Kickplate under kitchen cabinets? Can I do this myself?

by Bag30933574
We just moved into a new condo and I noticed that there is not a kickplate on the bottom of one of the cabinets, just raw plywood. I've never installed, cut, painted or whatever else is needed to do to make and install my own kickplate/ kickboard before. Is this something I can do myself? Is it complicated? And does anyone have any interesting ideas to make a kickplate a little more unique than a traditional solid dark one? It just seems like this is something that people never pay attention to - and perhaps that is the way they are supposed to be! Kindly advise.

  7 answers
  • SandyG SandyG on Oct 11, 2017

    You can install a vinyl baseboard and install it over the raw plywood. Just uses a mastic to apply the vinyl and the vinyl baseboard comes in several different colors. Also, you could apply ceramic tile. I've also seen pics of painted kickboard with strip lighting applied under the edge of cabinets. Gives a different lighting look next to the floor.

    • Bag30933574 Bag30933574 on Oct 11, 2017

      Sandy, what is a "mastic"? I never thought of the lighting...that would be different...

  • Kim Kim on Oct 11, 2017

    Anything you put on a floor can become a kickplate. Baseboard works well too!

    What is used as baseboard around the rest of your kitchen? Your kickplate should blend in with that material. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the same, but you don’t want it to clash or look like an afterthought.

    Installing is a whole another thing! I think anyone can do anything they put their mind to as long as they are physically able and have the right tools. Pick out what you want to install and then ask for advice from your hardware store. Make sure who you are asking has experience and write down what they say. Then watch a couple of YouTube videos. Skip the ones that show shortcuts or seem to fumble around a lot.

    Then with your new knowledge, tools, and supplies, you can make it happen. Take your time and post pictures when your done! I can’t wait to see your new creation!!


    • See 1 previous
    • Kim Kim on Oct 11, 2017

      That would be a great idea.

      Only, it would be easier to install an unpainted piece, then wash down all areas to be painted with TSP (TriSodiumPhosphate, I think). If there is a shiny finish on the oak you will want to lightly sand it with a fine grit sanding sponge. You are just dulling the shine so paint can stick. Wash again to remove all dusty bits, Vacuum area well and cover floor next to kick plates with paper. Run blue painters tape along the paper and on the floor right up against the edge next to base plate. Any floor showing through will get paint on it, so make sure tape is stuck well to the floor. Once all of your prep work is done, prime all of your base plates along with the new one. Try to not get any paint on the tape on the floor. It is there for the occasional oops and to help catch drips, it is not an impervious wall against paint bleeding through. You might need two coats of primer to even out the tone. (I like Zinsser BullEye) You don’t want a drastic difference in color before you paint or it will be noticeable when you are done.

      Make sure each layer of primer and paint are thoroughly dry before applying next one.

      When the paint is done and dry. Very carefully run an exacto knife along the edge of the tape through any paint that lapped over from your baseplate. Then when you pull your tape, it won’t bring paint on the baseplate with it.

      Good luck on your first cabinet kickplate project!!! Be careful, DIY is addictive!


  • William William on Oct 11, 2017

    You can just paint it. Kickplate is something people really don't notice or pay attention to.

    • Bag30933574 Bag30933574 on Oct 11, 2017

      I thought that the kickplate provided some protection for the cabinet base when mopping? Just painting that sufficient? Hmmm...

  • Chubby58 Chubby58 on Oct 11, 2017

    Try using General Finishes gels stain. You can probably get a color close to your cabinets and if it's underneath you won't be able to tell if there is a little bit of difference since it's on the bottom.

  • William William on Oct 11, 2017

    They usually come painted or woodgrain. Actually they are called toe-kick.

    A toe kick is the area between the base cabinet and the floor. It is also referred to as the toe space. A toe kick is the recessed area at the bottom of a base cabinet. Toe kicks are built into bathroom vanities and kitchen cabinets to allow homeowners to be more comfortable as they are working on the counter-top.

  • Jenn Jenn on Nov 24, 2018

    I just moved in to my house! Yay! I am refacing my Cabinets and the toe kick has open space above the top of toe kick plate and cabinets. Wondering is this normal? Also the previous owners stapled a screen to toe kick and cabinets... not sure why???? Any Advice???