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How to Apply Lip Molding to Cabinets

Learn how to add character to cabinet doors by applying a lip molding.

More in Kitchen

  • Time

    Weekend

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Measure the Cabinets

Begin by measuring each cabinet opening using a measuring tape and a 5/16" spacer block. The spacer block gives you an opening dimension slightly smaller than the actual opening, allowing the cut-down door to open and close easily.

measure each cabinet opening

Step 2: Cut the Cabinet Doors

Record the measurement for each door and drawer. Use a table saw to cut the door down to the new measurements. In this example, it takes four passes to cut each to the proper size. Repeat this step for each drawer and door.

cut door down to new measurements

Step 3: Create the Lip Molding

Next, it's time to create the lip molding frame to trim the edges of the cut-down cabinet doors. Measuring is critical in this step. Because of the contour of the lip molding, mark the door where the miter needs to go, then transfer that mark to the corresponding spot on the lip molding. With the lip molding marked, cut to a 45-degree angle on the miter saw.

create lip molding frame

Step 4: Attach the Molding and Finish the Doors

With the four sides of the frame mitered, attach the lip molding to the cabinet door first with a thin layer of glue, then secure it with a nail gun (Image 1).

Use wood putty to fill in the gaps at the mitered corners and to fill in any nail holes. After the putty has dried, sand, prime and paint the cabinet doors (Image 2).

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