How to Make a Wood Valance for Kitchen Cabinets

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Wood valances provide a stylish transition between otherwise unconnected cabinets. Cabinet valances are most commonly placed over a sink between two upper cabinets. Although you may purchase wood valances from hardware or home improvement stores or commission a woodworker to build custom cabinet valances, building your own requires only basic carpentry skills and tools. Use a geometric template or pattern, or, if you're adept at drawing, try creating an original pattern for your own signature look.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • 1- by 4-inch plywood
  • Pattern or template
  • Drawing tools
  • Clamps
  • Jigsaw
  • Router
  • Medium-grade sandpaper
  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  • Wood paint or stain
  • Primer
  • Wood sealer
  • Paintbrushes
  • Drill
  • 1.5-inch wood screws
  • Measure the distance between the cabinets where you plan to put the valance. This will tell you how long the valance needs to be. Cut a piece of 1- by 4-inch plywood to this length.

  • Draw or trace a pattern on the plywood for the bottom edge of the valance; scallops, for example, are a common choice. Patterns and templates may be purchased from home improvement stores or downloaded online. You may also use drawing tools, such as a French curve, to create your own pattern.

  • Clamp the wood down on a worktable. Cut the pattern out using a jigsaw and router. Work slowly and remove the clamps when you finish cutting out each piece so you can reposition the wood.

  • Sand down all of the surfaces of the valance with medium-grade sandpaper, then sand again with fine-grade sandpaper.

  • Cut out two 2- by 2-inch squares from any leftover plywood scraps; these will act as tabs that you can use to attach the valance to the cabinets.

  • Glue one tab to each side of the back of the valance. The tabs should be flush with the edge of the valance so the entire unit can slide into the cavity between the cabinets. Slide the valance into the cavity to ensure it will fit. Secure the tabs to the valance with finishing nails.

  • Apply paint or stain to the valance as desired. If you paint the valance, apply a primer first. Once the paint or stain is dry, seal the finish with polyurethane or lacquer.

  • Install the valance between the cabinets. Work with a partner; one person should hold the valance in place while the other checks to see if it is level. Once the valance is in place, drill two 1.5-inch wood screws through each tab to secure them to the cabinets.

Tips & Warnings

  • Alternatively, use metal L-brackets to attach the valance to the cabinets.

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