Dress up your plain cabinets with molding around the top to make them more sophisticated! A beautiful upgrade, today’s tutorial is for adding trim to a cabinet.
I promised a few weeks back in my laundry room reveal that I would show you some of the problems and creative solutions we had along the way. Our poor cabinet bore the brunt of “Rachel can’t buy anything stock and not change it.” Well, it’s usually for the better, right? Today is a simple fix, though. Molding is an easy way to make cabinets look expensive and upscale. Much like crown molding makes walls look more classy, molding does the same for cabinets. Otherwise, it’s really just a box. Ok, it is still really just a box but you get the point.
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After scouring all of my favorite thrift stores and the Habitat Restore, I could not find a proper cabinet. It must be the season because usually they have plenty. Anyways, we ended up purchasing a plain ‘ol stock cabinet from Home Depot. However, with 9 ft ceilings, it looked a little short. The cabinet was already so high that my short little self could barely reach the second shelf. And so we decided to add some molding to the cabinet to make it look more upscale and to increase the height closer to the ceiling.
The first problem was that there was no lip on the cabinet in which to add molding. As the doors ended, so did the top of the cabinet. We built a frame that would sit on top of the cabinet and that we could attach the trim to the frame above the cabinet. The frame measures the exact same size as the sides and front of the cabinet. The cross brace (center of the board) keeps the side boards from bowing out.
See how it just sits nicely up there? It isn’t even attached! I did mention that this was the easiest way to add molding, right? The frame meant that we could add the molding without having to do all the work while precariously balancing on a ladder. We attached it in the garage and then just set the frame and molding on top after it was finished.
Ok, so the trim was a bit trickier because it would not be sitting flush against anything. So the guys at This Old House lent a little expertise my way. The level of their craftsmanship really was top notch on that show. I didn’t watch it much growing up though because HGTV had much more flashy tv shows and I was a huge fan of Genevive Gorder, Vern Yip, and David Bromstad. Seriously, what happened to all those great shows? It is nothing like that now.
To attach the molding after cutting, we used wood glue and nailed across the bottom where the boards meet. We also glued the sides together and let sit overnight. I have already patched the nail holes with my favorite wood filler in the picture above. As you can see, the molding is attached more or less in the middle of the 2x4s but you can put it up further up if you like.
The frame and the molding were painted to match and no one is the wiser that our cabinet didn’t come like that! Adding the molding to the cabinet is a simple project and you don’t have to be a cabinet maker to add some class to your cabinets.
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