Adding crown molding to kitchen cabinets

I thought I'd do a quick project on Saturday. I figured I'd cruise into Lowes, grab some crown molding and wood, and put some trim on my kitchen cabinets.

This is not a quick project when one does not own a power saw. The projects guy at Lowes made some simple cuts for me, but said they didn't have a miter saw. I swear I've seen a miter saw in a molding aisle before...maybe that was at Home Depot?

Anyway, I found myself wishing I had access to Mr. Holstein's classroom where I took wood shop in 7th grade. I would have had my pieces cut in two minutes. Buying a saw made no sense...there is only one corner on my upper cabinets and then there was the question of storage. Where does one put a saw in a 784 square foot condo?

So I bought a miter box. Unfortunately, as you saw your item using the miter box, you can also see yellow plastic coming off with the sawdust. Your confidence that your cuts are perfectly 45 degrees goes down quite a bit as you see this. No worries, that's what wood filler and caulk is for, right? We'll see.

NOTE: All pictures below show the wood before wood filler, caulk, and paint.

Okay, initially, I saw a tutorial online that recommended this sort of set up:

The molding would be glued and then nailed to another piece of wood. Then, that piece of wood would be nailed to the top of the cabinets. When I got the first piece completed, I thought it looked pretty good.

When I got the second piece up, I didn't like it at all. The crown looked smooshed onto the cabinets.

My second strategy was to take everything apart (after whimpering to Marc for a little bit) and give the molding a boost.

Don't worry about the split...these are just scraps.

So far, this is just an "L" shaped bit of wood and molding sitting on top of the cabinets. I haven't attached it to the cabinets just yet...I'm going to live with it for a few days to decide if I like the this set up better.

What do you think? Should I go with the "taller" set up or should I shed a few more tears and take this all apart to revert to the original?

The other side of the kitchen should be easy. The cabinets on the other side are completely straight across the wall. Maybe I should have started with that side!

By the way, thanks to everyone who offered me use of a power saw after I posted my "Evil, thy name is miter saw" post yesterday. I had no idea I had friends with this equipment (though "KGS", we couldn't figure out who you are).


  1. I honestly think both look fine. Keep the taller one that way you don't have to redo it! The crown makes such a difference doesn't it? I put it on my kitchen cabinets a few years ago.

  2. Fact: Mitering is the devil.

    and I love the look! Very impressed by your mitering skillz.

  3. I prefer the taller version, but both look good. I should show off my REALLY CRAPPY DIY molding in my bedroom I haven't gotten around to fixing yet.

  4. Nope, Home Depot won't cut those for you either (I've tried). They could make a killing charging a $1 a cut for it though ...

    I think both look fine too. If I had to choose, I'd say go with #2 so you don't have to re-do anything ;)

  5. I like the shorter look better. The distance between the top of the cabinet door and the crown molding is very close to the distance between the bottom of the door and the bottom of the cabinet. The proportions are off in the taller version.

  6. I like the taller version and I think the second one looks great. Don't revert to the smaller. It looks good.

  7. Honestly, I have no issues with the current set-up. I say to keep it and save yourself trouble! The point here is that you do have the molding.

  8. I've always been a little coward when it comes to a miter box. I've heard that it's very easy to miscalculate and waste good molding. I will say that the crown molding does add a lot to the look of your cabinets. I have them in my kitchen-glad the builder took care of that or it probably would never have happened.

  9. I think it looks great- the taller one! Keep it and you won't have to do it over. Love it!

  10. I think the tall looks much better! I have short cabinets and want to do the same thing to mine. I have a corner cabinet though and I don't want to deal with those angles!!!

  11. Taller! Such a seemingly small change looks like it makes a HUGE difference!

  12. They look like very stable and sticky. I really like it. White is mine one of the favorite cabinets. Even I have also renovated my house with white cabinets and flooring color.

  13. You made that very easy. I think i can do it on my own now.
    Scottsdale Homes for Sale

  14. Taller for sure. I love it. Good luck on your project. I am about to embark on the same journey myself.

  15. Taller looks better, but your crown in upside down on the furring strip. Crown has 2 different angles, so if you flipped it, putting the cove at the bottom and the ogee (S curve) at the top, it would be taller and protrude into the room less.


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