How to Extend Cabinets To The Ceiling on a Budget
Extend your standard height cabinets to the ceiling for this high end look without breaking the bank
I am just a girl standing in front of her kitchen cabinets asking them to go all the way to the ceiling…
Yes, I was asked when we were designing & ordering cabinets if I wanted them to go up that high but the extra cost had me saying, “no, we will do that later.”
Well it’s later y’all & I don’t even really know what I meant when I said that 😅
Now that we are starting to see the light in this kitchen renovation it’s time to fix the cabinets!
We came up with a super budget friendly way to take them right up to the ceiling & you would never know it was “done later.” 😉
How to Extend Cabinets on a Budget
First, we removed the existing molding very carefully.
You will reuse it later so you definitely want to keep it in tact.
Next, we used a stud finder to mark the ceiling studs.
Once the studs were marked we cut 2×4 pieces down to the length the cabinets ran.
Attach them on the ceiling 3/4″ in from the edge of the cabinet.
Make sure to screw the 2×4 into the studs you marked.
Attaching them 3/4″ in will allow your new plywood to sit flush with the existing cabinets.
The molding you removed was most likely attached with thin strips of wood behind it that sat flush on the cabinet edge.
The will need to be removed & reattached 3/4″ back also.
We had to also add scrap 2×4 pieces so that we could reattach the strips at the correct height.
Another reason it’s good to have your cabinets go all the way to ceiling is because if not things will just go up there to die… like that fly 😉
Ripping The Extender Panels
Now we are ready to start ripping some plywood!
Measure the width between the top of your cabinet & the ceiling & cut strips of the cabinet grade plywood to that width.
Cabinet grade plywood is a bit expensive but its necessary to get that seamless look.
Once our strips were cut we were ready to attach them to the 2x4s!
Use wood screws to attach the pieces at the top into the 2x4s then a nail gun to attach them to the bottom strips & on the sides.
Adding Molding & Trim
Once our cabinet extenders were all nice & secure we reattached the old molding.
They already look a million times better & we aren’t even done y’all!
To make the extenders look absolutely seamless I added a thin piece of wall trim over the seam where the extender & cabinet meet.
I attached these pieces with small nails but you could probably get away with just glue.
The trim pieces were 8′ a piece & only cost $8.25 each which was definitely worth the extra oomph they brought to the cabinets!
Now that everything is put up & attached it’s time to caulk & paint.
I started with my favorite primer & caulked once that was dry.
In order to get the paint to match perfectly with my cabinets, I took a drawer front to Lowes & had them color match it for me in satin.
The first coat I applied with a brush & my second & final coat I applied with a roller.
I also painted the molding to match the cabinets but used a semi-gloss sheen on them.
Y’all we do a lot of budget hack projects but this has to be at the top of my favorites list!
They cabinets look so grand & you can’t even tell extending them was an after thought.
The ceilings feel so much taller & our cabinets officially look custom.
Here is the cost breakdown of the extenders:
1 Piece of Cabinet Grade Plywood- $68
3 Pieces of Wall Trim- $25.50
Color Matched Paint- $62
Two 2x4s- $16.96
When we were ordering our cabinets they quotes us hundreds extra to extend them & we did it for less than $200!
The best part is that this project was actually super simple, it took us 2 days to completely finish it including painting time.
It feels good to have another phase of this kitchen renovation complete.
Now onto backsplash & hardware!