Upgrade Builder-Grade Cabinetry with Arrow Fastener

This post is in Partnership with Arrow Fastener. All opinions and ideas are my own. 

I’ve spent months researching and planning out my ideal kitchen -- it currently stands stripped down to the subfloor -- and I was eager to test out a technique I’ve seen in designer kitchens online. It’s super simple to achieve this high-end trim technique on most generic flat-door cabinets without breaking the bank or investing in any major carpentry tools. See how I transformed a pine base cabinet into stylish storage on my patio with my new Arrow PT18G Pneumatic Brad Nailer and a few strips of trim below!

Things You’ll Need

Brad Nails 
2” Pine Trim Pieces
Wood Base Cabinet
Furniture wax or clear coat
Wood Filler
Straight Edge
Measuring Tape
Miter Saw
Mounting Hardware

Prep Your Workspace
Be sure to properly protect your workspace and assemble all your tools and materials before starting assembly --  there’s nothing worse than having to run back to the store for more trim in the middle of a project (been there). The PT18G Pneumatic Brad Nailer is easy to load, just squeeze the clip at the back of the gun to release. Select appropriate brad nail length after determining the depth of your wood strips and cabinet doors. Load nails into the open chamber and make sure they’re aligned on the easy load grooves. Your cabinet should be lying on its back with doors facing up on a flat surface. If you’re working with existing cabinetry you can simply remove doors!

Determine Strip Spacing
The space between wood strips on the face of the cabinet door will affect the shadows and dimensionality of the stained and finished cabinet. Roughly space out strips on the cabinet door to determine what spacing you prefer. For this project I chose to use 9, 2” strips per door. To find the precise measurement for strip spacing subtract the overall width of ALL strips from the width of the door. This number or “leftover space” should be divided by the number of gaps you’ll create with the strips. My trim spacing ended up being 9/32” with 8 gaps.

Cut Wood Strip Length to Fit
Each wood piece will need to be cut down to size to fit the length of the cabinet door. Use a straight edge to mark the length on each trim piece and cut on a flat surface with a miter saw.

Space and Secure
Apply a thin strip of wood glue to the back of the first wood strip and align the piece glue side down on the lengthwise edge of the cabinet door. After ensuring the edges are flush, secure with a nail at the top, bottom and middle of the strip with the Arrow Fastener Brad Nailer.
Use a measuring tape to mark your gap spacing with a pencil and the top and bottom of the cabinet starting from the edge of the strip. Use these marks to line up the next piece of trim and nail in place. Repeat these steps for the remaining strips.

Stain and Finish
Fill all brad nail holes with wood filler and let cure completely before sanding off all residual filler. Dust off your project completely before applying a finish -- don’t forget the grooves! Your cabinet is now ready for a finish. For this project I wanted to create a weathered teak look for outdoor pot storage, so I sanded areas heavily and used a glaze to create dimension and inconsistencies in the finish to look aged. Use an appropriate clear coat to seal the wood and stain-- I used a water based matte poly since this cabinet won’t be exposed to the elements.

Lots of factors of this project could be adjusted to create varying looks. Playing with the width and spacing of the trim, using paint instead of stain -- even turning trim on a 45* angle could instantly add an element of design to an otherwise ordinary cabinet door!


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