If you’re ready to take your kitchen cabinets up a notch crown molding is a great way to go. It not only covers the space between the cabinets and ceiling, it adds an elegant, polished touch to your entire kitchen. You can cut and install crown molding above your cabinets on your own. All it takes are some basic miter saw skills, supplies and an afternoon.
Here’s what you’ll need to install your new crown molding:
TOOLS & MATERIALS
- Tape Measure
- Power Miter Saw
- Crown Stops
- 18 Gauge Nailer
- 16 Gauge Nailer
- 80 Grit Sandpaper
- Caulk Gun
- Cordless Drill/Driver
- Impact Driver
- Coping Saw
- P:ocketHole Jig System
- Angle Finder
- 1 1/4″ Self-Tapping Wood Screws
- Carpenters Square
- Fast Drying Wood Glue
- Paintable Caulk
- Construction Adhesive
- Crown Molding 1″ x 3″ & 1″ x 2″ Poplar Boards
- Air Compressor and Hose (Optional)
When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear. Throughout the video we’ll let you know when you should and should not use your safety gear.
Make cabinet box. The space above the cabinets will need to be boxed out in wood and the molding will be attached to that box. Start by taking measurements and angles of the top of your cabinets. Following your measurements, use a miter saw to cut one by threes for the front of the box and one by twos for the bottom. Then with a pocket hole jig set to three fourths of an inch, drill pilot holes and fasten the one by threes and one by twos into place with wood screws. Cut the ends of each section as needed, then secure together with glue and nails to create a run for each group of cabinets. As you work, cut additional scrap one by twos for additional support and fasten to the inside of each joint. Finally, secure the cabinet box to the top of the cabinet from underneath with self tapping wood screws, making sure to fasten end corners first.
Make crown template. Place a piece of scrap crown molding in the corner of a carpenter square and measure the rise and run of your molding. Transfer your measurement to a scrap piece of poplar board and cut to use as a template. When your template’s ready, hold it up to the ceiling and cabinet box to mark where the bottom of your crown molding will go across the cabinet box.
Make backing pieces. Place a piece of scrap crown molding perpendicular to the end of the scrap piece of poplar board so the top and bottom edges of the molding are flush with the top and side of the poplar. Trace a line across the back of the crown, then cut one 16th of an inch in from your mark to leave room for the crown. Cut enough pieces to install backing at least every 16 inches. Install with adhesive backing, then nail to the ceiling and cabinet box.
Cut crown. Measure the installation space above the cabinets again to confirm the length of your first cut. You can plan your layout and angle cuts by starting your measurements at one end of your cabinets and working your way around. To make your cuts it’s best to use crown stops on your miter saw. Set the blade at a 90 degree angle to trim the end of the molding, making sure it’s square and sits flush against the wall. Cut the other end, do a quick test fit, then measure for your second piece and make your cuts.
Install crown. After making your cuts, set the molding in place and check the fit. Hold both pieces up to the ceiling and position them to get the right fit. Once you have a good fit, keep the first piece in place and remove the other side. Nail the first piece to the backer and cabinet box, then apply wood glue to your joint, position and nail the second piece in place. If you see small gaps, don’t worry. You can touch them up with Spackle as you go.
Continue measuring, cutting and installing the molding around your cabinets. If you run into coping or scarf joints, check out our tutorial “How to cut and install crown molding” for additional instructions.
Step six, finishing touches. Spackle your nail holes and let dry. Sand away excess Spackle and glue on your joints, then apply caulk to crown edges and corner joints as needed, smoothing with your finger as you go.
Your project is done. Step back and take in your new crown molding.