How to Add Molding to Kitchen Cabinets to Dress Them Up

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Molding adds depth and interest to the faces of flat kitchen cabinets for very little cost. You can paint the molding the same color as the rest of the cabinet door for a seamless look, or enliven your kitchen by painting the molding a complementary color to your cabinets. Choose molding that is approximately 1 1/2 inches wide or less to avoid overpowering the cabinet faces. Baseboard molding often works better than crown molding for this purpose.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Molding strips
  • Miter saw
  • Wood adhesive
  • Rag
  • Latex paint
  • Paintbrush

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Remove the cabinet doors by unscrewing them from the hinges.

Set your miter saw to a 45-degree angle and cut off the end of one molding strip so that the cut goes from the longest corner at the high (outside) edge in toward the lower (inside) edge.

Measure your vertical measurement (21 inches for this example) from the outside point and mark it on your molding strip.

Set the miter saw for a 45-degree cut in the opposite direction of the first cut and cut the molding so the longest edge meets your 21-inch mark and the cut angles in to the lower molding edge. You should end up with a trapezoid-shaped piece of molding. Cut another piece identical to this from your molding strip.

Cut two pieces that have a long edge that matches your horizontal measurement (15 inches in the example) using the same method to form a trapezoid shape.

Measure and mark a rectangle 1 1/2 inches in from each edge of your cabinet door face. This rectangle is the guideline for the outer edge of your molding.

Lay out your four pieces of molding in line with the rectangle you drew, making sure the edges fit together neatly at the corners.

Squeeze a line of adhesive, such as wood glue or "liquid nails," onto the back of each piece of molding, and then press it into place in the rectangle. Wipe away any excess adhesive with a dry rag and allow the adhesive to dry completely.

Repeat the process for each cabinet door that needs trim.

Paint your newly trimmed cabinets using latex paint and a high-quality brush. Semi-gloss paint works best for this purpose, as you can scrub it clean without marring the finish.

Re-attach your cabinet doors using a screwdriver once the paint is dry.


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