cabinet bottoms are ugly - what to do?

fourambluesNovember 13, 2012

I've lived with my ugly cabinet bottoms for a few months now, and I really dislike them:

But how should I deal with them?

One option is light shield moulding, but I don't want to put up anything too big because then my vintage kitchenaid won't fit, and the bottom of my cabs would dwarf my quarter round "crown moulding".

The other option I can think of is putting a skin on the cab bottom. But how would I do that without blocking the light from the UCL strips at the front? I mocked this up with cardboard, bringing it to the edge of the UCLs, and it did block too much light. If I cut it back significantly, I think it would look junky.

So what did you do? Do you have some good advice for me, please? Should I start a thread called "show me your bottoms"? Maybe no to that last -- don't want to upset the moderators. ;)

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You could use what is called a "light rail".
Its a piece of molding 1.25" tall that attaches to the underside edge of the cabinet.
You can buy it in eight foot lengths.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:32AM
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Our GC did the "skin" treatment. Carefully cut out around undercabinet outlets and lights with thin plywood stained to match our cabinets. Not my preferred solution at the time, but does work and gives a finished look to my bottom!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:51AM
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Remove the lights, put on a skin, allows a small trim so you KA clears, reinstall lights. Assuming the view your showing is from a seating area and something you see all the time.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:53AM
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I'd also put a skin on.

I can see when you're sitting at a table or something lower, looking up at the bottoms isn't eye candy. I have the same situation. Light rail does a good job on a horizontal plane, but looking up? eh.

I have plans to make the underneath skin. I am painting mine, so I'll probably caulk the seams and paint so it looks smooth and purposeful.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:19AM
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Try painting the bottoms the cabinet color and see if that improves the overall look. You could always add a light rail later if it does not. Also there are lots of different types of covers that you could use to hid the wires that are visible. The cord cover could also be painted your cabinet color. The link below shows some available products

Here is a link that might be useful: Cord covers

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:35AM
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Definitely add a light rail. They come in varying sizes. Mine are not on yet but i think mine will be 3/4". Just enough to hide the lights.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 11:09AM
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So I knew about skins and light rail (aka light shield), but didn't see how either would completely solve my problems. (Yes, that view of the cabs is what I see when I sit down in the dining area. Eek!) It surely didn't occur to me to use both -- great idea, thanks, jakuvall!

So... I will try to convince DH, who is so sick of this reno and the never-ending honey-do list, to help me put up skins and light rail. (I might be able to tackle this job myself except for the fact that it's so close to the UCLs, and I'm afraid of messing those up.) If this threatens to drive him 'round the bend, I'll try badgergal's idea to paint and conceal the cords.

Thank you all for the good suggestions and moral support!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 12:39PM
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MaggieQ, I just reread your post. "Finished look to my bottom", LOL!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 12:49PM
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Paint first, you'll be pleased to see how much it helps. Much easier and quicker than the woodwork. If you need to, take a drawer to your local paint store to color match the color. Good luck, I so understand the fatigue with the never ending to-do list....

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 3:50PM
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I painted the bottoms of my cabs. Well, I had to since they were previously painted 80's mauve. I think it looks fine and isn't an eyesore at all when we're seated.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 3:56PM
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tee hee..~

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 4:08PM
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Why do you have to apply a skin if you are going to paint?

I'd certainly try this first: Just skim the bottom with a filler if the wood is rough, sand lightly, prime, and paint. You can do one cab at a time if you want, so it won't be an overwhelming project. And you only need to do the ''bottoms'' that you see. The improvement will be huge.

I an not sure that applying light rails will help much if at all. They work fine when the viewer's eye is above the plane of the cabinet bottoms, but you are looking up at the cab bottoms. Why not make a mock up light rail to check it out? Just fold a piece of cardboard and stick it flat on the inside cabinet bottom and let it hang down 2 inches below the door. See how much that helps.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 4:11PM
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OK, so I can paint by myself, no need for DH's support. He'll love it if I try that first. If we still don't like it, then more drastic measures are in order.

Great idea to mock up the light rail, Bellsmom. I'll go fish the cardboard out of the recycling.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:10PM
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Cord hiders and some paint will probably do wonders, at least enough that it won't attract your eye. I believe they make cord housing you can paint too.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:12PM
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Fouramblues, I would definitely paint the bottom. My cabinetmaker finished the bottom of the cabinets to look just like the cabinets. I'm not sure if it's a skin or stain. I'll have to go look and report back.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:39PM
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Definitely Paint....
It is always a great option.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 11:40AM
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Fori is not pleased

I'd paint and then maybe if it worked out, a huge retro style bracket along the ends--that would block an easy view of the cords. You know, those big flat corbel-like things that swoop down and pretend to hold up the cabinet.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 12:47PM
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