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Mudroom Update: Installing Wall Cabinets

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If you remember from a few weeks back, I started to update my mudroom. I wasn’t planning on a total remodel, only some decorative tweaking to update it. I started by adding a new ceiling light fixture and then painted a colorful rug on the floor. When I started to put the finishing touches on the rug is around the same time we decided to move.

With this news, my view on the house changed, including my plans for the mudroom. My plans went from decorating it with personal style to staging it to sell. 

One of the first things I knew would help the house sell was installing wall cabinets above the washer and dryer. Every buyer, no matter what their taste, loves lots of storage space.

BEFORE

Mudroom-decorating-ideas

I removed the free-standing rack I was content with using for 22 years and we installed two wall cabinets above the washer and dryer. Since storage is a selling feature when selling a house, the more we can add, the better. This was our first time installing wall cabinets and I was surprised how easy it was. We got both cabinets up in an hour. 

AFTER

Why didn't I install wall cabinets to my mudroom sooner? It was so easy. Love the way my laundry room looks now with closed storage. How to install wall cabinets in a laundry room or any room.

The new cabinets and freshly painted neutral walls make the room look move-in ready, no matter what the buyer’s decorating style is.

If you are on a budget and want to save money on the purchase of cabinets, check out scratch and dent retailers and thrift stores in your area. Another place to find inexpensive cabinets may be right next door.  If you know of a neighbor or family member who is remodeling their kitchen, they may have no use for their old cabinets. Then, with a few supplies from your local True Value, you can make any cabinets work for your needs!

When purchasing and hanging wall cabinets, keep in mind:

  • Wall cabinets are not as deep as base cabinets.  They usually have a depth of about a foot. Mine measure 30″ wide x 30″ high x 12″ deep.
  • Wall cabinets are usually hung around 54 inches from the floor, but when hanging them above a washer and dryer, make sure this measurement gives you enough space to open and close the washer lid.
  • The addition of crown molding along the top of the cabinets creates a finished look.  (Below, I share a trick on how to attach it easily even though it is not being attached to a ceiling.) 

How to Install Wall Cabinets

supplies needed:

  • Wall Cabinets  – I needed two so they would be the same width as the washer and dryer
  • 2″ x 4″ board to use as a level
  • Bubble level
  • Pencil
  • Drill and drill bit
  • 3″ #10 Screws – 3 to 6, dependent on stud placement, for each cabinet
  • Screwdriver
  • Stud Finder
  • Painter’s tape
  • Caulk
  • Cabinet knobs with screws

Optional:

  • Crown Molding (length determined by width and depth of cabinets)
  • Two 6-inch long pieces of a 1″ x 4″ pine board
  • Miter saw
  • Liquid Nails

1. Remove cabinet doors for easier installation.

2. Find the wall studs using a stud finder and mark where they are with a pencil.

DIY-Tip When you find where the studs are in the wall, instead of using a pencil mark on the wall, place a piece of painter’s  tape in the area and then make your mark on the tape, not on the wall. This way you will not have pencil marks left on  your wall to clean off.


Installing-wall-cabinets

3. Use a bubble level to hang a 2″ x 4″ board at the cabinet height. 54 inches is standard wall cabinet height.  Pre-drill holes in wood and then use screws and a screwdriver to attach.

How to install wall cabinets

Note: This board is only temporary. Once the cabinets are up and secured, this board is removed.

How to install wall cabinets above a washer and dryer

4. Have someone hold the first cabinet on the wall while you check for level with a bubble level.  Use three 3″ #10 wood screws through the back of the cabinet in line with your studs to attach the cabinet to the wall.  If there are two studs behind the cabinet, use 3 more screws  for a total of 6 screws to make sure the cabinet is securely fastened on the wall.

wall-cabinet-installation-how-to

5. Butt second cabinet against first and check for level both horizontally and vertically in depth. Use 2 short wood screws to attach the two cabinets together.  Use 3 – 6 more 3″ #10 wood screws to attach the cabinet to the wall in the same way you attached the first.

How to hang wall cabinets in a laundry room

6. On the side of the outer facing cabinet, check that the cabinet is level vertically against wall; if needed push the narrow end of shims behind the cabinet to help level. Use a craft knife to score the excess shim and then break off excess shim.

7. Remove 2″ x 4″ under cabinets

8.  Replace doors.

How to Attach Crown Molding to Wall Cabinets That Don’t Reach the Ceiling

Attaching crown molding to cabinets that don’t go to the ceiling can be a little tricky to make secure. Instead of using finishing nails to attach, we used Liquid Nails to glue wood blocks to the back side of the crown molding. Once these were dry, we placed the crown molding with the attached blocks along the top front of the cabinets.  We used wood screws to attach the blocks to the top of the cabinets.

