Mesh Cabinet Restoration

Mesh Cabinet Restoration

Breathe new life into dated cabinets by giving them a mesh makeover courtesy of Carpenter David Leon.

5 col

This project rejuvenates old cabinets, giving them an industrial look by cutting out the interior of the cabinet face and adding decorative mesh.

Painter’s tape
1/2-inch drill bit
Jigsaw with 1/2-inch wood sawing bit
80-grit sandpaper
120-grit sand sponges
Paint with primer
Metal work safety gloves
Safety glasses
Wire cutters
Metal construction mesh (Approximately 1 yard per cabinet, depending
on your cabinet size)
1/4-inch flat-top screws
1/4-inch washers
New cabinet hardware (with provided screws for installation)
Scrap cardboard


Cut, sand and paint the cabinets:

  1. Before removing all cabinet faces from cabinetry, use painter’s tape to label where each cabinet face belongs. This way when the faces are sanded and painted, you’ll still know exactly which door to reinstall where
  2. Remove all cabinet hardware and take cabinets off at their hinges with a drill

For this project, the existing cabinet hinges were left on the cabinet doors and painted over as part of rejuvenation.

  1. You will be removing the interior face of the cabinet to attach the hardware mesh in order to create an industrial, transparent look. To do this, first remove the interior facing of the cabinet by creating a pilot hole. Drill a hole through the cabinet face at the inside corner of framing using 1/2-inch drill bit
  2. Once the pilot hole is created, use a jigsaw to cut the center of cabinets out, leaving the molding/framework in tact

  1. Sand down the inside edges of the cabinet frame with 80-grit sandpaper. This lower grit number is coarser and will help you get those rough edges smoothed out
  2. Lightly sand the remaining framework using 120-grit sand sponge. The softer sand sponge makes getting into the nooks and crannies easier. Repeat all steps for each cabinet face
  3. Use a rag to wipe off sawdust and clean sawdust off of work are
  4. Paint the framework of cabinet with paintbrush. Allow the paint to dry
  5. Sand the rest of the cabinets in kitchen with 120-grit sand sponges and paint with same color paint as frames using paintbrush and roller. Allow the paint to dry.

Add the mesh:

  1. Place cabinet frame facedown and lay out hardware mesh on backside of the cabinet frame. Unroll the mesh so that it completely covers the now open center area and gives you 1/2-inch coverage on each side of the frame. This is where you will attach the mesh to the back of the cabinet face
  2. Use a marker to outline where you will need to cut the mesh in order to fit the cabinet framework with the 1/2-inch of extra mesh on each side
  3. Put on gloves and safety glasses and cut along the outline you made using wire cutters
  4. Place the mesh cutout on the backside of cabinet, lining up so 1/2-inch of extra sits on each side. Push 1/4-inch flat top screw through 1/4-inch washer and drill through the hardware mesh and into the cabinet on the bottom left corner

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  1. Repeat step 4 for each corner. Also attach an extra screw and washer in the center of longer sections

Add new handles:

  1. Decide where you would like to install new cabinet hardware

For this project, the new handles were placed horizontally at the bottom center of the cabinet.

  1. Lay out handles and mark your installation points accordingly
  2. Install new hardware using screws provided


  1. Reinstall cabinets referring to your painter’s tape labeling system to ensure they return to the correct places
  2. Use a drill to screw the cabinet hinges back into the pre-existing holes on the cabinet bases to reattach the cabinet doors

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