Decorative Accents: Kitchen Base Cabinets with Feet

Remember this photo and my dishwasher saga that I wrote about a few months ago?  That I had to get an ADA compliant dishwasher to fit under my ADA kitchen cabinets – which means they are 1 inch shorter in height than normal.   I posted this photo to show you. It was taken before I repainted and updated the hardware and floor.

How to add decorative feet to kitchen base cabinets the easy way

My house is the builder’s spec home and the builder either was cheap and got a deal on these cabinets or he intentionally put them in since it was a spec home. We will never know.  Maytag used to make a normal size dishwasher that fit.  I know because we have already had two over the past 20 years, but they don’t make the size anymore.  We had to go with a smaller dishwasher that is much shorter than the previous two.  Being shorter left the underside exposed.  Yuck !  I had to remedy the situation in an easy and affordable way.


I painted the black with white paint and it did look a bit better, but it still looked unfinished.  I had planned to add wood brackets as  feet in front of it.  Then life got in the way and the brackets sat on my work table for months.


The baseboard under the dishwasher finally has them –  finished kitchen base cabinets with feet.  Now the area looks a bit more cohesive with the rest of the cabinets.

It is a quick project to do.  It actually took longer to touch up the baseboard paint that got stain on it when the floor was being refinished.


The new feet hide the exposed and ugly areas and  blend right in.


I wrote about how I added and made the wood shelf bracket feet to my kitchen cabinets when I first started blogging in this post Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

Kitchen Redo_0003 cropped

I simply cut a wood shelf bracket down to size and glued it into place.  (this is an old photo I found from when I was doing the project.)

Kitchen cabinets with feet from Houzz

Photo: Stephanie Wiley Photography

I was inspired to do it after seeing feet on kitchen photos in magazines.  I loved the look and knew I had to figure out a way to do it.

Divine Kitchens LLC

Photo credit: Divine Photography, LLC

Fast forward to 2014   – I could not find the exact shelf brackets I used when I first painted my cabinets many years ago, but figured it was OK since the new brackets would be placed further back than the rest of the bracket feet already in place.


I attached the new bracket feet in a slightly different way.   I placed them along the baseboard edge and not the cabinet edge as I had done the others.  I had to do it this way so that the dishwasher door could open and close freely.

How to Make Feet For Kitchen Base Cabinets Using Wood Shelf Brackets

supplies needed:

  • 2 Wood shelf brackets  – in the lumber aisle at the home improvement store
  • Primer and Paint
  • Liquid Nails glue
  • Paint brush
  • Sandpaper and sanding block
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Optional:  caulk and a table or hand saw


1. Remove metal hooks from brackets.


2. Sand rough edges to smooth the wood.


3. Place brackets under cabinet and in this case, dishwasher to figure out how much you may need to cut off so the door opens and closes.

decorative wood shelf brackets made into feet to kitchen cabinets

4. Mark the measurement and then cut off. The brackets are made of pine, making them easy to cut with a saw.


5. Brush on one coat of primer and then 2 coats of paint. Let each coat dry before applying the next.


6. When the paint is dry, attach the brackets to the cabinets using Liquid Nails.  Hold in place for a minute  – this glue has major holding power and will hold the bracket up while it dries.


After I had the wood shelf brackets solidly in place,  I filled in the gaps with caulk and then sanded smooth.

I needed to paint the entire baseboard to cover the stain that got on it when the floor was refinished.

From this angle you can see that the top of the wood brackets are not attached. When you stand up – you can’t see this.

I am still working on getting the rest of the baseboards repainted around the kitchen, but am happy that the feet are complete.


 How to make kitchen cabinets look custom for under $30

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  1. I have followed you for many years now. I love your style, it’s what I would like if there was money to do it. The feet on the cabinets are adorable! I have learned so many ingenious ideas. Thank you for your blog! It’s always a good read. And thank you for the free Printables. Love free Printables! ?

