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How to Build An Open Kitchen Cabinet

Friends, today I’m sharing How to Build an Open Kitchen Cabinet with no doors made from pine boards for a budget friendly tiny 1940’s beach cottage kitchen renovation.

The beach cottage kitchen is only 84 sq. ft. and I wanted to open the space to create a larger feel for the tiny room.

The existing kitchen cabinet and countertop was only 79 inches long. Therefore, we decided an open kitchen cabinet with no doors would be a budget friendly option.

Warning Note: Disclaimer: We are not professional cabinet builders. These instructions are our amateur attempt at saving money by building our own kitchen cabinet. The cabinet feels very sturdy, however it may not be built to building codes in your area. If you are involved in a kitchen renovation, you should check with your city or county building codes before attempting a project of this nature.

1940’s Beach Cottage Kitchen Before

Beach cottage renovations before kitchen cabinet

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Materials for an Open Kitchen Cabinet

In order to build the new kitchen cabinet on a limited budget, we decided to use simple pine boards.

We originally used 2 inch thick pine boards when we built our DIY Kitchen Island for our farmhouse and loved the durability of the wooden top.

For this project, we purchased a combination of 2 inch thick pine boards in a variety of widths.

Materials for Open Kitchen cabinet

To construct the countertop, we used a combination of two 10 inch and one 8 inch wide boards to make the countertop the appropriate depth.

Next, the legs and shelving support boards were made from basic 2 x 4 boards. Each of the end legs had two adjoining boards and the two center legs are just one board each.

Then one board, the depth of the cabinet, was attached to each leg and to the back wall to serve as shelving support.

In addition, we used four 12 inch wide boards for the shelving to be placed under the countertop. There were two boards for each shelf and these boards were not connected. They were just placed side by side and resting on the support 2 x 4 board.

Finally, you will need three 2 x 3 boards the length of your open cabinet, which will be attached to the back wall for the cabinet side shelving support boards to be attached to.

Pre-construction pieces assembled for the open kitchen cabinet.

Wood screws and 2 inch L brackets were used to assemble the legs and secure the cabinet to the floor.

Additional Tools and Materials for Assembly

Assemble the Open Kitchen Cabinet

My husband assembled most of the components for the Open Kitchen Cabinet in his workshop at home, because the beach cottage has very limited space.

To begin, he assembled the 79 inch wooden countertop. He used a biscuit joiner, wooden biscuits, wood glue and clamps to connect the 10 and 8 inch boards together.

In addition, we stained all the pieces prior to transporting them to the beach. I wanted an old wood feel, so we use this technique to make the wood look like reclaimed barn wood.

We had carefully measured the space for the cabinet on our last beach trip which allowed most of the construction to take place off site.

We decided to build the cabinet with 4 front legs and a countertop with two lower shelves.

All pieces were assembled and ready to install once we transported them to the beach cottage.

Installation begins

If you missed the sneak peek of the kitchen renovation, you can see more details here on this post.

Here is a little recap to get you caught up. As you can see, at the point of installation, the windows, walls and flooring had been already been replaced.

In addition, we had painted the walls and trim work before we installed the open kitchen cabinet.

Begin the installation of the Open Kitchen Cabinet

One thing we couldn’t assemble prior arriving at the beach cottage was the back support pieces.

Instead of building back legs, we decided to attach the side support pieces directly to the wall via three 2 x 3 support boards. To assure proper placement, we tentatively placed the two end leg pieces in position.

The shelving support side pieces rest upon the support beams and are attached securely with L brackets screwed into both pieces.

Back support beams are installed for new kitchen cabinet

Sink Installation

In order to install the farmhouse style stainless steel apron front sink, Brad cut the counter top using a Ryobi Cordless Jig Saw. It was a simple process to follow the template provided with the sink.

We then installed the sink following the simple manufacturers instructions. You can see the budget friendly sink we installed here.

New Sink is installed in the cabinet

Next, the countertop was secured to the support legs with wood screws. The screws were counter sunk and the Ryobi rotary tool was used to smooth the ruff edges.

Then the holes were filled using wood filler and sanded smooth with a 220 grit sanding block when the wood filler was dry.

Finally, a touch of stain was added to conceal the holes.

Filling in the counter sunk holes on the countertop

Secure Cabinet in place

In order to secure the cabinet to the floor, 2 Inch long L brackets were attached to the backside of each leg and the floor as well.

Once all the legs were attached, we had to make some adjustments to the shelving. We didn’t realize how close the sink would be to the shelf, so we cut a section from the middle of the shelving to allow for the sink.

In addition, some adjustment to the lower shelves were made to allow for the plumbing pipes.

Safety precautions while cutting the shelving.

Faucet Installation

After drilling a hole in the counter top for the Pfister Faucet, it was easily installed within approx. 5 minutes.

Finally, the new Open Kitchen Cabinet with no doors was almost finished.

Drilling a hole for the faucet installation in the kitchen countertop

The final step was the seal the cabinet countertop with a food grade sealer.

Begin by applying a thin coat of sealer with a sponge roller. Then lightly sanded with 220 grit sanding block once it is dry.

Then apply a second light coat and a third coat may be applied within the next few weeks.

Be extra careful to apply a good coat of the sealer around the edge of the sink, up against the sealant applied to the sink during installation.

Seal countertops for added protection

You may also want to reapply sealer approx. once a year if needed.

Open Kitchen Cabinet No Doors

The new open kitchen cabinet with no doors makes the room feel so much larger and I love being able to see all the bowls and kitchen tools. The white back drop makes everything very visible and easy to find.

New Open Kitchen cabinet with no doors.

Since the cottage is for vacation purposes only, minimal kitchen supplies are needed and the open cabinet is a perfect choice.

In addition, if you missed the faucet installation and in process demo of the kitchen, you can see it here.

I’m beginning to start decorating and have added a few touches already. The rug is by Boutique Rugs and the Copper Measuring Scoops are available here.

New DIY Open Kitchen Cabinet with no doors completed.

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We also transformed the wall across from the new kitchen cabinet and I will be revealing that area in the near future.

See Creative Small Bedroom Ideas that we used in our tiny beach cottage bedroom.

Also, the full renovation tour will hopefully be soon.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I look forward to sharing more adventures with you soon.

Pin It To Remember It

Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Monday 14th of February 2022

This was such a great idea Rachel. You have done such an amazing job!


Tuesday 15th of February 2022

Kim, Thanks for stopping by.

Bricks 'n Blooms Weekly 67 - Stacy Ling

Sunday 13th of February 2022

[…] good friend Rachel from the Ponds Farmhouse is working on the kitchen at her beach house and shared a great post about how to make an open […]


Sunday 13th of February 2022

Stacy, I appreciate you for sharing my kitchen cabinet


Thursday 10th of February 2022

Your kitchen is really coming along. What a transformation.


Thursday 10th of February 2022

Renae, I really appreciate this.

Briana from Texas

Tuesday 8th of February 2022

I am loving this kitchen renovation!


Tuesday 8th of February 2022

Briana, I'm so glad you like it. Thanks so much for stopping by.


Tuesday 8th of February 2022

The open cabinets look great! I love how the kitchen is coming along!


Tuesday 8th of February 2022

Stacy, Thanks so much.