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17 Kitchen Cabinet Molding and Trim Ideas

Your kitchen cabinets look unfinished, and they probably don't match the rest of your kitchen. Maybe it's because you just got new kitchen cabinets, or perhaps you're finally tired of how the current ones look. Either way, you need some Kitchen Cabinet Molding and Trim Ideas to improve your cabinets' look. These ideas will help you create a finished space that you love.


1) Light Rail Molding

If you have under-cabinet lighting, one of the issues you'll face is that the light fixtures might be visible. Visible fixtures might not be an issue if you have fancy lights, but ultimately you probably want to see the light under the cabinets, not the light fixtures. If you need to cover up some lights, follow this description by Robert Robillard to add light rail molding. Doing so will extend the bottom of your cabinets slightly to conceal anything you don't want to show.

2) Repaint

Once you add your new cabinet trim, you need to make sure it matches what's already there. To do so, you need to match styles before you choose the molding, but you also need to use the same color for the cabinet and trim. You can get some trim and cabinet enamel-like this from Amazon, and make sure to paint all your cabinets and trim after you add the trim and molding. If you only added trim to some cupboards, you may still want to paint them all, in case the new color doesn't match your old cabinet colors.

3) Match Cabinet Color and Style

Since your cabinet didn't come with the trim, you'll want to look for a trim that matches the cabinet. You want the cabinet to look custom fit, so the trim needs to look as if it’s part of the cabinet. To do this, you can search for matching styles and make sure to paint or stain it to match the cabinet. In this video, HouseBarons shows you some tricks for installing trim that looks like it came with the cabinet.

4) Scribe Molding

When you install new cabinets, you'll probably find that they don't fit flush to the ceiling, since most ceilings aren't perfectly flat. One way to make it look right is to use scribe molding. Scribe molding is flat on the side that meets the ceiling but not on the side that touches the cabinet. Instead, it curves to fit the contours of the cabinet and create a tight fit. Scribe molding is a great way to make a cabinet look finished and make it look like it belongs.

5) Rail Trim Styles

If you want a lighter, fresher feel for your kitchen, you'll want to add white trim like this Pacific White Beaded Light Rail Molding from The Home Depot. It has an unusual grooved design that will make your kitchen feel like it belongs in a beach house. The trim is designed for the bottom of a cabinet and hides under-cabinet lighting to add to the clean look of a modern, airy kitchen. This trim works best with white cabinets, but you can also repaint the cabinets and trim together to make sure they're the same white color.

6) Flexible Molding

When you add trim to cabinets, you want the trim to look like a part of the cabinet. This gives it a custom-built look without the expense of real custom work. Flexible molding like this can be cut with scissors, making it easier to work with than wood trim. That said, this project is best for somebody with a little carpentry know-how. The trim comes unpainted, so you can install it without difficulty and paint it to match your cabinets, whether you're using it on the cabinets themselves, or as crown molding above.

7) DIY Dentil Molding

If you're looking for a neat decorative edge for your cabinetry, dentil molding might be the solution for you. As you may have guessed from the name, the trim is made from wood that resembles teeth. If you want your cabinet finish to look high-end, this is a great choice. It can be more expensive than other choices, but the end result is an impressive classic style. You can install it yourself using this tutorial by Bryan Nelson, or hire a professional to guarantee a professional end result.

8) DIY Make Your Own Design

If you have an idea of what you want, but you don't think it's available, you can still get exactly what you imagined. If you're not sure precisely what you want, but know that you're not finding it at The Home Depot, you can experiment with making molding, as shown in this video by My Garage Workshop. The video is an excellent resource for advice that's specific to cabinet work. If you still can't get the molding right, try contracting somebody to make trim that fits your kitchen style.

9) Trim or No Trim?

Not all cabinets need trim. If you buy cabinets from a box and want them to look like custom cabinets, you'll need to add trim to cover any gaps or inconsistencies between the ceiling, wall, and cabinet. If you have custom cabinets, they probably came with trim, or don't need any. That said, if you have a modern style like the one in this picture, you might decide not to do as much trim. The kitchen in the image doesn't have crown molding, for example, as the crown molding wouldn't fit with the kitchen's overall appearance.

10) Outside Corner Molding

If your cabinet corners are rough and unfinished, as many are, you'll want outside corner molding. A lot of cabinets come with raw corners so that you can decide on a trim style yourself, giving you a way to customize your mass-manufactured cabinets so that they'll look unique to your kitchen. You can learn more about outside corner molding and its applications in this article by Kitchen Cabinet Kings, and decide what type of outside corner molding fits with your kitchen and personal style.

11) Crown on Cabinets

Crown molding is probably the most common molding people think of when they're thinking about kitchen cabinet molding. It's a noticeable feature of any cabinet, and it has a significant effect on how the whole kitchen looks, so you want to make sure to install it correctly. You can pick a crown molding that looks right for your cabinet tops, then install it using these instructions from Sawdust Girl. While there are a lot of types of crown molding, from the simple to the ornate, these instructions should help you add any of them to your cabinet tops.

12) Material Choice

What material is best for cabinet trim? You can get wood, MDF, and various manufactured materials like this polyurethane with a Dense Architectural compound. Manufactured materials can last longer than wood or MDF, but ultimately you'll want to look at the price, durability, and styles available before making your choice. Consider which materials are easier or harder to install. If you choose a material that's difficult to work with, you might need a contractor, or the contractor might charge more for the work.

13) Ceiling Crown Molding

Crown molding is a common type of molding used on cabinets. Crown molding is any molding that sits on top of a doorway, against a ceiling, or over a cabinet. If your cabinets don't reach the ceiling, your crown molding will be attached to the top of the cabinets and not touch the ceiling. If the cabinets are touching the ceiling, though, you'll need a different type of crown molding. You can watch this video by Bobs Two Car Garage to learn how to install crown molding over the joint between a cabinet and ceiling.

14) Solid Pine

Solid wood is often the most traditional choice for building materials. While other materials can be more durable or quicker to install, they don't have the simple, clean, and traditional look of wood. If you like a more classic look, you can get this plain, unstained trim from The Home Depot, and then paint or stain it to match your cabinets. It requires some carpentry tools, but overall it can be an easy to moderate do-it-yourself project.

15) White

If you want a clean and modern look for your kitchen, white is a great color choice. When you get your new trim, paint it and the cabinets in the same shade of white. As you can see in this photo, the upper and lower cabinets, crown molding, and rail trim and all painted a matching white, as is the table and door trim. This leads to a cohesive look that you can't get if your cabinet trim, cabinets, and other trim don't match.

16) Rope Molding

You want your cabinets to look custom-made, but you probably can't afford custom cabinets, or don't want to go to the expense. It stands to reason that you don't want to get expensive trim, either. If you want a cheap and flexible trim, try rope molding like this molding from Amazon. While the manufacturer recommends hiring a professional, you can try it yourself if you have some trim experience. Either way, it's cheaper to use a low-cost product, even if you have to hire somebody for installation.

17) Cabinet and Ceiling

One of the primary purposes of trim is to make things fit each other visually and bring together a room. You don't want to install a couple of trim types that don't match, because that will defeat the purpose of adding the trim. Instead, make sure your ceiling trim and cabinet trim match, like the crown molding on the ceiling and cabinet in this picture does. This leads to a nicer, more coordinated, and professional look.


What kind of trim are you considering for your kitchen cabinets? Are there any ideas we missed? Let us know in the comments below!


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