How to cut "scallops" off the kitchen cabinets without damaging them?

Janet Featherly
by Janet Featherly
The cabinets were built with the house (1950s). They are very well made and sturdy. Our plan is to paint them and maybe change the doors. The problem I have with them is when they were made they put a decorative scallop at the bottom and two sides. We want to cut them off but aren't sure how to do this without damaging the cabinets.
  3 answers
  • Gail Gail on May 31, 2017
    My cabinets were from the 50's and made very well with beveled edges so it was a tight fit. I changed the hardware which made all the difference but, when I bought a refrigerator I had to get rid of the ones over that spot. It was extremely difficult to cut with a reciprocating saw because the wood was like it was petrified, extremely hard. This being said ,do a test spot on the wood to see what you are getting into. I'm glad I kept the cabinets but, this one had to go. Good Luck!

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Jun 04, 2017
    I'd use a t-square, mark and score the edge where you want to cut. (Score with a sharp utility knife.) Cut, sand, prime, then paint. If all else fails, use bead board for a fresh new look. Best of luck.

  • John Bradford John Bradford on Jun 12, 2017
    Hard to really answer without a little more info. What do you have to work with and how accessible is the area and how firmly are they attached. Don't necessarily need tsquare. Any good straightedge will do. Pencil line is as good as a score mark if use jigsaw with down cut blade you won't chip paint. You can get the cleanest easiest to sand and finish by removing them and using a table saw. But most folks don't have that kind of saw and old cabinets with lots of paint often don't turn loose of the trim all that easy. On the other hand if the paint is not secure the vibration of a jig saw will sometimes loosen what was not before so it does make some sense to rattle around on it a bit to see if it will come loose and let you use a better tool than Jig saw. Are there any hard corners to get into? Is the structure such that nails are likely to intrude on area to be cut. Can't think of anything else off top of head but those are some things to consider.