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How to Create the Ideal Cabinet Crown Molding Finish

Crown molding is worth its weight in gold. It is a fantastic addition to any room, instantly transforming a space into an exciting decor statement. It does wonders in the kitchen, dining area or any space fitted with cabinets, adding beautiful detail and making them a more refined part of the room. 

While the work involved in determining how to install crown molding on kitchen cabinets and then cutting it at the perfect length and angle may seem daunting at first, it is not impossible to achieve that graceful finish. 

The options for that ideal molding finish on the cabinets are extensive. Explore your creativity and individualism with beautiful crown molding pieces from our vast selection and the read below.

7 awesome ideas for cabinet molding  

Good old crown molding

Crown molding above wall and tall cabinets creates a fluid transition across the entire span of the room. Many cabinet styles today are designed such that the doors overlap the front face frame, leaving only a small visible frame. 

In this case, install the crown molding on top of the cabinet frame instead of to the face. Secure the molding with blocks running at the back that are arranged as the molding on the front will be.

Starter/ Riser Molding

Starter molding is amazing where you want to increase the overall height of the trim or level it with the ceiling. The ceiling height from cabinets will vary depending on their installation level and length. Similarly, the crown molding may not necessarily be the exact height required to fit the space. 

A riser molding easily comes to the rescue in this situation. Mounted to the cabinet top, it will resemble an extension of the cabinet box, then allowing the crown molding to be installed higher. 

Tip:

Using riser molding to help install the crown molding higher will be useful in hiding an uneven ceiling. Simply position one end of the crown molding higher or lower than the other end along the riser face.

Light rail molding

This will go well with crown molding. Rather than along the top, however, light rail molding is used to finish the bottom of the cabinets. It is useful not just for ornamental reasons, but as a piece to conceal under-the-cabinet light fixtures and provide protection from the light radiance.

Tip:

As you select the ideal light rail molding, be mindful of the height so that the space left after installation will accommodate any countertop appliances.

Base molding

Just as crown molding will be superb for cabinets installed close to ceiling level, base molding will be a fantastic addition to base cabinets. It is installed at the floor level with the profiled edge facing up to enhance its delightfulness. 

It can also be added to the toe recess along the lower section of cabinet sides for a continuous look. It can be reversed and set with the profiled edge facing downwards for higher cabinets for a wide, adorning molding.

Scribe molding

Scribe molding is a thin piece that will come in handy after installation to hide any uneven gaps or edges. It is slightly pliant, which will allow it to bend with any curves along the wall, ceiling, or floor.

Essentially, it will be useful where the straight cabinet edges visibly meet an uneven surface. It should be cut to length and used to hide any gap that will be ½” wide. It will also be useful to cover other edges of material up to ¾” wide such as the unfinished edge of toe kick molding. 

Corner molding

Corner molding will be applied to corners to hide unfinished gaps or edges where two panels or pieces meet at a 90 degree corner. Outside corner molding will be useful to cover raw edges on exterior corners while inside corner molding will be fixed where two pieces come together at an inside corner.

Corner molding will be ideal for designs that include paneling on the sides of the cabinet such as an island.

Fillers

As the name suggests, these are used to fill any gaps or space left by the cabinets by cutting them to size and fixing them. The best part about fillers is that they are so versatile, they will be useful in different ways:

Vertically, they will provide space between the cabinets and the wall. This will keep the doors from sticking to the wall and open drawers from hitting close objects.

Horizontally, they can be used as crown molding or as light rail molding.

They can also be used like riser molding, to create additional height.

Fillers are available in varying lengths and widths. A good choice will depend on the intended use. 


General Tip:

Whatever molding piece you go with, it is important that the trim blends well with the cabinet. A good way to ensure this is to paint the molding in the same shade as the cabinet. White is often the preferred color as it is versatile, easy to blend and elegant.


How to install crown molding for cabinets

You will need: 

Tape measure

Nail gun/ hammer and nail set

Adhesive

Safety gloves and goggles

Miter saw

Mounting strips

Crown molding

Sanding material 


Steps:

1. Get the measurements

Use the tape measure to get the length and the width of the cabinet. Be as accurate as possible so that the crown molding pieces are cut to the right length for smooth joints. This length will also be useful in cutting the lengths of the mounting strips to support the molding.

Find the angle of outside and inside corners. Inside corners may not apply for stand-alone cabinets but they will be useful for wall-mounted and t-shaped cabinets.

Use a bevel, protractor, or angle finder to find the angles. Cabinet corners will generally be 90 degrees perfect. Measurement will be to confirm this and prevent any gaps at imperfect corners.  

2. Cut the pieces

Cut the mounting strip pieces according to the measured lengths. Material that would make for good mounting strips includes 2*4 board pieces for the front and 1*4 pieces for the back.

Using the same measurements, cut the crown molding pieces. Remember to cut the piece about 3-6” too long. Lay the crown molding against the edge of the cabinet to mark where to make the miter cut. In this way, you will reduce the room for error and gaps for corners that need little fillers.

Tip:

Use sanding material when you have made the mitered cuts to smoothen the edges

3. Make miter cuts for corners

Using the miter saw, make the mitered edges using the angles you got. If the angle was perfect 90 degrees, set the saw at 45 degrees for the cuts. If it varied from 90 degrees, take the angle measurement you got and divide it by 2. This is the angle at which you will set the saw.

Place the molding on the saw such that the bottom that will lie on the cabinet rests on the fence while the top of the molding that will join the ceiling or stand freely rests on the bed.

For outside right corners, save the left side of the cut. For inside right corners, save the right side of the cut.

4. Install the molding

Attach the mounting strips to the top of the cabinet. Apply wood glue to the surface of each piece and fit it into place. Add nails to fix it more permanently and then allow it to dry.

Before attaching the molding permanently, dry-fit trial pieces together to check how well the mitered joints come together. The purpose of cutting the pieces extra long is to allow you to slowly trim off the edges until you have arrived at the perfect joint.

 If you did not have a helper before, it will be helpful to get one at this point. They will help you to hold the pieces in place to make accurate adjustments.

When you are satisfied with the dry-fit, start the installation with the front piece. Nail the measured and mitered piece into place with the bottom of the molding lying along the edge of the cabinet frame. Ideally, this should set the molding straight and avoid unevenness. To be on the safe side, however, check the fit immediately after fixing it and before adding the side pieces.

Take the side pieces and fit them to the side frames of the cabinet, trimming where necessary until the mitered edges have come together in a glove fit. Use adhesive at the joints to stick them together and drive nails through the molding to keep it permanently in place.

Where the length of the cabinet exceeds the length of the molding, use two pieces of molding and make mitered cuts for where they will meet. Use adhesive and nails to put them together at the joint.


Installing delightful cabinet crown molding is that easy. Make a plan to spruce up your kitchen cabinets or island. It will amaze you what vast difference this little bit of molding can make.

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