Say, did you remember to bring your air-compressor and nail-gun in from the garage today? You were going to use it for that trim you wanted to install on the back of the kitchen island. Remember?
What Do You Mean You Don’t Have a Nail-Gun?
Well that’s okay. All is not lost! But you’ll still need a gun. How about a glue gun. You have one of those, right?
Use Hot Glue and Small Trim For Big Change
As long as you don’t get burned, hot glue is awesome stuff to work with. The best part is that it is fast. It holds decently well, and it’s easy.
Fast. Easy. Works. Sounds like a good plan.
As I was kicking this idea around a little, I asked myself two questions: how well does hot glue really hold? Will it work for trim? In order to find out, I would need to be sneaky. See, I don’t own a glue gun.
So I dressed up in camo appropriate for the job (ribbon, bright colors, fabric swatches) and snuck quietly into my wife’s craft room. I was in-and-out in no time flat and I got the goods. Glue gun acquired, I headed to the garage.
Testing In Progress
Using small scraps similar in size to wood trim, I used hot glue to stick wood trim onto four surfaces:
- Finished Wood – I had a sample of a glossy finished wood flooring. The surface would be very similar to your cabinets.
- Laminate – I used laminate flooring with a little bit of texture to it. This would be similar to a formica counter or cabinet door.
- Ceramic Tile – A somewhat glossy ceramic floor tile. Just to see what would happen.
- Glass – I stuck a piece of wood on front of an aquarium. (fun)
The idea was simply to see if it would stick, and how strong it would hold. The short answer is that it was very easy to do and it most definitely holds strong enough for the ideas I’m sharing here. You can pull it off, but you have to pull.
The best stick was on the finished wood, the worst was the ceramic tile, but all of the surfaces held the wood.
One tip: Use a small beaded line down the middle of your trim. You want to avoid glue squishing out all over the place when you apply pressure and hold the piece firmly while the glue sets.
Here are five simple ideas:
1. Make Panels On a Wall
We’ve all seen rooms with a paneled look. Oftentimes we see this under chair-rail as part of a wainscot look. Sometimes it’s done on a whole wall. If you only have a little bit to do (for a whole lot, you would want to just get a nail-gun) you can use glue for this.
One place I think this would work great would be on the plain wall under a high-bar area.
The picture below from www.kellyfradet.com is just an imagination kicker…you would want to use smaller trim, but you can see that creativity goes a long way.
2. Create an Accent Around a Light Fixture
This idea works on a wall or a ceiling and will dress-up the look of a plain light fixture in no time flat. Create a small frame (larger on the ceiling) around the light fixture by gluing on wood trim. Then paint the middle an accent color (or cool wallpaper) and you’ve just made a big improvement.
3. Turn A Flat Door Into a Paneled One
I think most of us, either now or at some point in the past, have lived in a house with smooth (and very plain) doors.
You can use hot-glue and small trim to transform that door into one with a paneled door look. It might end-up looking something like this.
4. Add Interest To Kitchen Cabinets
How many things can you do with small trim in your kitchen?
- create a large diamond pattern on the wall between upper and lower cabinets
- add panels to the end of an island cabinet
- add interest to flat panel doors, or create a framed look around flat laminate doors
- glue a little frame of wood on the side of your fridge and make a magnetic version of the next idea…
5. Put a Chalkboard on Your Door (or Wall)
This is one of my favorite of these ideas. I love the creative uses for chalkboard paint and this hot-glue-wood-trim may fill in the missing link for your chalkboard dreams.
Paint a square (using painter’s tape to keep clean edges and square) of chalkboard paint on any flat surface.
Once you’re done, use hot glue to apply wood trim over the edge to cover the transition and frame the chalkboard. You could also do the trim first if you prefer.
Here is a similar look from The Pleasures of Homemaking, the only difference is that she just hung a frame over the chalkboard.
By using glue and wood trim you can be more flexible with the size and location.
The Possibilities Are Endless
Is it 100% fail-proof? Naaaww… It’s still just glue, so it can come off, but when you take the ease and simplicity of the job into consideration it’s well worth the risk and possible need to glue a piece back up at some point in the future.
You can cut mitered joints with a hand saw miter-box, or if you don’t even have one of those, small trim can be sanded into shape with coarse sandpaper! Truly a no tools required job.
If you give some of these ideas a try, I’d love to hear about it and maybe see a picture or two. Have fun and watch those fingers!