Applying Door Panels to a Refrigerator

Tips for facing refrigerator doors. October 26, 2005

I have a job coming up where I have to put overlay panels on a subzero reefer. The spec sheets calls for a 1/4" plywood backer panel. The specs then call for a .1" or 3mm backer panel over that. What are people using for this backer panel?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A :
If you mean you’re building a door panel, just make a small rabbet along the outside of the panel that depth and put the 1/4" panel on the back.

From contributor B:
The 3mm backer is sandwiched between the finished panel and the backer panel to allow clearance for the metal panel stop on the reefer. Another simpler method would be to build your finish panel thicker and rabbet out the back of it.

From contributor C:
We work with the subzeros all the time. For our backer panel, we use 3/8 mdf and run 1/2” rabbet all around leaving just under 1/4”. The backer overlay panel is then combined into one. A 2-1/4” frame is enough to hold the door panel in place, and it also keeps the weight down.

From contributor D:
It is possible to use a standard cabinet style door as the complete appliance panel without adding anything. Cut a groove around the edge of the door 1/4” in from the back. Trim this section down in width and height a little so it will slide in the sub-zero frame. This is so easy and looks great.