How to Install Cabinet Filler Strips — A Step-by-Step Guide

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In my professional journey, I’ve seen how cabinetry can really perplex new homeowners, especially when it comes to DIY kitchen construction. Those cabinet filler strips can be tricky, often resulting in unsightly gaps or corner doors that won’t work right. To steer clear of these common headaches, I’d recommend checking out this concise guide I have crafted. It’s designed to help you avoid those all-too-frequent mishaps.

Using Cabinet Filler Strips

If you inspect these cabinet fillers, it’s a no-brainer that these tools are wood strips meant to fill unsightly cabinet gaps after the installation. You may not know, but these wooden materials are typically used to hide spaces in L-shaped cabinet designs. There are many ways to install it, so take a look at the steps and advice I listed below.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Not all filler strips could fit your cabinet layout in a snap, which is why you’ll be needing some tools and materials to complete this DIY task. Let’s start with the obvious—the power tools. 

You may think that it’s too small of a task for such big equipment, but I beg to differ. Having a miter saw and a table saw at your disposal can make things a lot easier. If you have a reliable belt sander , it can be especially useful in the wood sanding process. 

paint brushes and tools

You’ll have to remember to include a scribing tool and cabinet clamps in your tool list. It will also help if you have 3/16-inch drill bits and trim head cabinet screws. 

Installing Cabinet Filler Strips Against a Wall

If you’re planning to install cabinet filler strips against the wall during your kitchen cabinet restoration project, you should first measure the space between the subjects in question. Make sure to do this on both the bottom and top of your cabinet. I also suggest getting measurements of the entire cabinet for reference purposes later. 

Before you go and start your miter and table saws, we urge you to test it to see if it’s in good shape for additional safety precautions [1]. Once that’s all done, slice the filler strip in the same size as the cabinet. Next, use your table saw to cut strips just a little bit wider than the largest measurement you did earlier. 

And then, it’s time to clamp the filler into the cabinet with a claw and place it against the wall next to it. After removing it, get your belt sander in action and shape it to the contour of the wall. Don’t forget to place the wall side at a negative angle for easier installation later on. 

Next on how to install cabinet filler strips against the wall is checking if your cut-down wood fits the cabinet gap. Try a little squeeze to see if it goes in. If not, the belt sander is there to come to your rescue. After confirming its fit, clamp it back and drill pilot holes into the cabinet and filler strips. 

I don’t recommend using drywall screws. Instead, go with typical cabinet screws for fastening the fillers into the cabinet box. However, if the wooden strips are sized less than three inches, you can opt for silicone or glue. 

Installing Cabinet Filler Strips Between Cabinets

You’ll need to install these strips between the cabinet boxes instead of the walls in kitchen layouts with L-shaped cabinets. Unlike other constructions, there is no need to scribe or sand the strips down since the cabinet faces are straight.

installing filler strips between cabinets

All you need to do is cut it to a similar height of cabinets and then measure the covering distance of the right angle. Keep in mind that the cabinet corner needs at least three-inch of filler. We advise keeping one filler with at least ½-inch additional width. 

With screws and L-brackets, join the cabinet box and filler together. Spread some glue to attach the edges to the cabinet sides. You can opt to install backer boards before placing the fillers if you have second guesses about the weight. 

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Where do you need cabinet fillers?

You need cabinet fillers in uneven wall layouts, cabinet corners, and narrow spaces. These filler trips are crucial to any cabinetry installation as it serves as a space finisher when your cabinet box dimension doesn’t match the wall dimension. Its main purpose lies in filling openings and empty gaps.

How do you scribe a cabinet filler?

You can scribe a cabinet filler by getting the measurement of the overall gap between your wall and the cabinet box. After that, cut the fillers to a similar size and adjust the scribe distance. Once that’s done, get the scribe tool to transfer the shape into the wooden strip.


Having walked you through the installation of cabinet filler strips, I can’t stress enough the importance of precision in measuring those spaces. It might seem like a minor detail, but believe me, it’s this precision that can make or break the finished look of your cabinetry. If there’s ever a moment of uncertainty, don’t hesitate to revisit these steps for clarity. Trust me, a second look can make a significant difference in your results.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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