Budget Kitchen Renovation: Adding Feet to Base Cabinets

Today we are crossing off another item on the checklist for section one.

Sand Doors
- Drill holes for new hardware
- Sand drawer fronts and cabinet frames
- Add decorative moulding to outside edges of cabinet frames
- Add decorative moulding to base of the frames (i.e. feet to make more furniture-like)
- Apply one coat of gel stain
- Apply two coats of Carrington stain
- Apply 3 coats of some kind of poly

Here's the final results.

In order to make our cabinets look more custom, I added two different sets of moulding to the bases and I'm going to show you how you can do the same thing.  We did a similar project in the kitchen of our townhouse by simply adding base moulding to the cabinets (read more here).  However, you weren't able to stand with your toes under the cabinets which can prove slightly awkward.  So, I decided to take a different approach this time.

Here's what we used:

- trim moulding (see photo below)
-  3 - 1/4" x 5" x 48" pine or poplar boards 
- wood filler or caulk
- sand paper
- Jig saw
- Mitre saw
- wood glue
- clamps
- Finishing materials of your choice (i.e. paint, stain, poly) and applicator (i.e. paint brush)

First we're going to start with the feet.  Take your trim moulding and cut the pieces to fit at the base of your cabinets.  I used moulding with a small lip so that it would slightly overlap with the base of the cabinet.

Be sure to mitre corners (we'll fill in any gaps later).

Once you have all of your trim pieces cut, we're going to move onto the actual feet.  I used 1/4" pieces of wood and cut a custom design using my jigsaw.  Measure so that your feet will fit underneath the trim while still touching the floor.  I recommend creating a template that works and then tracing it to duplicate the pattern.  For cabinets that were next to each other, I cut a foot with the pattern on both sides (see below).  To get a nice smooth, rounded curve, I traced around a gatorade bottle.  You can make the pattern on your feet as simple or ornate as you would like.

This is what it should look like dry fitted.

See how this leaves plenty of toe space!
Once all of your feet are cut, sand down the cut edges to create a nice smooth finish and remove any ink marks from drawing the template onto the wood.

Next, I glued the feet to the moulding and let them dry for several hours.

Once they were dry, I placed glue in the small lip on the back of the moulding and clamped it to the cabinets. This allowed the wood glue to create a strong bond and straightened out the moulding (since it bowed a little bit).

Once everything was dry, I filled in any gaps with caulk.  I also caulked the seam where the moulding met the cabinet.  I know, generally you wouldn't use caulk on wood when using stain, but since my stain finish is opaque it is almost like using paint (you won't even know the caulk is there once it's done).  I have found that caulk is your best friend when you're trying to hide imperfections in wood working.

When that has all dried, it is time to apply the matching finish to your cabinets.  For us, this meant one coat of gel stain and a coat of Rustoleum's Carrington stain.  Click here for more information on the finishing method I'm using on my cabinets.

That was it!  Now our cabinets have feet that make them look more custom (rather than like they are the original cabinets to the house).


  1. Excellent idea. I will follow your design idea on my kitchen. It's provide huge storage. Is 3 - 1/4" x 5" x 48" pine or poplar boards perfect for any boards?
    terra kitchen


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