How to Make a Wood Valance for Kitchen Cabinets
Measure the distance between the cabinets where you plan to put the valance. This will tell you how long the valance needs to be. Cut a piece of 1- by 4-inch plywood to this length.
Draw or trace a pattern on the plywood for the bottom edge of the valance; scallops, for example, are a common choice. Patterns and templates may be purchased from home improvement stores or downloaded online. You may also use drawing tools, such as a French curve, to create your own pattern.
Clamp the wood down on a worktable. Cut the pattern out using a jigsaw and router. Work slowly and remove the clamps when you finish cutting out each piece so you can reposition the wood.
Sand down all of the surfaces of the valance with medium-grade sandpaper, then sand again with fine-grade sandpaper.
Cut out two 2- by 2-inch squares from any leftover plywood scraps; these will act as tabs that you can use to attach the valance to the cabinets.
Glue one tab to each side of the back of the valance. The tabs should be flush with the edge of the valance so the entire unit can slide into the cavity between the cabinets. Slide the valance into the cavity to ensure it will fit. Secure the tabs to the valance with finishing nails.
Apply paint or stain to the valance as desired. If you paint the valance, apply a primer first. Once the paint or stain is dry, seal the finish with polyurethane or lacquer.
Install the valance between the cabinets. Work with a partner; one person should hold the valance in place while the other checks to see if it is level. Once the valance is in place, drill two 1.5-inch wood screws through each tab to secure them to the cabinets.
How to Install a Kitchen Cabinet Valance
By Wade Shaddy
Some cabinetmakers install a valance on kitchen cabinets, typically over the sink or where two cabinets are separated by a window. The valance touches the ceiling, spanning the space between two cabinets. Valances usually have an aesthetic flair cut into the bottom edge. It can be simple french curves, or complex angles and dips. They are usually made from the same 3/4-inch hardwood from which the cabinets are built and are the finishing touch for most cabinets. If your cabinets do not have one, or you want to update your cabinets, you can install a new valance in a minutes.
Stand on top of the countertop. Measure the distance between the two cabinets where the valance will be installed. Take the measurement as close to the ceiling as possible. Divide the measurement in half.
Find the exact center of the valance. The valance will have a series of dips or peaks that repeat. Using the measurements, measure an equal distance from the center to both ends. The object is to cut the valance off on both ends, keeping the center point of the valance in the center. Turn on the saw and cut off the valance on both ends.
Hold the valance in place between the two cabinets. If it is too tight, trim off one end with the miter saw. Don't worry about getting it out of balance, a fraction of an inch either way doesn't matter and will never show.
Open the doors on the cabinets on either side of the valance. Stand on the countertop. Reach into the upper corner of the first cabinet with a cordless drill and 3/16-inch bit. Drill a hole horizontally through the side of the cabinet, 3/8 inch from the front edge and 1 inch down from the top of the cabinet. Measure down 2 inches from the first hole and drill another hole. Do this on both cabinets.
Hold the valance in place against the ceiling. Tap the valance into place so that the ends of the valance are directly over the screw holes in the sides of the cabinets.
Place 1 1/2-inch screws into the holes. Reach in with the cordless drill and screw the screws tightly to the ends of the valance on both sides. Note that the valance will not fit flush across the front of the cabinets. There should be a lip, or "reveal" when you are finished.
- When you make the initial cuts on the valance, cut them just a bit long. You want the valance to fit tightly enough to stay in place by itself, pinned between the two cabinets. This makes it easier to install and the valance looks better when it fits tightly.
- Use caution when standing on top of cabinets. Wear safety glasses when working with wood or woodworking tools.
Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, “Dark Canyon,” in 2008.
Elegant and simply styled, arched cabinet valances add a decorative accent and focal point to your kitchen. Use it to frame cabinet shelves, or install it near your toe-kicks to create a furniture-base look to your cabinets.
- Solid hardwood Shaker style valance
- 4-1/2″ high on ends, 1″ in center
- Available in 30″, 36″, 42″, 48″ and 60″ lengths
Accented cabinet shelving
Accessorized cabinet base
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