How to Attach Moulding to Dress Up the Doors of Kitchen Cabinets

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Kitchen remodels are one of the most expensive home improvement projects a homeowner is likely to encounter, but there are several simple ways to improve the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank. Adding some decorative molding to the outside of your plain kitchen cabinets, for example, is a simple and inexpensive way to give your old cabinets new life. If your cabinets are still functional, there is no reason why you should buy expensive replacements instead of simply improving the cabinets you already have.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Notebook
  • Decorative molding
  • Jigsaw
  • Pencil
  • Miter saw
  • Interior-grade latex paint
  • Soft brush
  • Wood stain
  • Clean cloth
  • Wood glue
  • Nail gun
  • Safety goggles
  • Measure the width and height of every cabinet door, using a tape measure, and record these measurements in a notebook.

  • Calculate how much molding you need for each cabinet door by doubling the width and height of each door and adding the results together. Add the sums from all the cabinet doors together to find the total length of molding needed and record this measurement in your notebook to use as reference when purchasing your molding. It's generally a good idea to purchase at least 10 percent more than you think you need, just to cover any waste during the cutting process.

  • Select the molding you want to use on the front of the kitchen cabinets. The pattern of the molding is up to you and your aesthetic preference, but the width of the molding should depend on the size of your cabinets. For narrow cabinets, choose a molding no more than 1 to 1.5 inches thick. Larger cabinets can accommodate wider molding.

  • Cut the molding to length for each of the cabinets. You will need two pieces of molding cut to the width and two cut to the height for each cabinet door. Use a measuring tape to measure each piece of molding, and cut it with a jigsaw.

  • Use a pencil to draw a line at a 45-degree angle from the corner at each end of every piece of molding toward the center of the molding. Trim the molding along these lines, using a miter saw. These angled cuts will allow you to install the molding so the corners are sharp and the edges of the pieces of molding are flush.

  • Paint or stain the molding to match your cabinets if you did not purchase prestained or painted molding. To paint the molding, brush on a coat of interior-grade latex paint with a soft brush, and allow it to dry completely before applying a second coat, if necessary. Apply wood stain with a brush and wipe away the excess, using a clean cloth. Allow the stain to dry between coats if more than one coat is required.

  • Apply a bead of wood glue along the edges on the cabinet front and arrange the corresponding pieces of molding on top of it, pressing the molding gently into the glue to create a seal. Align the outside edges of the molding with the edges of the cabinet, and make sure the angled cuts at either end of the molding line up to create a crisp corner.

  • Use a nail gun to drive small nails through the molding into the cabinet fronts to secure the molding in place. Position on nail about an inch from each end and an additional nail in the center of each piece of molding.

Tips & Warnings

  • The more decorative the molding you select, the more elegant your kitchen cabinets may look. Be careful, however, not to select a pattern that clashes with the overall tone of your kitchen. If the decor throughout the rest of the kitchen is simple and modern, an intricate or elaborate molding pattern on the cabinets could clash with the rest of the room.
  • Always wear eye protection when using power tools.

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