How to Add Flat Trim to Kitchen Cabinets

(Image: tape measure yellow image by Warren Millar from

You don’t have to settle for plain cabinet fronts that make your kitchen look like everyone else’s. Instead, add flat trim to cabinets and add some character to your kitchen. Trim for kitchen cabinets comes in a variety of sizes and styles. The most common style associated with kitchen cabinet trim is a mission style, which has square, flat edges. As of 2010, the approximate cost of kitchen cabinet trim is $15 per linear foot if you buy it unfinished.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat kitchen cabinet trim
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw or jig saw
  • Miter saw
  • Brads
  • Hammer
  • Counter setter
  • Spackle
  • Wood filler

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Buy flat trim for kitchen cabinets. If you plan to paint your trim, buying medium density fiberboard (MDF) will meet your needs at a reduced cost. If you plan to stain your kitchen cabinet trim, purchase a higher-quality wood with a grain that complements your kitchen cabinets.

Decide where to place your trim on the kitchen cabinet door. Flat trim is popular placed right up against the edge to outline the cabinet door.

Remove your cabinet doors from your kitchen cabinets.

Measure the edge of your cabinet door so you know how long to cut each piece of flat trim.

Cut each piece the appropriate length. Trim is easy to work with, so you can cut it using a circular saw or even a jig saw.

Use a miter saw to cut a 45-degree angle on each piece. This allows flat trim pieces to butt up against each other when you install them on the cabinet door.

Secure each piece of trim to its appropriate location on the kitchen cabinet door using a brad, which looks like a headless nail. Hammer the brad into the trim as far as you can.

Grab a counter setter and place the small end on top of the head of the brad. Hit the counter setter with your hammer to drive the brad further into the trim so you don’t see it at all. This leaves a small hole that you can fill with spackle or wood filler when you finish your trim.

Install your kitchen cabinet doors back onto the cabinets.

Paint or stain your kitchen cabinets and trim, according to your design.


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