Plexiglas Cupboard Door Insert
table saw (or have Plexiglas cut at store)
paints suitable for use on plastic
palette knives, paint brushes
Note: This project creates painted panels with the look of glass. If you don’t want the glassy look, you still can update your cupboards: Just substitute masonite and change the paints accordingly.
- Measure the dimensions of the door inset and cut your piece of Plexiglas to fit tightly in the space. Michele Beschen used 1/8″ Plexiglas for this project; thinner stock is too flimsy to work with.
- For easier cutting, weigh down your Plexiglas with a piece of wood as you run it through the table saw. Use a low plywood blade with lots of teeth. You also can have the Plexiglas cut at the store where you buy it.
- Peel off the protective paper backing from the back of the Plexiglas for painting. Leave the protective covering on the front side for now.
- You’ll be painting on the Plexiglas in layers with plastic paints. The first layer you paint will be the front of the image as seen from the outside of the cupboard door. If you want an outline around the design, paint it first. Once you have your outline and foreground images painted on, let the paint dry before adding more paint (figure A).
- Build up your design in layers. Michele Beschen says a soft palette knife typically works best for adding paint instead of using paintbrushes. You also can add texture and detail using a fan brush: Pull a little bit of the paint away as you brush it on, then come back in with another color for variety. You also can try dipping your brush into a variety of different paint colors (figure B) before applying to the Plexiglas (figure C).
- When you’re done layering all paint colors, let the piece dry, then peel away the protective backing from the front to see your masterpiece.
- To install, stick both sides of self-adhesive Velcro in all four corners of the back of the panel. For larger panels, Michele Beschen recommends putting a few extra pieces of Velcro on the sides and in the middle of the panel. Peel the backing from the exposed side of the Velcro and press the panel into place.