How to Install Trim on Cabinet Doors

Written by rachel turner
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How to Install Trim on Cabinet Doors
Install trim on cabinet doors for an upgraded look. (kitchen image by Rich Johnson from

Installing trim on cabinet doors adds a decorative touch. Trims come in many materials, styles and colours to suit any homeowner's need. From the simple styles to the elaborate, installing decorative trim to old, drab cabinet doors can spruce up the entire room for very little money. If you have a little time and a few simple skills in carpentry, complete this inexpensive project with a few basic tools.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • Door trim
  • Soft cloth
  • Degreaser cleaner
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Circular saw
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Stain or paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Construction adhesive
  • C-clamps

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  1. 1

    Unscrew all cabinet doors with a screwdriver, and remove all door hinges. Set all cabinet doors on a flat surface.

  2. 2

    Measure the height of both sides of one cabinet door with a measuring tape. Use the measuring tape to measure the width of the top and bottom of the cabinet door. Add these measurements together, and multiply the total by the number of cabinet doors you are working with.

  3. 3

    Select the style of trim to install onto the cabinet doors, and use the earlier measurements to calculate how much total trim you need. Add an extra foot or two for errors.

  4. 4

    Dampen a soft cloth with degreaser cleaner to remove any dirt or grease residue on the cabinet doors. Wipe the cabinet doors dry with a clean soft cloth.

  5. 5

    Measure the bottom and top width of the cabinet doors using a measuring tape. Measure 1 1/2 inches from the top edge of the cabinet doors, and mark a straight line with a pencil and ruler. Repeat this process for the bottom, left and right side of the cabinet doors, creating a smaller rectangle within the door face.

  6. 6

    Cut each piece of trim with a circular saw to size the measurements for the sides, top and bottom of each cabinet door. Use the saw to make opposing 45-degree angle cuts on both ends of the trim pieces. After you cut the four pieces for one door, check that the angled ends fit together snugly.

  7. 7

    Sand the rough-cut angled edges of the door trim pieces with a piece of fine-grit sandpaper. This will smooth out the edges, making them fit better.

  8. 8

    Stain or paint the cabinet door trim pieces with a paintbrush to match the cabinet doors. Allow the stain or paint to dry according to package instructions, around two to four hours.

  9. 9

    Dry-fit the trim pieces together on each marked line of the cabinet door to double-check the fit. Lift one trim piece, and apply several beads of construction adhesive onto the trim back. Push the trim piece down onto the marked line, and attach a C-clamp to hold the trim piece firmly to the cabinet door. Repeat this process for all the other cabinet door trim pieces. Allow the construction adhesive to dry for at least 24 hours.

  10. 10

    Screw the cabinet hinges and doors back into their original places with a screwdriver.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do not have enough C-clamps to use for every cabinet door at once, work on one cabinet door at a time.

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