Advice Sought on Masking Faceframe-to-Case Gap on Kitchen Restoration

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Forum topic by Lovegasoline posted 05-25-2018 08:36 PM 1746 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Lovegasoline's profile


120 posts in 846 days

05-25-2018 08:36 PM

I’m stripping and refinishing my beat out 90 year old built-in kitchen cabinets. I’ve already put a ton of work in this and want to start wrapping things up and get some primer on … these cabinets will be painted.
The face frame has a bead detail run around its back edge where it connects with the case. The face frame was a little loose so I cleared out all the gunk behind it (hardened paint stripper, paint, etc. etc.) by using a 5-in-1 painting tool and also running an old Japanese saw blade behind it in the gap.
Int looks much better, however there’s still a little gap left. Any suggestions on how to resolve this or mask it? I don’t want to loose the bead detail and crispness. (On another cabinet where the edge was uneven against a bead I used Bondo. Not sure how hard that would be in the present situation).

I do not want to remove the face frame, clean the area, and reattach it as this is a built in … everything is skewed and held together by everything else and rickety as it is.

Any ideas?

Thanks a bunch!

-- “It is the beginning of wisdom to recognize that most men are fools and knaves, but it is the end of wisdom to embrace that vision.” -Arthur Kleps

6 replies so far

View Kelly's profile


3050 posts in 3752 days

#1 posted 05-25-2018 08:58 PM

I’ve used everything within my sight to sand crisp edges. One of my favorite is, a scraper blade with, for example, 220 tightly wrapped around it.

If you have deep or wise spots, you might be able to fill them and, while the filler is still wet, use something like the 5-way point, with a block C clamped to it, to clean the groove again.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4456 days

#2 posted 05-25-2018 10:13 PM

Sometimes making a gap more consistent
beats filling. That’s called a cock bead.

You can grind a piece of metal to reshape
the profile by scraping. I’d probably leave
it as is because I appreciate wear and irregularity
in old pieces. The gap can be sanded a little
where it’s narrow to make the shadow line
more consistent, just enough to fool the eye.

View Lovegasoline's profile


120 posts in 846 days

#3 posted 05-25-2018 10:51 PM

My concern is that it’s a true gap … you can see light through it.

-- “It is the beginning of wisdom to recognize that most men are fools and knaves, but it is the end of wisdom to embrace that vision.” -Arthur Kleps

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4456 days

#4 posted 05-25-2018 11:00 PM

Oh, I see. You could add something on the
inside so the light doesn’t shine through,
a bit of quarter-round moulding or something
like that.

Flexible caulk is available in squeeze tubes
where you cut the tip off. You could perhaps
drill into the tip instead of cutting it off and
get a really fine bead of caulk in there. Getting
the excess off is often a hassle with the stuff
so when I use it I try to not get any more on
than needed. You could make a shaped tool
or 2 out of popsicle sticks to remove any
unwanted caulk from the bead.

View Rich's profile


5715 posts in 1398 days

#5 posted 05-26-2018 01:50 AM

If I were tackling that, my first thing to try would be to use Timbermate filler to make a slurry with water and try brushing it in with a number 4 artist’s brush. You should be able to push it pretty far into the gap and then simply coming along behind with a paper towel to smooth it. Since you’re going to be painting them, go with one of the lighter colors. You’ll have to experiment with the thickness, but Timbermate is very easy to work with and if you don’t like the results, it will clean up with water.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Lee's profile


149 posts in 1686 days

#6 posted 05-26-2018 10:39 PM

Latex caulk, not silicone, paint wont stick to silicone caulk. Run a strip of painters tape down the edge of the face frame to keep the caulk out of the bead. Then use a thin flexible putty knife to smoothe the caulk and push it into the gap. Thats how contractors cover up there crappy miter joints on base boards, LOL

-- Colombia Custom Woodworking

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