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How to extend kitchen cabinets to the ceiling

Learn how to extend your kitchen cabinets to the ceiling in this easy DIY guide. Discover the benefits, step-by-step instructions, and essential tips for creating a cohesive and spacious kitchen.

We are really into extending things and making them look bigger. If we do say so ourselves, we nailed it when we extended our fireplace to the ceiling and made the room look so much taller.

We also just extended our lower kitchen cabinets by adding open shelving and a tilt out trash can. But the newest thing we did was extend our upper kitchen cabinets to the ceiling using one piece of wood.

Be sure to check out the final results of our DIY coastal kitchen renovation!

How to extend kitchen cabinets to the ceiling - Charleston Crafted

Benefits of extending kitchen cabinets to the ceiling

If you are planning to update your kitchen, extending your cabinets might not be the first project on your list. But, it is a great way to have a big impact for little cost. Some potential benefits to consider include:

  • draws the eye upward and makes space look larger
  • increased storage space
  • elimination of dust-collecting areas above the cabinets
  • can make kitchen feel more cohesive and grand

How to extend kitchen cabinets to the ceiling

This project is easy to do. We were extending the crown molding into the kitchen that we put up in the rest of our first floor and wanted to take the time to add height instead of just running the crown molding behind the cabinets.

Plus, there’s nothing to do with that dead space above you’re cabinets, so bring them up to the ceiling and make the area look more grand!

Necessary tools and materials:

  • 1″x12″ board
  • Crown molding
  • L-brackets
  • Nail gun
  • Paint + brush

Step one: Preparing the cabinets

Before extending the cabinets, it’s essential to prepare them properly. Use pliers or a pry bar to remove any existing crown molding or trim.

Clean and sand the cabinets to ensure a smooth surface for attaching the extension boards, if the top of the cabinet needs it.

Step two: Measuring and cutting the extension boards

Carefully and accurately measure the height and width of the cabinets to determine the size of the extension boards needed.

We chose to place one board on each “seam” between cabinet boxes and on the ends. You will also need enough molding to wrap the cabinet top horizontally – including the front and sides.

Step three: Build the extension

First, I got a six foot 1×12 board and cut it into four 12 inch sections.

Using L-brackets and a nail gun we attached them to the top of the cabinets and the wall.

To do this, screw one end of the bracket to the base of the cabinet and the other to the board you just cut. Repeat as needed until it feels secure.

How to extend kitchen cabinets to the ceiling - Charleston Crafted

Step four: Add crown molding

Then, we ran the crown molding around the front of these and shot nails into the boards to make it look like they were part of the cabinets.

If your room has crown molding already, choose molding that matches. Otherwise, choose one with a design that you prefer.

You can read our guide to installing crown molding – with tips for cutting angles and corners – here.

How to extend kitchen cabinets to the ceiling - Charleston Crafted

Step five: Finishing touches

Don’t forget to finish the extended cabinets to achieve a cohesive look.

Before painting, you can use caulk or wood filler to fill any gaps or nail holes. Then, sand and paint.

We painted our extension to match our cabinet color.

We painted the inside and out the same color as the cabinets and voila they all look like one.

How to extend kitchen cabinets to the ceiling - Charleston Crafted

DIY taller kitchen cabinets

Now the cabinets look SO TALL and it makes it feel like we have so much more height in our kitchen!

A lot of people have asked us for advice on how to decorate over your kitchen cabinets – honestly, I think that extending the cabinets to the ceiling looks much nicer than filling the gap with fake plants!

I hope that we were able to show you how easy it is to extend your kitchen cabinets to the ceiling.

Be sure the check out some of our other most popular projects and get inspired!

How to extend kitchen cabinets to the ceiling - Charleston Crafted
Yield: 1 cabinet extension

How to extend kitchen cabinets to the ceiling

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Difficulty: Medium
Estimated Cost: $10-50

Does the gap between your upper cabinets and the ceiling bother you? Here's how to make it look purposeful by extending your kitchen cabinets to the ceiling.


  • 1×12 board
  • paint or stain to match cabinets
  • crown molding
  • L brackets
  • flat brackets


  • nail gun
  • drill
  • paint brush


  1. Measure from the top of your cabinet to the ceiling. Ours was 12 inches.
  2. Cut your board to that length. Cut as many of these as you want - we did 4.
  3. Place the boards vertically as you want them to go over your cabinets.
  4. Use a nail gun to nail through the boards into the cabinets and ceiling.
  5. Drill a flat bracket or L bracket into each board and use it to connect to the top of the cabinets.
  6. Run crown molding across the top and nail into the vertical boards.
  7. Paint to match cabinets.

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Thursday 12th of August 2021

Thanks so much for your tutorial! I do have a stupid question though…what do you mean by shooting nails from the top of the board into the ceiling? I’m thinking if the board is perpendicular to the ceiling, how is that possible! Ha! Thanks!


Thursday 12th of August 2021

Not stupid, I see how that's confusing! I meant shoot the nail basically through the outside of the board at the top, up through the top of the board and into the ceiling at an angle. Make better sense?


Wednesday 20th of May 2020

Can you tell us what is the height of your kitchen ceiling? Also what height are your upper cabinets? (30/36/42) and finally, what spacing do you have from the counter top to the bottom of upper cabinets?


Saturday 16th of May 2020

7 hours on the internet looking for a way to extend my cabinets, without freaking out my hubby and VOILA! I found your amazing way to do it. So easy and cost efficient! THANK YOU


Saturday 4th of April 2020

I have a similar design but it's drab orange brown cabinets I just want to say I love your colors and how you've designed the islands they are just beautiful I'm over 60 so I would not be able to do something like that but I just wanted to say and how much I like your whole kitchen area and the colors

Beth spear

Thursday 12th of December 2019

Just a question on cleaning. Do you have great ideas on ways to keep that greasy dust off? Above the stove is the worst!


Sunday 15th of December 2019

All I do is wipe it with a damp cloth, same as my cabinets!

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