Quick Update for a Plain Built-in Cupboard

A quick project.

This built-in in our dining room has always bugged me with its flat doors that have no detail. Dining room built-in, 1911 house.

The other doors in our house have a simple raised shaker style border, which aren’t so fun to dust, but look nice.

While we were painting the floors it dawned on me that it would be pretty easy to give the doors a quick facelift with some trim. The husband said “sure, it’s a good idea, but it’s certainly not a priority right?” I said “oh right” and then went out the next day and bought some inexpensive molding. He rolled his eyes.

It was pretty easy – it took about 4 hours. This is how we did it:

  • Purchased Trim. We used hemlock lattice molding (.25″ x 2.25″).
  • Removed doors. We unscrewed the doors from the frames.
  • Carefully measured and cut (with a chop saw) trim to fit door.
  • Notched out trim for hinges with X-Acto knife and chisel/hammer.
  • Applied wood glue to the back of the trim, lined it up on the face of the door, and clamped the heck out of it. Protected trim from clamp marks with wood scraps.
  • Let it dry overnight.
  • Filled in any gaps with Elmers Wood Filler.
  • Sanded and eased edges slightly with hand sander.
  • Primed, painted.
  • Re-installed.

Here’s what it looks like now. I also got some new simpler bin pulls and knobs. The husband’s comment was “oh sure, I guess it looks better – but, would you ever paint the entire built-in a color? It kinda looks like primer right now.”

What do you think? Should I paint it a color?

Dining room built-in after, with added shaker style border.

Dining room built-in (after) with added shaker style border.

To see more of Heidi’s artwork, visit her at Old Stuff. New Stories.