How To Install Cabinet Molding

Happy How To’s Day!

We’re spending some time celebrating our 7 year anniversary and a birthday this week, so we thought we’d pull up a popular post from the past for today’s how-to party. It’s the one about making your builder-grade kitchen cabinets look a little more custom by adding MDF boards and molding. Here’s what our upper cabinets looked like the day we moved in…

And here are a couple shots of the molding I used to make them taller…

It’s just 1″x6″ pre-primed MDF, some 3″ crown molding, and some small, wood decorative trim moulding.

I used our Ryobi compound miter saw to make all the cuts. It was the cheapest one in the store, but it always seems to get the job done!

All of the cuts had to be made holding the molding at an angle. It took me a minute (and a few pieces of molding!) to figure that out!

I didn’t have a nail gun when I did this project back in 2007, so I just used wood glue to hold everything together. It’s actually extremely strong and since we didn’t plan on hanging from the tops of our cabinets, it ended up working just fine…

This is a shot of the cabinets above the stove, after we painted them black, and before I started adding molding to them…

And here’s what the cabinet on the left looked like after I attached the first 1″x6″s, and the first piece of crown molding…

And here it is, with everything all taped in place…

After all the glue had dried, I caulked everything with a type of caulk that starts out pink and dries white…

Here’s a photo that shows all the MDF pieces in place…

After that, I used some small, decorative wood trim to hide the seam between the cabinet and the 1″x6″. The miters are a lot easier to cut on these little guys, because the trim sits flush to the cabinet. It doesn’t stick out at a 45 degree angle like the crown does.

Here is it all painted out…

And here it is all RE-painted out today…

For more info on the kitchen- check out theOur Housetab at the top of our blog!


Now it’s your turn!

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  1. says

    I’ve been following for several months now, and you two continue to amaze me with your creativity and mad skills. I love the soft colors you use in your current kitchen. Can’t wait to hear more about your show with HGTV!

  2. says

    What a great way to add height and interest to basic cabinets! If only we didn’t have a soffet above ours…I really want to rip it out but I’m worried about what is lurking underneath.

    Thanks for hosting the linky party – I shared my DIY Chalkboard. :)

    • says

      Ha ha! We don’t store anything up there yet, but there were some appliance manuals up there when I first climbed up there to take a look. :)

  3. Kathy :) says

    Happy Anniversary Guys….I was a June bride myself (June 16)….glad you’re taking out sometime to celebrate…..Enjoy !!!!

    All the best,
    Kathy :)

  4. says

    We are almost done with our kitchen… this is the one project that we’ve put off until last! Thanks so much, now we know how to do it!!

  5. says

    Happy Birthday Kevin, it’s my birthday too! My 5 year anniversary is July 1st so we will be celebrating soon also!

  6. says

    I’ve always LOVED your kitchen and every time I see it I want to bust out the screwdriver and take a few of the top doors off my upper cabinets :) Then I get sceered :) Maybe I should just DO IT already!

  7. Beth says

    These are the exact cabinets we have, and I’ve been dying to paint them. but my husband is worried they’ll chip too easily. Can you tell me what products/techniques you used, and if you’re having chipping issues? They look awesome to me, and it’s just the look I’m going for :) Thank you!!!

    • says

      Hey Beth! We haven’t had any chipping issues so far. You can see the whole process under the “Our House” tab at the top of the blog. Hope this helps and thanks for the comment! :)

  8. says

    Happy birthday, Kevin!
    Even when you and your bride are in your eighties you will remain vibrant and full of life because you are young at heart.

    Happy Anniversary to the DIY and Blogdom’s sweetest couple! We wish you a lifetime of love, friendship, passion and joy.

    Your Friends,
    Deborah & Thomas

  9. says

    I had to use nails for mine because…

    1. My wall & cabinets are so old & crooked that if I’d just glued ’em…the moulding probably would’a snapped off on one end and slapped me in the face.

    2. I actually do grab a hold of it as I swing myself up onto the counter to do a little “above cabinet” storing & redecorating.

