We had just installed our new Ikea cabinets and hardware, as well as lighting, too. (I could not find a pulled back photo of the cabinets with hardware before we trimmed it out–hence the lack of pretty gold pulls in the photo above.) While the room was/is definitely taking shape, floating cabinets isn’t a great look in such a tight space. It creates a lot of dark shadows and just feels unfinished. Fortunately, Ikea sells cover panels to fill in the gaps. It really is just a big sheet of, what looks like, a completely flat cabinet door that matches the finish of the cabinets. It’s up to you (err…us) to cut it and install it. And this weekend, we did just that.
We started with a few spare 2x3s we had in the garage. The filler piece was 1/2″ thick, so we measure from the front of the cabinet boxes (not doors) back 1/2″ so when we attached the filler it would be flush with the cabinet boxes. We secured the 2x3s into a stud on each side of the cabinets, making sure the boards went all the way to the ceiling so we could attach our crown molding, too–we’ll get there in just a minute.
There are a couple different ways that you could attach the trim pieces to the stud in place, but to avoid having to patch any holes (while we have an identical color, the paint sheen is really hard to match on these cabinets and trim pieces!) we opted to use heavy duty construction adhesive. And it worked like a charm.
I applied the adhesive (you can find it next to the caulk) all down the stud and pressed the trim piece, that Chris cut to size using a table saw, into place. Because the trim pieces are relatively light, it stuck with no real effort on our part and since it won’t be holding any weight, we feel pretty good about it staying put.
Once the side pieces were in place, we added an additional board in the top center of the cabinets for the crown molding. The main difference here is this board was flush with the cabinet boxes to line up with the, now, flush trim pieces the crown molding would adhere to. We added that board using our finish nailer right through the inside top of the center cabinets.
We also used the finish nailer to put the crown in place once we had it positioned just where we wanted it. So at this point, all the trim pieces were in place and it was looking a lot better, but a little rough still, too.
If you look closer, you can see how disjointed everything looks. Cracks and holes and a couple different colors thanks to the unpainted crown molding.
I’m not sure when it started, but this finish work is kind of my favorite part. Caulking lines away is so instantly gratifying! I caulked above and below the crown molding, and on either side of the new trim pieces using a thin line of caulk:
Followed by finger dipped in warm water to smooth everything out.
Once the caulk dried, I painted the crown the same color as the cabinets (Valspar’s Soft Wool in semi-gloss) and put back on the cabinet doors. What a difference, right?
Here’s the before and after trim, one more time:
Obviously we are using Ikea cabinets here, but this same method would work for any kind of cabinet, I imagine, and makes everything feel so much more finished. Speaking of, we’re getting close in here. The washer and dryer arrived over the weekend–can’t wait to show you that, tomorrow! We’re just waiting for the sink so we can work on the countertops and wrap this room up.