How to scribe a cabinet to the wall

modern kitchen with cabinets image by redking from

The front side of cabinets do not always fit against the wall without a gap. Fortunately, they are built with face frames that overlap the cabinet box about 1/4 inch, which can be sanded or planed to fit the wall. Cabinets without face frames use filler strips to make room for scribing. Removing the gap is called scribing the cabinet. You may be tempted to caulk the gap, but scribing the cabinet is much better looking and elevates the quality of your work. A pencil iwill do, but an inexpensive scribe tool works best when the gap is wider than 3/16 of an inch.

scotch image by MATTHIEU FABISIAK from

Apply masking tap along the edge to be scribed so that you can see the line you are about to draw.

level image by Albert Lozano from

Level or plumb your cabinet. Level a base cabinet by placing shims underneath it. To plumb a wall cabinet, hold it against the wall and place a shim between the wall and the face frame. A helper comes in handy while working with wall cabinets.

drawing pencil image by Photosani from

Hold your pencil flat against the wall and slide it along the face frame of the cabinet. If the gap is wider than 3/16 of an inch, use a scribe tool or hold your pencil in a way that maintains a consistent distance from the wall.

Sand the face frame or filler strip with a belt sander or block plane. To keep the back side of the face frame from hitting the wall, back bevel it a few degrees.

Place your cabinet against the wall and level or plumb it. If the gap is gone, you are done. If not, scribe it again and sand it to fit.

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