Ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets offer an affordable and customizable solution for renovating your kitchen. Sunshine Cabinetry is a popular RTA cabinet brand that makes the assembly process straightforward with their quality materials and clear instructions. With some basic DIY skills, you can transform your kitchen into a beautiful and functional space. This guide will walk you through the complete process of assembling RTA kitchen cabinets from Sunshine Cabinetry.

Gather the Necessary Tools and Hardware

Before starting the assembly, ensure you have all the tools and hardware required:

  • Power drill with Phillips head attachment
  • Hammer
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Cabinet assembly hardware kit (included with Sunshine Cabinetry RTA cabinets)

The hardware kit contains screws, shelf pins, hinges, drawer slides, and other fasteners needed to assemble the cabinets. Make sure you have additional screws on hand as well.

Review the Instructions Thoroughly

Sunshine Cabinetry provides detailed instructions with diagrams and parts lists. Read through these carefully before beginning and familiarize yourself with the various cabinet components, hardware, and assembly steps. Pay close attention to the order of operations prescribed in the instructions.

Also, check that you have received all the required cabinet boxes, doors, drawers, and hardware listed. Organize the parts and hardware into separate containers to make the assembly process smoother.

Work on a Level Surface

Set up a flat, level, and large enough surface on which you can securely assemble the cabinets. Many homeowners use the kitchen floor itself. Protect the floor from scratches by laying down a drop cloth or cardboard sheets. Ensure you have adequate lighting and ventilation in the work area.

Assemble the Cabinet Boxes

Start by assembling the cabinet boxes using the provided screws and clamps. Attach the back panel, then sides, top, and bottom panels as per the instructions. Use clamps to hold the pieces together when screwing them in.

Pre-drill holes whenever necessary to prevent splitting the wood. Keep the boxes square by measuring the diagonals to make sure they are equal. Complete one cabinet box at a time before moving to the next.

Install Drawers and Shelves

Once the cabinet boxes are assembled, install the drawers using the provided drawer slides. Attach the slides to the drawer first, then into the cabinet box.

Insert the fixed shelves at the desired heights and secure with shelf pins. Adjustable shelves can be installed later after the cabinets are mounted.

Add Doors and Adjust Hinges

Mount the door hinges to the cabinet doors as per the instructions using a screwdriver. Then attach the door to the cabinet box and adjust the hinges to ensure proper alignment.

Make minor tweaks by turning the adjustable screw on the hinge. Test opening and closing the doors and drawers to ensure smooth operation.

Prepare the Installation Space

Now that the cabinet components are assembled, shift your focus to the kitchen space. Remove existing cabinets if it’s a remodel. Clean the floors and walls thoroughly.

Determine the final position of each cabinet section and mark locations on the floor and walls. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure proper spacing and alignment.

Mount the Cabinets on the Walls

There are a few methods to mount the cabinets depending on your wall material – using cleats, screws, or toggle bolts. Follow the instructions from Sunshine Cabinetry for the appropriate mounting technique.

Start with the upper cabinets, using a level to ensure they are perfectly horizontal. Then install the base cabinets by securing them to the wall and screwing them together.

Finish Cabinet Installation and Add Countertops

With all cabinets mounted, add trim molding, filler panels, and end panels as needed to complete the built-in look. Install the countertop and make any final adjustments to drawer slides, shelves, and hinges.

Finally, carefully go over the cabinets one last time, wiping away any dust, and installing the hardware like knobs and pulls.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to assemble Sunshine Cabinetry RTA cabinets?

It usually takes 2-3 days for an experienced DIYer to assemble and install a full kitchen’s worth of RTA cabinets. Complex cabinet designs with many drawers and specialty hardware will require more time.

What are some tips for a smooth assembly process?

Work on one cabinet section fully before moving to the next. Keep hardware and parts organized. Follow instructions carefully and work slowly. Pre-drill holes before screwing. Use clamps when attaching pieces.

Should I assemble the cabinets at the installation site?

It’s generally recommended to assemble the cabinets at the final installation site to save additional moving and handling that could cause damage.

What tools will I need for installation?

A drill, screwdriver, measuring tape, level, stud finder, pry bar, shims, silicone caulk, saw, and safety equipment like gloves and eyewear.

How do I ensure the cabinets are level?

Frequently check with a level while mounting cabinets. Use shims under cabinets to make minor adjustments as needed to ensure level installation.


Assembling RTA kitchen cabinets allows you to upgrade your kitchen at a fraction of the cost of custom cabinetry. By following the detailed instructions from Sunshine Cabinetry, organizing your tools and hardware, and working carefully, you can achieve beautiful results. The effort is well worth it when you can enjoy your stunning new kitchen every day.