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Customize Kitchen Cabinets

Add economical custom touches to your existing cabinets for a kitchen with a whole new look.

Open kitchen cabinets with top moulding and scalloped trim

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1-2 weeks

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Miter saw
  • Jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade
  • Drill and bit set
  • Screwdrivers
  • 120- and 180-grit sandpaper
  • Pocket-hole jig and screws
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer and countersink (If you'll be adding trim to several cabinets, consider using a pneumatic brad nailer and air compressor)


  • 1"x6"x8' pine, #1158
  • 1"x3"x8' pine, #1209
  • 3/4"x3/4"x8' pine cove moulding, #3089
  • 1/2"x3/4"x8' pine, #3487
  • Elmer's ProBond stainable wood filler, #257319
  • 18x3/4" wire brads
  • 18x1-1/4" wire brads
  • #6x1-1/4" wood screws

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online

Project Resources


The size of your kitchen and its cabinets will vary from what’s shown, but you can apply one or all of these basic ideas to your own kitchen remodeling project.

Add Fresh Shape to Cabinet Openings

Step 1

Unscrew the hinges from the cabinet frame and remove the doors of the cabinets where you'll add scallops. Use wood filler to fill the screw holes and wipe smooth. After the putty dries, sand the wood smooth.

Step 2

Download the Scallop Pattern and print out one copy for each cabinet. From 1"x6" pine boards, cut one 4"-long piece for each scallop, making sure the ends are 90 degrees to the sides. Using spray adhesive according to label directions, attach the patterns to the pine boards with the straight edge and end of the pattern flush with the edges and ends of the wood.

Step 3

Use a jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade to cut out the bracket shapes. Drill 1/16" pilot holes in the narrowest parts of the bracket (at the ends of the curve). Use 1-1/4" brads and glue to attach the brackets to the upper corners of each cabinet opening. If you'll eventually paint the cabinets, fill any gaps between the bracket and cabinet frame with wood filler and sand smooth.

Good to Know

Extremely thin drill bits can easily break if forced into the wood too quickly or if the wood moves while you're drilling. Work carefully and consider buying a backup bit just in case.

Top Cabinets with Built-Up Moulding

Step 1

Measure number of cabinets you can span with one 8' board and moulding; cut the front piece of 1"x6" pine to length with 45-degree miters on both ends. This will make the first cabinet top extension. Then cut sections of 1"x6" pine with a 45-degree miter on one end to fit the sides of the cabinets for the other two top extensions.

Step 2

From 1"x3" lumber, cut the flat top pieces to length with 45-degree miters that rest flush with the miters on the 1"x6" top extensions. Drill pilot holes and screw the flat tops to the top extensions.

Step 3

On the back faces of the front and side top extensions, drill pocket holes spaced about 10" apart, making sure none of the holes will fall on a gap between the cabinets. Sand the front faces of the mouldings smooth and wipe clean. Then glue and screw the front and side top extensions with their flat tops to the top of the cabinet.

Step 4

Measure the length and depth of the new cabinet extension and cut 1/2"x3/4" mouldings to length with 45-degree miters on both ends of the front piece and one end of each side piece. Glue and nail these mouldings to the cabinet extension with the bottom edge of the mouldings just covering the seam between the cabinet and the top extensions. Countersink the nails below the wood surface.

Good to Know

The cabinet face sometimes overhangs the sides of cabinets. If that's the case in your kitchen, saw or chisel away just enough of the overhang to accommodate the 1/2"x3/4" mouldings.

Step 5

Cut 3/4" cove mouldings to the same lengths as the 1/2"x3/4" mouldings. Glue and nail the cove mouldings to the top extensions with the nail heads countersunk below the wood surface.

Step 6

Painted cabinet with top extensions and scallops

Fill the nail holes with wood filler and let dry. Then sand the mouldings smooth and wipe them clean. Prime and paint the cabinets to make the additions blend with the original cabinets.