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Your Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Tightly Fitted Crown Molding on Your Kitchen Cabinets

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If you’re looking for a worthwhile DIY project while you’re staying at home and practicing social distancing due to COVID-19, why not try installing (or fixing) some crown molding on your kitchen cabinets?

This project is moderate-level in difficulty (you should be comfortable having to make precise cuts using a power miter saw), and is moderate-level in cost (typically $100 - $300 for the average U.S. kitchen). However, the addition of sharp-looking crown molding can have a major impact in the overall look and perceived value of your kitchen.

If you want your kitchen to look finished, sophisticated, and truly high-end, then tightly fitted crown molding for your kitchen cabinets is that perfect last touch.

Here are the tools and materials you will need for this project:

  • Miter Saw

  • Flat Pry Bar

  • Hammer

  • Pneumatic Nail Gun (Brad Nailer with 1 ¼-in. Brads)

  • 1X4 Wood Blocks (you’ll need two for each uniquely sized angle of your cabinetry)

  • Combination Square

  • Pencil

  • Crown Molding

  • Carpenter’s Glue

  • Drywall Hole Patch

  • Paint / Stain

Now, follow this step-by-step guide:

1. Remove or Purchase

If your kitchen cabinets already have some type of crown molding installed (perhaps with a not-so-tightly fitted installation that now requires fixing), your first step will be to remove that existing crown molding. The good news is, you can probably re-use that existing molding with some additional cuts for a better installation.

To remove any existing crown molding, use your flat pry bar and hammer.

If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to get enough of your desired crown molding for your kitchen.

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2. Measure

The key to achieving tightly fitted crown molding is to get the measurements correct.

Especially if your crown molding needs to come together at angles that are not 45 degrees, you need to be sure your crown molding measurements will match the kitchen cabinets you have. If you have a corner cabinet that creates shallower angles with the rest of your cabinetry, that’s a good place to start.

To begin the measuring process, place your two 1X4’s against the ceiling so that they overlap at the cabinet corner, and draw a line where the boards meet.

You can use a combination square to make a line across one board that connects the inside and outside corners.

To determine the necessary length for your crown molding, measure across your cabinets from one inside corner to the next.

You may need to repeat this process if there are variations in the different angle measurements for your cabinets.

3. Cut

Now that you have your measurements, it’s time to use your miter saw.

Place the 1X4’s on the saw table stacked one on top the other, and adjust the angle of your saw blade to cut along the pencil line.

Now, you can use the 1X4 blocks as guides to set your miter angle.

Cut the left-side miter of your crown molding, measure out to the necessary length, then use your other block to set the angle so you can cut the right-side miter.

Repeat this process for all the crown molding you need.

4. Install

Use your carpenter’s glue to securely place the crown molding against the cabinet and flush tight with the ceiling. Then use your nail gun to secure the first piece in place.

Before installing the next piece of crown molding, be sure to apply glue to the cut edge of the molding and fit it in place with your first piece. Hold it securely and nail it in place.

Then repeat this process for the rest of your crown molding.

5. Paint / Stain

You now should have your crown molding fit tightly and in place.

Of course, the final touch to ensure a professional look is to smooth the surface and apply a fresh coat of paint.

You can use some drywall hole patch to fill in any gaps and cover up the nails. Then apply two coats of paint so that the molding will complement the finish of your cabinet.

If your cabinets use a wood stain, it’s recommended that you obtain a few wood stain samples and test them out on some extra molding to ensure you get a stain color that will complement your cabinets.

For more information on kitchen cabinet design, call our team of experts at RTA Wood Cabinets at: 800-788-7575.


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