  2. antiquechase says:

    this just happened to me. The builder put my dishwasher on the subfloor and I only have 33.5″ height. I hope they can even get the old unit out!!! Not looking forward to my wood cabinets having a gap at the bottom. I ordered a bosch and I just read the door is 2″ shorter … ugh! Marcy

  3. Love the feet idea!! I wonder if it would look more like “furniture” if the baseboard had been painted black first, then the white feet added?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lindsay – The toe kick was originally black. It stuck out against all the white in my kitchen. I didn’t like the look and loved the cabinets in the inspiration photos that were in the post with the same color toe kick as the feet. I think if I had a black floor it would look great painted black. Very seamless. But with white, black and wood tone floor, it looked odd. I do agree with you that a darker toe kick could make the cabinets feel more like furniture, perhaps if if was a further depth away from the feet it would have looked OK black or grey to look like a shadow.

  4. Hello Diane, I just finished painting my 5 year old maple stained kitchen cabinets in SW Antique White, also ruffed up edges w/a sanding block for the aged look, all to my Hubby`s demise, oh well, He did not like I painted the red brick fireplace white a year ago, but I think he will get use to it someday! My question is this, your top coroner cupboard had no glass in it originally, did you buy a new cupboard door with the glass insert or did you add it yourself? I would like to have a glass insert put in mine, but to buy a front panel w/the glass already in is very costly! Thank You, and your kitchen looks lovely! Anne

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Annel –

      I think once your hubby sees your vision and you do more and more of what you want, he will come around :) The corner glass fronted cabinet in my kitchen was a solid door just like the rest. I removed the center panel of the door with a jigsaw. It came right out. This left a nice inside lip all around the raised frame part of the door. I got glass cut to size and glued it in – with hot glue!!! Works perfectly. 10 years plus and it is solid. My dad cut molding to fit the opening and did his magic with his router to make the mullions, which were glued with wood glue to the outside of the door.


  5. This is a great post! I need a dishwasher that is shorter than normal — about an inch. Hardwood floors were installed and now there is not enough room for my dishwasher. Will you share with me the brand of dishwasher? Thank you. Peggy.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Peggy – I only found two brands that I liked. Bosch and GE. We got the GE. Model # GLDT696D00SS We bought it at Lowes. They had to order it. Ask for the ADA- compliant machines. I think Bosch had 2. The dishwasher works fine, but it is a lot smaller inside and does not hold as much.

      1. Diane – thank you so much for your quick reply. I’m making a trip to Lowes this weekend. I miss my dishwasher!

  6. Arther Cocinas Integrales Bogota says:

    OMG guys! Great kitchens! I would like to have enough space to build one like this one. However I am in Bogotá, Colombia and here most of the houses are very small and there is no space to get the kitchen you would actually love and make you feel comfortable. Anyway, I hope someday I will have the opportunity to get a kitchen like that.

    I work for a company that build kitchens but I have never built one like the ones in the pictures because of the space. That is sad.

  7. snowmanluv says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I have a bunch of those brackets that have been sitting in a closet waiting for me. So excited to put them to good use.

  8. Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse says:

    I’m going to keep that idea in mind. I’m having my kitchen done in May, but I won”t have pretty feet under the cabinets as it would be too expensive. But I think I can buy shelf brackets!

  9. Christine says:

    Nice! I have several different baseboard styles, from flush, to none, to dishwasher like yours, etc. Comes with the territory when you build your kitchen from reuse center cabinets! :)

    I love the idea of brackets and am off to read your original post. It seems to augment the idea of feet in a more interesting way. Thanks for explaining!

  10. Love your creativity as usual Diane!! What a cool and inexpensive way to customize your Kitchen cabinets.

  11. Krista @thehappyhousie says:

    I love this Diane- we are doing are kitchen soon and I would love to add decorative feet. Thanks for the tutorial- pinning it!