove the panel to cut the new arch in it. I would hope to use the cut-off top as a template.

I would then try to salvage the rail from the cut-off top. You only need to preserve the visible front edges, so you can be reasonably creative about how you remove the tops of the stiles. Ideally you'd find a router bit of the required profile but lacking that, some careful work with chisel or rotary tool might succeed.

Then its a matter of working out some new way to rejoin the rail to the stiles. You could probably use through-dowels or screws from the sides

Then I'd use a router bit to re-cut the top profile. Worst case is to grind an old chisel to match the profile and insert that into a block of pine to make a moulding plane for the job.

Finally I'd use filler where needed at the back, sand smooth and repaint.

You have to ask yourself if it is worth the effort.

  • I have done this before, it works. Do expect to paint the door. Just as a FYI, this will be tedious.
    – Jack
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 2:04

It depends on how good you are at woodworking. As RedGrittyBrick points out, I might only attempt this project if I wasn't concerned about destroying the door.

Recreate the door

The first option, is to build an exact copy of the door in the proper size.

Remove material from the top/bottom

If you can take the door apart, you should be able to cut down the stiles and slats. Then you'll have to reprofile the stiles, so that the rail fits properly.

Remove material from the middle

Cut a strip of material out of the middle of the door, then glue it back together. This method wouldn't be as easy if the door wasn't painted, as it would be difficult to hide the seam. However, since the door is painted, a tight seam and some wood filler would make the seam disappear. You might also have to add some bracing on the back side of the door, to add strength to the seam.


As others have noted, cabinet door surgery is prone to be bothersome and not cheap. If I had to do it, I'd be taking a horizontal slice out of the middle and hoping that the panel could float free for more cutting. You'd have to mentally commit to the possibility that the doors would be butchered beyond repair.

I couldn't find any double-continuous-arch with simulated beadboard-panel, but some of the vendors you can find online will custom build something similar, such as:


enter image description here

(not a product recommendation -- I've never used these folks)

Maybe that would be acceptable all by itself... if so, life is good. Otherwise, you can ask about whether they'd go semi-custom and get closer to your design. (It's not rocket science to build a cabinet door with top rails at both the top and bottom. I'm sure many a sleepy employee has done it by accident.) Expect a few refusals along the way, and once you find someone willing to do it, expect to pay a fair bit for the work.

Matching paint color is going to be a pain as well, just so you know. Sorry about that.

Edit: one more link: http://www.cabinetdoorshop.com/proddetail.php?prod=FP3030&cat=49

  • I should have included a picture of the back. Turns out the panel is glued onto the back, and it's going to hard to pry off without breaking. Thanks for the links, I'm getting a quote from the second one.
    – Travis
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 6:54

You want me to do what?

Google search "double arched" cabinet door. (+ "Pinstripe" didn't yield any immediate results, but I'd like to think that you could find one, once you started searching manufacturer's websites for double arched cabinet doors).

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