Asked on Jan 31, 2021

How to fix gap between kitchen cabinets and soffit?

by Kristin

I’ve noticed several areas where there are gaps between my kitchen cabinets and the soffit. It’s not all areas as some spots have no gaps at all. Any ideas how to fix those gaps without removing everything entirely? Or will any sort of repair work make it look worse so just leave it alone? I’m getting ready to paint my cabinets so would like a finished look in the end.

This is a normal spot with no real gap but still not the best looking.

  10 answers
  • Recreated Designs Recreated Designs on Feb 01, 2021

    Hi Kristin, If you don't want to leave it as is, you could run a line of wood filler along the gap. Use your finger to smooth it out and then you can paint it when you paint the cabinets. Wood filler is paintable so if you include that space in the colour you paint the cabinets it will just look like it is part of them. Hope that makes sense :)

  • on Feb 01, 2021

    Since you're painting your cabinets this is an easier fix. You can fill in this gap with paintable cualking!

  • Janice Janice on Feb 01, 2021

    FrugalFamilyTimes is right on target! Just be sure to purchase paintable cauling and the fix will not be noticeable at all.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Feb 01, 2021

    There should have been some type of crown molding used instead of the flat piece at the top. You can remove the flat piece and reposition or replace with crown molding. This will take a bit of skill with a compound mitre saw.

    If your gap is small enough you could caulk it.

    • See 1 previous
    • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Feb 02, 2021

      Yes, that's it exactly. I've actually seen this comment on a lot of DIY shows on HGTV. It wouldn't surprise me if that is the origination of crown and base molding. To hide gaps and imperfections. I know that is why many people put down shoe molding on the floor when they change out their flooring.

  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 01, 2021

    Apply Thin Bead of Caulk

    1. Hold the gun at an angle so the tip is flush against the top of the trim. Leave an even, small bead of caulk along the gap. Work in 4-foot to 6-foot sections if you're completing an entire wall or room. Practice with the caulking gun on a piece of newspaper before applying it to wood trim if you've never used this tool before.

    Smooth Caulk With Wet Rag

    1. Set the caulk aside. Wrap your index finger in a rag and dip your finger into the bowl of water. Run your finger along the bead of caulk while pressing and smoothing the substance into the gap. Change the position of the rag on your finger as caulk builds up on the surface. Continue to dip the rag and your finger into the water and smooth the caulk until finished.

    Finishing Up the Project

    Clean Excess Caulk

    1. Wipe any excess caulk off the trim or wall before it dries. If you protected the surrounding area with painter's tape, remove the tape immediately after applying the caulk; don't wait for the caulk to dry.

    Seal Caulk Tube

    1. Seal the tube of remaining caulk with a waterproof wire nut, duct tape or a golf tee.

    Wait for Caulk to Dry

    1. Allow the caulk to dry for the amount of time specified on the label before painting it to hide the caulk and give the wood trim a smooth, solid appearance.
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Feb 02, 2021

    Run a bead of paintable caulk, let dry and paint over it, that way the cabinets and soffit will blend in.

  • A bead of caulk is a good solution, but if the gap is too wide, you may need a wider piece of molding to cover it.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Feb 03, 2021

    IMO, the gaps are too wide and too deep to fill with wood filler or caulking.

    My suggestion is to install a simple piece of narrow finishing trim, wide enough to cover even the widest gap, over the entire width of the cabinets. If you choose one with a flat profile, you can just butte two pieces up against each other into the corners; no need to mitre.

    If you are going to be painting the cabinets soon, there is not essential to purchase trim that matches exactly to the cabinets, as it will be painted as well.

    Before doing so, however, I would check to make sure that the cupboards are still securely attached to the soffit. That section on the end in the photo you posted almost looks like it may be is loosening and beginning to sag a bit.

    • Kristin Kristin on Feb 03, 2021

      Yes, I agree. The section on the end I feel is too wide for caulking. The other spaces caulking might be okay. I’m wondering if it’s sagging a bit too. I have no idea how I’ll go about fixing that. I think long term we will replace the cabinets/reno kitchen but that will be a long time from now.

      I’m thinking the trim may be a better option at least for now.

  • Bob Bob on Feb 03, 2021

    The cabinets may be pulling down because of too much weight. See if you can wedge something under the front of the cabinet causing it to raise it back up.

    If this fixes the gap it will need more cabinet screws put in it. This is just a thought.

  • Caulk or pieces of trim are good gap fillers.