How to Use Light Rail Moulding
Have you ever noticed how the beautiful crown moulding at the top of kitchen cabinets just seems to give the finishing touch to the kitchen? You may have also noticed that most high-end cabinets also have moulding attached at the bottom of the cabinet, to soften the boxy look at the bottom and give another beautiful touch to the cabinet. This small strip of Light Rail trim moulding packs a powerful punch in terms of style and function.
Light Rail moulding can not only dress up the look of cabinets, but (true to its name!) it serves the dual purpose of hiding the under-cabinet lighting. A shallow light strip tucked behind the cabinet face frame will provide much-needed light in your work areas, but will be beautifully hidden from view when you use some stylish light rail moulding. Also, the rail moulding will prevent glare for anyone seated in the kitchen area.
So, what does Light Rail moulding look like, and how is it different from other mouldings? The key feature of Light Rail moulding is the small cleat on the back of the moulding for easy attachment to the bottom of the cabinet. Also, there is a small corner on the face of the Light Rail moulding that fits perfectly against the bottom corner of the cabinet, slightly covering the bottom edge. This little lip on the moulding helps to easily align the moulding to the cabinet and prevent unsightly gaps in the finished product. Other mouldings can be adapted to use as light rail moulding by manually adding a cleat to the back of the moulding.
Installing Light Rail moulding is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to quickly dress up kitchen cabinets and give a kitchen a polished look.
How to install Light Rail moulding:
STEP ONE: Measure carefully to determine how much Light Rail moulding you will need, remembering to add a little extra for the mitered corners.
STEP TWO: Order one of Osborne’s beautiful Light Rail mouldings (this is the hard part!) You can find a variety of styles to select from here: https://www.osbornewood.com/light-rail-molding.aspx
STEP THREE: Measure the bottom of one side of the cabinet, and cut one end of the moulding with a miter saw or miter box so that the shorter end lines up with the corner of the cabinet. Repeat this step for the other side of the cabinet, but at an opposite 45-degree angle.
STEP FOUR: Hold the moulding up against the cabinet so that the small corner of the moulding fits up and over the bottom corner of the cabinet. Make sure the flat end of the moulding sits flush with the back wall. Use a pin nailer to attach a pin through the cleat on the back of the moulding up into the frame of the cabinet. (If you don’t have a pin nailer, you can pre-install narrow finishing nails along the length of the moulding every 6 inches, then tap in the nails one at a time when you place the moulding on the cabinet frame.) Repeat for the other side of the cabinet.
STEP FIVE: Measure the length of the front of the cabinet bottom from corner to corner, then cut miter cuts on each end of the front piece of moulding, taking care that the measured length is the short side of the mitered moulding.
STEP SIX: If you have measured and cut correctly, you should be able to place the front moulding neatly on the front of the cabinets, with the mitered corners neatly lining up with each other. Nail the underside of the moulding up into the frame of the cabinet. Use wood putty or caulking to fill the miter joint seams.