Crown Molding on Kitchen Cabinets

Crown Molding on Kitchen Cabinets

Dress up your kitchen wall cabinets by installing crown molding along the top edge.

Tools and Supplies You Will Need

  • Crown molding
  • Electric nail gun
  • Electric miter saw
  • One-by-two lumber
  • Tape measure
  • Ladder
  • Sheet plastic or masking film
  • Painter’s tape
  • Two-inch angled paintbrush
  • Interior paint
  • Fine-grit sandpaper

Measure the Nailing Strips

With the calculating tape, measure the width and depth of the wall cabinets. Both measurements are necessary because the crown molding will wrap around the cabinets. Then, total the two figures. For example, for a standard 36-inch wide wall cabinet with a depth of 12 inches, the total figure would be 60 inches. The total is comprised of a front width of 36 inches, a left depth of 12 inches, and a right depth of 12 inches.

Measure the Crown Molding Lower Edge

For the sleekest appearance, the bottom edge of the crown molding will be flush with the face of the cabinets. This means that the nailing strips need to be stepped back on all sides by the thickness of the lower edge of the crown molding. With the tape measure, measure this thickness. For many popular crown molding profiles, this thickness is 1/8-inch.

Cut the Nailing Strips

Cut the nailing strips to the cabinet perimeter size, minus the thickness of the crown molding’s lower edge. So, if the crown molding’s lower edge thickness is 1/8-inch, you would have:

Secure the Nailing Strips

Use the nail gun to nail the strips to the top of the cabinet.

Attach the Crown Molding Side Sections

For this step, it helps to have an assistant raise the front section of crown molding so that it is at a 45-degree angle position. Place the left section of crown molding against the left nailing strip. Make sure that the two 45-degree angle flared sections of crown molding perfectly meet. With one hand firmly holding that angled junction, nail the side crown molding section in place.

Match the Corners

Drive one brad through one board to the adjoining one to help them stay together. Repeat for the right side.

Paint and Finish the Crown Molding

Before painting, cover the cabinets with sheet plastic or masking film and secure it with painter’s tape. Depending on the size of the nail holes, you may wish to fill them with wood putty or leave them unfilled. Interior paint can often adequately fill the small holes produced by electric nail guns.


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