Upgrade Your Kitchen With Cabinet Crown Molding

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Step ladder
Wood mounting strips
Crown moulding
Miter saw
Miter box
Scrap wood or cardboard
Protractor (optional)
Wood glue
Small wood nails
Double-sided tape
Wood putty or spackle

You probably already know that adding crown molding to your walls where they meet the ceilings adds value to your home, but did you know that this is also true of the kitchen cabinets? Crown molding added along the top of the cabinets is an inexpensive DIY project that will add to your home's resale value as well as its overall interior appeal. Something else that's nice about installing crown molding on your kitchen cabinets is that it's a relatively easy process, as you'll find out below in our 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Taking Measurements

To start the process of adding crown molding to the kitchen cabinets area, you'll need your tape measure. For the length you don't necessarily need to crawl up on a chair or the countertops to get a good measurement -- just measure the length of your cabinets and you'll get the total length of crown molding that you'll need.

As for the width, if there is a large gap between your ceiling and cabinets and you want the molding to fill that in, you'll need a step ladder. If the cabinet butts up to the ceiling or you're just adding the molding to enhance the appearance and not necessarily fill in any gap issue, just be sure that the width of molding you choose will clear the cabinet door when opening it.

You can install the molding directly to the cabinet, however, in some instances there may be little to no room above the cabinet door for the molding. If that is the case, or if you just want the molding to be more secure, you can add ¾ in. x 1 - ½ in. wood mounting strips to the top edge of the cabinets and then install the molding onto this frame.

When purchasing the molding, it's wise to add as much as 20% extra to your measurement. There's often wasted material as well as mistakes that will make you glad you have the extra amount on hand.

Step 2: Making the Cut

Once you have your molding and other materials ready, you can begin to cut. Using a miter saw is usually the best way since there's going to be angle cuts needed for the molding to fit tightly together where they meet.

The two types of cuts you'll be making are the outside and inside corner cuts. Using a scrap piece of wood or cardboard, begin at one corner of the cabinet and mark the scrap with the approximate angle you'll be needing. Before cutting your first length, mark the molding as LH (left hand) or RH (right hand) mounting for easier identification when installing and cutting it.

Your first cut is your butt joint, which is where the molding will be butted directly against a wall on one end and meeting another piece of molding on the other end. Cut your first piece of molding the length needed with a straight cut. This straight cut will be going along the wall side.

Your next cut is going to be an angle cut. Since most cabinets are square, this means your angle cuts will be 45 degrees. Cabinets that have more complexity to them will require a protractor to help you find the right angle to cut. Once you've determined the correct angle, make your cut using your miter saw.

Cutting angles into your crown molding can be a little nerve-wracking at first, but it's okay if you make a mistake -- that's why you bought extra molding. Remember to measure out the molding a little longer than it should be so the two angle cuts in the molding will meet and seat properly, as well as give you a little extra leeway if you need to make another cut. In some instances the extra may be as much as six inches longer for each piece of molding.

Framing can now also be cut, and you won't have to worry about angles for this. Simply cut the lengths needed and that's it.

Step 3: Molding Attachment

Now that you have the cutting done, which is the difficult part, all you have to do is put it in place over or on your cabinets. If you're installing a frame, go ahead and put the wood molding strips along the tops of the cabinets and mount them in place using wood glue and nails.

Time to now add your beautiful crown molding to your cabinets. Start with an end that butts against the wall and using double-sided sticky tape that has been applied to the back of your molding or directly onto the cabinets, place your molding piece in place. Stand back and make sure it's straight before adding nails that will hold it up permanently.

Adding your next piece will tell you if you got your angle cuts right. If you didn't, don't panic, just take it back down and make the cut again. If you're a little shy now in length, you can always fill in the corner nearest the wall using a small extra strip of molding, nail putty, or caulking.

Your final piece of molding should fit snugly in place. Cutting it approximately a ¼ inch longer than the molding on the opposite edge should ensure a proper fit. Keep in mind that when you made your cuts you want them a little long since shortening is easier than having to scrap a piece that was already cut too short.

To finish up the new and elegant look above your cabinets, fill in nail holes, gaps, and corners with spackle or wood putty that matches the crown molding. Once you're done, you'll have enhanced your kitchen's appearance and your home's resale value, all in just a few hours of your time!