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DIY - Decorative Toe Kick - Built-Ins Part 3

how to add a toe kick to your diy cabinets

Adding a toe kick to those plain base cabinets is the sure way to give character to that build. It can be a base cabinet for the kitchen, the family room, or as in this case for the built-in unit in my office.

It's being a while since my last post about the built-in's. But, that doesn't mean I haven't been working on it.  In fact, that's precisely the reason why this post is so late.

The last post ended with that first picture... The bases installed and face frames done, and me, starting to play with the idea of a toe kick.

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I used simple graph paper to trace the design, and that design was inspired by the work done in this beautiful kitchen:
beautiful toe kick on kitchen cabinets

The entire kitchen is GORGEOUS, but as soon as I saw this pic, my eyes got glued to those toe kicks.

It made me bring the face frames back to the garage to work on replicating those toe kicks.
The whole frame was done with 1 x 2's and that toe kick being at 5½" is kind of high.  I think, I should've gone with a 1 x 4 piece on that lower rail from the beginning.

That's called a rookie mistake and/or lack of a plan.
The good thing is, there's always a solution. ;)
Another 1 x 2 solved that problem.
The extra decorative part ended up being simpler than I thought.
The design was traced and cut with my BladeRunner I loved that it was one simple curve. All the other cuts were done with the miter saw.
One of the cabinets sits on a part were the floor is sunken. I made sure to give it that extra little piece of wood.
Once they were cut, they needed lots of sanding. My cuts are far from perfect, sanding and more sanding sure makes them look much better.
I attached the extra 1 x 2 and the decorative corners with pocket holes and lots of glue, and clamped them to dry. Hmm, I think I also drove a nail or two to the lower part.

Next up, after some more sanding is the time to fill all those cracks and holes with wood filler. My first time using this Elmer's brand and I kinda like it.

And then some more sanding, and more filler, and more sanding...  Until it feels very smooth.
If you see closely at my inspiration pic, there is a round piece below the door line. Well, I'm also planning on adding it, especially to hide the transition between the two 1 x 2's.
built-ins with shelf holes - boy driving holes with Ryobi drill
Before installing the face frame, I had a helper driving the holes for the shelves, the Kreg Shelf Pin Jig makes this job so easy, even a kid can do it nicely.
Adding a cover to hide the ugly base of a cabinet
The other thing done before attaching the frame was to add a better looking plate to cover the ugly base.
DIY toe kick - furniture and cabinets especial touches.
Here you can see the sunken part on the floor. There's still a little open line that bothers me, I guess the shoe molding will cover that.

As I said, I've been working hard to try to finish this project. You can follow the progress over on Instagram where lately I've been posting short videos.

Check the following links for complete details about this project:

how to build base cabinets - built-in unit
built-in bench
How to install a rustic coffered ceiling

For more Home DIY ideas check these out:

brown, gray and orange bathroom makeover

cotton wreath on mantel with wooden tones and pinecones

white kitchen with plate rack and detail of molding used.

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  1. I LOVE the Elmer's brand wood sands up so much smoother than other brands. The only problem I have had is that it tends to dry out, even when you put the lid on tight. I have learned to buy the smallest container, knowing it probably won't store well! But even when it is a tad "dry" you can wet it a bit and use it to fill nails holes or even the holes I fill when changing out hardware on furniture. Love the bottom detailing!!! Makes the built-ins look more like a furniture piece and MUCH more custom! Looking forward to the finished project!

    1. I think that's the issue with most wood fillers, Beck. I don't know why the covers never close that well. - As they say, the devil is in the detail, extra work, but definitely worth it. Have a great weekend my friend!

  2. You did a great job! You are my go-to on how-to. I wish I'd had you here this morning when I was attempting to put the painted doors back on my sideboard. Never had so many screws break midway in.

    1. Oh, Brenda, I wish I could've been there to help you. How disappointing! Ha, I guess you were driving them into hardwood, maybe oak? Remember to drill pilot holes before driving the screws, buy good quality screws (I'm loving Spax screws lately, they're expensive but their quality is great and you don't even need pilot holes with them), you can also lubricate the screw before driving it - rubbing them on a bar of soap for they to get in the wood smoothly.

  3. Cristina you simply amaze me! Your skills and craftsmanship are superb and love how you include your littles insuring that they too learn so much.

    I wanted to take a moment and thank you so very much for participating in the past week's tour.
    The event brought happiness to many. I received so many messages from individuals who so appreciated all of the wonderful tips, touches and gorgeous images. I am running a round up tour today for any who might have missed a glimpse of the beauty shared.

    Your home truly is a bounty of beauty.

    Again, my deepest thanks. Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. You are amazing Cristina! I love that little detail and your tutorials are so thorough. And now I need a Bladerunner :)

  5. Como me gusta ver a tu hijo ahí con herramientas ayudándote ,, así da gusto trabajar

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