Monday, January 27, 2014

4 Tips To Installing Cabinet Molding

Well it has been cold out there.....seems like it has been everywhere the past week or so. I've been working so much, I hardly knew it was coming here. There is nothing like some snow in south Texas, to give you a day off. Our heater went out twice during the two coldest days, brrrr! We did finally got it fixed, thank goodness for the gas stove and fireplace, and fleece pajama's. 
I'm from Denver originally, so I'm used to all of this weather, and you start to miss it in the winter months. It was pretty windy on Thursday night, and with the rain, and all the humidity, the trees were like giant icicles. It made such a sweet sound, the clinking around. 
I was listening out the front door, then I realize how dang cold it is, and remember why I didn't like Denver so much....So I closed the door, and put on my flip flops....because I can :)

With stir crazy kids, illness, work, and a major birthday party, I've been a bit behind, with pretty much everything.  So here I am, sort-of healthy, and back in full swing!
 Today, I thought I would give you a couple tips on installing cabinet molding. 
You need to have, molding on the cabinets! 
Most cabinets do...although while at a friends apartment the other day, I realized they never installed it on her cabinets.....blahh!

It's pretty bland right? I wanted to nail up some wood right then and there. 

Some cabinets have a super skinny molding, which makes the cabinets look out of scale with the rest of the space.

Our cabinets, when we first moved in, did have a molding on the top, but it was so skinny, it made the cabinets look dinky. The awful orangey oak color didn't help of course, but something had to be done.

Since we knew we would be painting the cabinets, we had alot more options. 
When you have a nice stained cabinet, that you want to beef up the molding on, you need to match the wood, and the stain. 
It isn't impossible. 
Take off a door, and take it with you to look at stain colors. The sample chips on the shelves at the store, are a much better test of the color, than the print out on the front of then can. Start with one of the super small cans of stain. If you can't find your color, you  may be able to mix a couple colors, to get that perfect one. Buy extra wood, for doing test samples on. 

For our kitchen, we tore all of the 2 1/2' molding down, and opted for a 4" wide molding. Anything bigger wouldn't have looked in proportion with our cabinets. We chose a style with a good amount of ribs, and detailing.

Ok lets be honest here....We knew, we knew how to do this...we did! 
We've done lots of molding, and base boards...lots of wood work. But this threw us for a loop. We wasted quite a few feet of wood at first. We even called it quits on day one, out of frustration! 
Calmly, the next day, by myself (which sometimes works out better)...I worked on it with a clear head.

1. Label Stuff
 I figured goes alot smoother if you label stuff. 
Some moldings are simple, you can tell which is top and bottom, but I kept mixing this one up. So with a scrap piece, from our scrap day...I labeled the bottom., and just kept it by the saw to match it up, to be extra sure.

I know, it seems like a super silly, and simple step....but believe me, if I had another day like the one before, me and my husband may not be alive to tell you about it!

2. Cheat Pieces
 The next key to my sanity, was cheat pieces. 
With all the miss cuts from the day before, I had plenty to use. You could make several different angled cuts, with scrap wood, to get these.

 When you hold the wood up to measure for your cuts, and your SURE you know which way you have to cut make it back to the saw, flip it around, and are like....wait...WHAT?!?!? You'll thank me!

So I took these little cheat pieces,  held the "correct angled" piece up, on top of my molding I was measuring. Keeping it up against the wood, until I had it flipped around on the saw, and had changed the saw angle to match my cheat piece.
Then just cut the angle

Ok, so if your a beginner at this, and are really confused already, here is what we started with....

A Miter Saw. 

Or you could use a Miter Box for smaller jobs

Our miter saw, didn't not have a big back's kicking it old school. So our 4" wood would not have rested against something. Which makes it impossible to cut.

So we added a piece of wood to make the back board taller. The trim will need to sit flush against this while your cutting. 
If your molding is shorter, or you have a fancy new saw with a tall back may not need this step.

Then, we ran into the issue of the blade guard hitting the wood, so we notched out a piece...again you may not need any of the steps....and yes, this is totally rigged, but it works!

3. Cutting the Molding
The main piece of info you need to know, when cutting the molding angles is... 
 the bottom of the molding, needs to be at the top of the cutting surface. 
Flip the piece, from how you measured it.
 I have no idea why....Im sure they went over it in high school math, but I think that was the year I was not paying attention!!

The piece should sit flush like this. Both flat surfaces resting level, on the saw and the back board. 

To adhere the pieces, I used a bit of wood glue, and nails. Nailing it, into the botom rib of the wood. Since I was by myself, blue tape was a big help to keep it lined up. 
After the piece were all on, I used caulking to fill any gaps, and make smooth seams.  

Use a nail setter, or another nail, to hide nail heads.Fill in nail holes with wood putty.

Starting in the corners, or inside pieces, makes it easiest to get good tight joints, on the joining pieces. 

You can tell how much it beefed up the cabinets even with just the primer coat on.

4.Problem Areas
When we got close to the vent hood, we encountered a problem. 
How to stop the molding?
You may run into this same problem on different types of vent hoods, or window casings. 

There was two ways to stop the molding.
By overlapping the vent-hood, which obliviously wouldn't work.
Or by stopping it flush, which left a gap in the back.

To fill the gap, we used a piece of filler wood. I made a template with a piece of paper. And cut the wood to match. Since I was painting it in the end, it didn't matter what we used. 

The molding was really an important part to the end result of the kitchen. They also look more like custom cabinets, than the builder grade kind we actually have. 

 If your cabinets are older, and go straight into a soffit, you can still add the molding to the top. Though it may need a trim piece to push it out, and over the soffit.

If your cabinets are taller, you can do a much wider molding. This can really help your cabinets make a statement.

If you cabinets go to the ceiling you may not have the space to beef it up...look at hardware, to help make a statement.

Follow these simple tricks, and you'll be a pro in no time, or at least have a good looking kitchen!

Check out the rest of the kitchen remodel, or how to make the faux reclaimed wood counter tops! 

1 comment :

  1. Thank goodness you got your heater fixed right away! Cold season + broken heater = freezing agony. Having your heater system checked from time to time will prevent it from acting up. By the way, good job on installing the cabinet mold! It looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing, and I wish you the best in future endeavors.

    Christine Allred