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Building a Ventilated Cabinet Door

Wooden grille inserts provide plenty of airflow

Under a sink, cabinet doors with open grille-work are just the thing to hide sponges and cleaning supplies while letting in plenty of fresh air. While most cabinet companies don't offer this option, you can buy the wood grilles made to cover duct returns in a floor—they're available in custom sizes and almost any wood species—and install them in place of glass in a cabinet-door frame. Here's how to do it.

1. Measure the opening. Open the door and, from the back, measure to the inside edges of the door frame. Order a surface-mount wood grille 1/8-inch smaller than the opening. Remove the glass from the door frame.

2. Finish to match. Sand all the grille's surfaces with 120-grit sandpaper. For stained cabinets, wipe on a matching gel-stain/poly combo finish. If the cabinets are painted, spray on the primer and paint, using thin coats to prevent drips.

3. Mount. Once the finish is dry, dab adhesive caulk around the door's rabbet and press the grille in place. Secure it to the back of the frame with strips screwof wood, as shown.

TOH Tip: To get the grille look in a new cabinet, simply order glass-front doors but without the glass.