Kitchen Cabinet DIY Tips – What Is Scribe Molding (And How Do I Use It?)

heritage-whiteScribe molding is one of those accessories that, if you see it on our catalog pages, won’t make any sense at all … until you know what it’s for, how it got its name, and how to use it. Yet depending on the design of your kitchen, it may be an absolutely essential part of your kitchen cabinet, and a smooth RTA cabinet installation. So, in this blog, we’re going to explain all three!

What Is Scribe Molding, and Why the Weird Name?

Scribe molding is a strip of wood that can go behind cabinets against an uneven wall, or along the tops of cabinets near a heavily textured or uneven ceiling, to ensure a snug fit. The most common use is for cabinets that are mounted against brick, cinderblock, or stone walls.

It’s called scribe molding because in order to trim the wood to match the uneven surface it’s going to mate with, you inscribe the contours of the wall on the wood.

How to Use Scribe Molding

Each piece of scribe molding has to be custom-trimmed with a jigsaw or other saw appropriate for fine detail work, such as a slender belt saw. In order to mark the pattern, you use a common compass (the kind you use to draw circles, not the kind you use to find out which way is north).

  1. Line the scribe molding section up exactly where it will go on the wall. There’s no sense in trimming it for the wrong place!
  2. Find the deepest recess in the wall’s contours along the visible edge of the scribe molding, and set your compass so that the pencil (a grease pencil will be easiest for marking a darkly stained or painted surface) is right at the edge of the wood.
  3. Trace the contour of the wall (or ceiling) onto the wood, keeping the compass’s point against the wall.
  4. Trim along the line you’ve created. It helps to angle inward slightly, in case the wall’s contour is different across the thickness of the wood. Just a 10° angle or so should be plenty.

And voila! You now have a custom-molded piece of trim, perfectly matched to your wall. Once you know the exact location of the cabinets themselves, you can then trim the other edge with a simple straight cut to make it the right width, and your cabinets will look like they grew right out of the brick, stone, or cinderblock! is pleased to offer three free reports that will help you optimize your cabinet design and avoid common mistakes. Download them now at

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Posted in home improvement, ready to assemble kitchen cabinets, RTA Kitchen Cabinets

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