There’s A Solution For Every Problem (How I Fixed The Toekick On The Studio Cabinets)

I didn’t get much done on the studio yesterday because, if I’m really honest, I’m so tired of this summer. Yesterday, after Matt and I had finished lunch and I was getting ready to head into the studio to work, Matt checked the weather. It was 106 degrees with a “feels like” temperature of 112. I thought I could push through, but a lot of what I needed to do was outside work. And when I opened the back door and felt that wall of heat hit me in the face, I lost all motivation.

I managed to get my miter saw set up, and cut three pieces of lumber, and I was done. I just couldn’t push myself to do more. I’m so over this summer and this weather, and I’m ready for some cooler fall temperatures to get here. Since July 8th, we’ve had only five days below 100 degrees, and all of those days were 97 to 99. I’m just so ready for a break from heat.

Anyway, most days I can push through. Yesterday, I just couldn’t make myself do it. But I did manage to do one thing that I wanted to get done, and that was to fix the toekick on the mural wall of cabinets in the studio.

If you’ll remember, I had originally not planned to do a toekick on those cabinets. I had planned to trim out the bottom like I would a bookcase, sans toekick, because I didn’t think I’d actually be using that countertop much.

Since the IKEA legs for the Sektion cabinets didn’t fit my need (I needed mine to be shorter than their legs), I ended up making these utilitarian feet…

And then I attached them using my hot glue gun.

Because I wasn’t planning a toekick, I attached those front feet at the very front of the cabinets so that the trim pieces could be nailed directly to those feet and the front of the trim would be flush with the front of the doors and drawer fronts.

So when I got to this point, and realized that I’m actually going to be using this countertop quite a bit, and I needed a toekick after all, I had to find a way to make that happen.

In all of my years of DIYing, I’ve learned that there’s always a solution to problems. I’m generally pretty good at solving those problems, and I’m the type of person who won’t rest until I find a solution so that I can have things exactly like I want them.

Fortunately, this didn’t require a whole lot of thought. Since I only attached them with hot glue, and didn’t use any nails or screws to secure them, this was actually pretty easy.

I simply took my hammer, gave each foot a couple of good, strong whacks on the ends (not in the middle where such force could have broken the front piece of wood), and knocked each foot free from the cabinet.

I know that will bring up the question, “Does that mean that hot glue doesn’t hold well?” Hot glue holds just fine, but of course, it’s not appropriate for every single project where you need to attach one surface to another. It’s fine for some projects, but not appropriate for others.

In this particular case, it was fine, and would have held up perfectly had I not whacked them with a hammer. 😀 After all, these cabinets are all screwed to each other very securely, and then the whole row of cabinets is screwed to a horizontal board which is screwed into studs. The entire row of cabinets is very secure, and these feet were just adding support at the front. So there was no need in going overboard with securing the feet. It’s not like they’re going to somehow “walk” their way out from under the cabinets. Hot glue would have kept them in place for as long as the cabinets were there…again, had I not whacked them with a hammer.

They did require a couple of really hard hits with the hammer to get them loose, but one reason they came loose relatively easily is because they were glued to plastic laminate, which is what IKEA Sektion cabinet boxes are made of. They use plastic laminate for a reason — it’s a very durable, non-porous surface that is easy to keep clean. Since it’s a non-porous surface, that means the hot glue won’t stick nearly as tightly on it as it would have had I glued those feet to unfinished plywood or MDF. So I felt confident that I could get them loose with a couple of hard whacks with a hammer.

Once each one was loose, I moved it back 3.5 inches, and re-glued it into place. To do that, I actually just put the new hot glue on the angle where the feet met the floor. In other words, rather than gluing the feet to the cabinet boxes again, I literally glued them to the floor this time. 😀 Hey, if it works, I’ll try it! And this worked just fine.

Once I had all of them set back 3.5 inches and glued into place, I cut the pieces to cover those feet to create the toekick.

Once I had them all cut to length, I removed them, painted them, and then nailed them into place using 1.5-inch 16-gauge nails.

And here are the cabinets with the new, finished toekick…

Where there’s a will, there’s a way, my friends! That’s not just some silly little saying. It’s the truth. Sometimes problem solving can take a few days for me to come up with a solution. Other times, the solution is obvious. And sometimes, things may just require a few good whacks with a hammer, and problem solved! 😀

I still have to fill in the gaps at the ends between the cabinets and the side walls. There will be no relief in the weather this weekend, so I hope I can strengthen my resolve to get this done. This wall is so close to being finished!



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  1. I’m so over summer in the UK because mostly it has been a complete washout; cold, wet, windy and miserable. Be careful what you wish for, Kirsti!

        1. Here in East-central Missouri, we’ve had almost as much heat as y’all in Texas, but today is supposed to be our last 100+ day. Our dog has refused walks, and barely goes outside except to potty. I can’t deal with heat, so I have been inside just about all summer.
          As for you Kristi, I’m glad you don’t push yourself in this heat, and know when to rest! Smart move gluing the legs instead of nailing, and then just whacking them loose! You really had no other choice, with all the cabinets nailed down! The toe kicks look awesome, I wondered if you would use the same color or go with a dark to make it disappear. Love it in rose!