    Happy Belated Anniversary Birthday Day!

    : )

    Julie M.

    ps Awesome party name!

  10. says

    Thanks for posting your cupboard molding tutorial again. Your kitchen (and that post specifically) inspired us greatly as we recently worked on our own kitchen makeover. (P.S. I linked up “how we live with open cupboards”…so you can see the end result of your molding tutorial!:))

  11. says

    I love love love this! In fact, it inspired me to create the look I did in my kitchen. I found your blog a few weeks before we bought our current house and I immediately knew what I wanted to do with the kitchen, armed with your ideas, ha!

  12. says

    Thanks so much for hosting this! My entry wasn’t too detailed since there was only one step, but I’m super excited to be a part of this for the first time! Thanks for hosting it you guys! Your blog rocks! I’ve been a reader for years and even show my friends your stuff when they are at my house! Love it!

  13. says

    Great tutorial! I wish we didn’t have the dumb soffet above our cabinets. I’d love to extend them or do something pretty like this! But, it must be there for a reason. I’m guessing heat and a/c to the upstairs. I still love your tips and have it bookmarked for adding interest to bookcases though!

    Thanks for hosting such a fun party! As you know, I’m a big fan of DIY and love going through the links! :)

  14. says

    thankfully i have a handy dad and he helps me with all this stuff but i need to learn ,so thanks for sharing! he got a bunch of old barnwood yesterday and can’t wait to do something with it!! enjoy the day and thanks for the link party!

  15. Dawn says

    Awesome! Happy Anniversary you two! Happy Birthday Kevin! I hope you have wonderful celebration and it renews you redoing spirits ! Enjoy! :)

  16. says

    what will you think of next? who knows, but I know I’ll LOVE IT! Hard to choose between my fav: making a “oh no not those cabinets” kitchen into “Ooo la la I love it’ OR how you made my favorite 1234 PB cabinets. Tough choice. Thank you for always inspiring & having great taste. Now, if I could just get my hubby on board to learn how to build stuff! Other than amazing food that is…..HA!
    Your creativity inspires. Thank you. Truly.
    Ada in Coastal Cali
    PS-praying for you guys & your adoption too, been thru it with friends & its is a LONG process…but oh so worth it. :)

  17. says

    Happy Anniversary! Happy Birthday! Kevin, thanks so much for posting this information! We were wanting to make our old kitchen cabinets look more modern and I think I really love what you’ve done here! Greatness Sir! :)

  18. Jennifer says

    Hi- this is off topic (the cabinets look great!)- where did you find your wicker chairs? I love them!


    • says

      Hi Jennifer!

      The chairs came from Ikea. I can’t remember what they’re called, but Layla is about to finish up the the dining room section of “Our House” tab at the top of the blog. So it should be up soon! Hope that helps a little. :)

  19. says

    Happy {belated} birthday and anniversary! We will be celebrating our 7th this year too in a few days. :) Love the “How-tos”…keep ’em coming. :)

  20. Nicole says

    We have been working on the cabinet molding all week and it looks fabulous!!! We removed the cabinet doors when we refinished the kitchen last year, but they looked unfinished. Thanks for the tutorial! It really helped to inspire us to tackle this project! (Note: it took all week because of 3 kids and a questionable mitre box!)

  21. Randy Arnold says

    Where have all these good ideas been hiding. I’m trying to learn how to Pinterest and it is fantastic. Your blog is so inspiring.
    Randy Arnold
    Whitehouse, Tx

  22. Kathy M. says

    I am SO in love with your Blog. Thanks for your sharing your talents and being such an inspiration!

  23. Stacy Jacob says

    Thank you for posting this how-to! I am finally ready to do this to my cabinets (after putting it off since you posted this several years ago!). How did you attach the 1×6’s to the cabinets? Did you just glue it or use brackets?

    Thank you!

  24. Mary H says

    Love the idea of adding height to the builder grade cabinets.

    Question: how did you attach the 1 x 6 to the top of the cabinet? Did you use some sort of bracket? Please post or send reply!