How To Attach Trim to the Top of a Chest of Drawers

Applying a trim to the top of a chest of drawers is a straightforward job. You simply add a length of wood to the top of the chest of drawers using glue and screws. This is one do-it-yourself project that you should be able to do by yourself.


  • 1”x2” piece of hardwood
  • Saw
  • Clamp
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Wood glue
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Rag


  • Gather your materials. All of the materials you will need are available in your local hardware or home improvement store. If the chest of drawers is not new, then apart from the materials above, you may have to buy paint or stain that matches the existing chest of drawers. You will also need paint brushes, thinner, and newspapers if you plan to do some painting. Buy enough wood to trim the top of the chest of drawer. You can buy wood that is thicker than 1”x2”; the thickness depends on the look you are going for. For the screws, make sure they are longer than your hardwood.
  • Prepare the wood. Measure the length for the side as well as the front trim using your measuring tape. Get your wood and cut 2 side trims and a trim for the front and for the back of the chest of drawers based on your measurements. Use a pencil to mark the measurements so you know where to start sawing. As much as possible, get a nice, even cut.
  • Attach the side trims. Start on either the left or the right side of the chest of drawers. Get one of the side trims and apply a column of wood glue to the surface of the side trim, which you will attach to the chest. Position the wood on the side of the chest leaving a ¼” to a ½" overhang to create a lip. Using a clamp, clamp the wood to the frame of the chest. This will ensure that the side trim will stick to the chest properly. Drill holes into the side trim. You can use a 5/32 drill bit for this purpose. The drill bit has to go through the frame of the chest of drawers completely. Make several holes that are about 1 ½” to 2” away from each other. Drive in the screws using your screw driver into the holes you drilled. Remove the clamp and clean up any glue that seeps from under the trim with a rag. Repeat on the other side.
  • Attach the front and back trims. When attaching the front and back trims to the chest of drawers, follow the same procedure for attaching the side trims. Apply the appropriate finish to your trims if necessary.

Tips: To make your chest of drawers look fancier, you can use crown molding as a trim. This will give your chest of drawers a sort of architectural dimension or feel. When using crown molding, you first have to attach the molding to a piece of wood, which is then attached to the chest of drawers. Crown molding comes in many types of wood, designs and colors.

Without a trim, your chest of drawers will look plain and unfinished. Adding a trim is easy to do with the right tools. If you made your own chest of drawers, then you can surely attach the trim without breaking a sweat.


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