  2. Looks soooo good! The heat and humidity there sounds terrible. Don’t know how you have been able to do anything outside!

  3. I hear you on the heat! It is worse than freezing cold. At least you can bundle up. Just going in and out takes too much energy. The fact that you got the toe kicks done is great! You inspire me! Hang in there!

  4. Kristi, you are such an inspiration and I love what you’ve done. Stay cool, here in Atlanta we’re in about the same situation !

    1. Fans, fans and more fans! Just keep the air moving and that will help says the FL girl who is sweating like a mule while laying tile!

  5. “A few good whacks with a hammer” can solve a lot of problems, lol. Glad you found a quick and simple way to get those toekicks in place! The cabinets look beautiful.

  6. Yay! So glad you detailed how you moved the feet — I’d been wondering how you’d move them ever since you wrote that you WOULD be moving them. Am I right in understanding that you secured them in their new spots by putting a line of hot glue around the sides and front of each foot where they meet the floor? I’m guessing you didn’t nail the toe kick in place with a hand-held hammer, as that may have dislodged the feet again? You’re terrific at finding practical solutions to construction and design problems. And I like the look and functionality of the cabinet wall much better with a toe kick vs. solid front.

  7. That looks wonderful! Great job. That is going to be an amazing amount of organized storage. Someday I hope to do something similar here. You are an inspiration, Kristi!

  8. Isn’t it funny how 96 degrees can have you thinking, “Isn’t it nice outside?” In the mornings when I go out and it’s only 85, I’d love to stay home and get outside things done. That’s almost jacket weather 😛 (I’m in Rockwall – east of Dallas). Love the way the toe kick looks – and the whole mural wall!

  9. That wall looks so beautiful with the paper and the cabinets. You will never want to leave your studio. I know exactly what you are talking about with the heat. We have been on 🔥 in Houston. No rain either.

  10. Oh goodness.. now you have me rethinking my plan for additional storage cabinets in my office. i am sitting down at work 100% of the time. Having cabinets counter top height instead of desk height then I could have an open standing area.. oh goodness…back to the graph paper drawings for a change order. 🙂

  11. From what you are saying, I am assuming you have no heat or AC in that room? I am trying to get a mini split for my sewing room, which is 24 x 24, but the price is outrageous from an HVAC company. Mr Cool has a DIY set up which is way more price efficient, but my husband and I are past our days of DIY. So I am stuck with 8 fans, an old AC that is too small for the room and a tall air cool machine, which is 14,000 BTU but doesn’t act like an AC. I wish I could find someone to install it for me. Been trying and asking, but getting no where. They have the precharged lines and everything. The directions seem fairly simple. Oh well, I hate to waste the entire summer not using my room because of the heat. So I know where you are coming from. I rarely go outside, especially in the summer. Good luck, hope it is bearable out there soon.

  12. Really nice job! I had no idea how valuable a toe kick is until I didn’t have one. Your colors and work is wonderful!

  13. Wow, this is amazing. I never would have even thought of doing that. I love when you said, “And sometimes, things may just require a few good whacks with a hammer, and problem solved!”
    I love the look with the toe kick. It looks like you many have used one shade darker pink on the toe kick. It all looks so pretty. It’s just beautiful.
    I agree with you on this summer heat. I’m ready for Fall. I’m in Garland, Texas.

  14. Your post made me laugh out loud. Just whack it. It is entirely too hot to be outside. Cacti are dying in the heat in Arizona. We so need cooler weather and RAIN. I’m interested in knowing what you are going to store in those little drawers in the center of your wall of cabinets.
    We could so use some wet, cold, and windy weather. Fall colored leaves instead of dead dry summer leaves.

    I had my back surgery a week ago so I am at least sitting up at my computer desk. What an ordeal. Stay cool.

  15. I’m a summer girl, and now living in Flyover Country (Southern Plains), it terrifies me when people wish for autumn. You know what comes after fall? WWWWINNNNTTTTEEEERRRR. And as we’ve all experienced, winter lasts longer than the other three seasons combined..! Let me freeze your pipes! Let me kill your trees. Let me add danger to rush hour. Christmas is awesome, of course. But yeah, winter.

    Oh, and your “If there’s a will, there’s a way” reminds me of a quote attributed to General George Patton: Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

    Taking us on your journeys of condo living and home ownership exhibits that very ingenuity.

  16. Perfect solution! My Fella said the bench seat he’s making warped somehow and he thought for days how to fix the issue. Finally after letting it “percolate” he found the problem was with the legs/frame he was attaching the seat to. This must be a trait woodworkers and builders have that I don’t; I’m quick to raise the white flag!!

  17. Speaking of the heat, I live in St Louis and it has been over 100 degrees for a while and our AC unit died on 22 Jul and wasn’t fixed until 22 Aug, horrible. That wall of heat was in the whole house. I purchased a unit for our bedroom but the rest of the house was unbearable. I have some projects to do that would involve me spray painting items in the garage but have not been able to withstand this heat.
    I just wanted to say, after that, I just love the color of those cabinets. Pink and teal are my go to colors. We are getting ready to start finishing the basement and have a kitchenette so I had been thinking either IKEA cabinets or go to Lowe’s.

  18. I love it when a hammer solves my problems. 😄 If only a few good whacks with a hammer could knock these temperatures down!