The other problem we ran into is that the cabinets we hung have sides that are about 1/4″ thinner from the front which made trying to attach the crown molding impossible without first cutting out a notch in the back of the side piece of crown molding.

how-to-attach-crown-molding-to-wall-cabinets

1. Using a miter saw, cut crown molding into two pieces. One long piece for the front and a shorter one for the side. Cut a piece of crown molding that is a few inches longer than you need (I like to have extra length so I can cut/miter the crown again if I make a cutting mistake. This allows me to do a re-cut instead of wasting a big piece of molding.) 

2. Cut one end of each piece of molding in a 45 degree compound cut.

3. Once you make the miter cut to the right length, place the molding along the top side of the cabinet and make two marks with a pencil where you need to notch the back of the crown molding so it will lay flat against the side of the cabinet.

How to attach crown molding to cabinets

4. Use a craft knife to cut the notch from the back.

How to attach crown molding to cabinets

 

How to hang crown molding on cabinets when the cabinets don't go to the ceiling.

5. Use Liquid Nails to attach two 6 inch long 1″ x 2″s or narrow pieces of scrap wood along the bottom edge of the center back of the molding as shown in the photo above. Let dry.

How to attach crown molding to the top of wall cabinets when their is no ceiling

6. When the glue is dry, use wood screws to attach the crown molding with the attached wood pieces to the top edge of the cabinets.

How to attach crown molding

7. Use caulk over any seams or gaps. Let dry. Paint if needed.

How to Attach Cabinet Knobs

How-to-measure-to-place-cabinet-knobs

1. Mark placement of hole to attach knob to cabinet with a pencil.  If your cabinet doors have mitered corner joints, you will need to drill the holes for the knobs above this miter or you risk the cabinet coming apart. Two inches from the bottom edge of the door is standard. If your cabinet does not have mitered corners, you can drill the hole one inch from bottom of door.

Classic Glass cabinet knobs

2. Once the hole is drilled, place knob screw in back of door to attach knob. Twist to tighten.

I have one more “staging trick” to show you that I did in this room. One that could be used in any home, not just when selling one. I will share it with you soon.

The easy way to attach crown molding to wall cabinets that don't reach the ceiling! I wish all crown molding was this easy to install when decorating a home.

This post is sponsored by True Value Hardware; thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that make In My Own Style possible.

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11 Comments

  1. Great job Diane. I love your style and appreciate your budget consciousness. Anyone can decorate on a big budget but it takes true talent to make something beautiful on a tight budget. I’m a tight budget person so appreciate your tutorials.

  2. My space above the doors ( between crown and door ) is not even. On some the door is just below the crown and on others the top of the door is on the lower part of the crown molding.

    Can you give me any idea how this happened ?

    Thank you
    Karen

    1. Hi Karen – Sounds like the carpenter must have been drinking when the cabinets were installed :-) or most likely the wall is not the same height and to get the door tops to be lined up they had to place them in the way they are. Does the crown molding attach to the ceiling or is it mounted like mine was in the laundry room cabinet post of mine?

  3. Oh what a really priceless tutorial…… even stupid me could understand them…. although the crown molding is still frightening to me. I am definitely sharing this……. if my old sad pc will let me. (crossing fingers & even told the fur babies to give good vibes and cross paws).

    1. Hi Sheryll – Crown molding is one of those projects that requires left brain and right brain thinking at the same time. It is a “measure 5 times, cut once” kind of projects instead of “measure once and cut 5 times and then go back to the store to get more molding since you cut what you have too small” :-)

  4. Great tips Diane – I’m pinning as a reminder. We still need to add the crown molding to the top of our new kitchen cabinets. The cabinets look great and they are perfect for staging… even though I love your personal style touches!

    1. Hi Krista – When we started to hang the crown molding we found it impossible since there was only a fraction of space about the cabinet doors for it to be glued or nailed in. My husband came up with the wood blocks. It made attaching it 1..2..3… easy. Once we get settled in a new house, I will get back into doing things in my own style again. I am quite excited about it. Right now, I am enjoying looking at the online listings of homes in the areas we are interested in. Once we go on a road trip to find out new home, I will post about some of the houses we look at.

  5. Really great tutorial. I’m sure you have told what the yellow/green board was hiding the hoses- do you mind repeating it though?

    1. Hi Kat – The yellow/green board hiding the hose connections is an exterior house shutter. I hung it on it’s side with eye hooks attached to the underside of the wire shelves.