Customize kitchen cabinets with elegant crown moulding. It's an easy kitchen remodeling project you can install yourself.
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You’ll do a considerable amount of nailing for this project, so consider buying an 18-gauge finish nailer and air compressor to work faster and more precisely with less damage to the moulding. Nailer and air compressor kits provide the nailing tools you’ll need, often for less than buying the tools separately.
Provide a nailing surface for crown moulding by attaching solid wood mounting strips to the top edges of the cabinets. Cut strips of straight 3/4-in x 1-1/2-in wood to fit the front and sides of each cabinet. (Use one long strip for a row of cabinets the same depth.) Then apply wood glue to each strip, nail it in place, and let dry.
Cut one side piece at least 3-in oversize. Hold it in position on the side of the cabinet with one end flush with the back and mark the location of your miter cut.
You could measure, mark, and then cut pieces to size, but that method increases the possibility of errors that leave gaps on mitered corners. By using the mounting strips and cabinets to measure part lengths, you'll create corners that require a minimum of filler.
Miter-cut the crown moulding to length. Then nail it in position against the mounting board with the bottom edge even with the top of the cabinet side.
To set up your miter saw for consistent miters, first cut a 3/4-in x 1-1/2-in board the length of your saw base. Apply double-face tape only to the faces of the board that will rest on the saw base -- not on the part that rotates. Remove the backing on the tape and rest a length of crown moulding against the saw fence with the flat edges against the fence and saw base. Place the 3/4-in x 1-1/2-in board against the crown moulding to hold it in place, press down on the taped areas, and remove the crown moulding. Rotate the saw to a 45-degree miter setting and cut through the 3/4-in x 1-1/2-in board. Rotate it to the other 45-degree setting, make a second cut, and remove the center section. Now you have a support for your crown moulding that also tells you the precise location of your saw blade.
On a front moulding cut about 6-in oversize, and then miter-cut one end to match the miter of the side moulding. Hold the mitered ends together while a helper marks the other end at the cabinet side.
Miter-cut the front piece to length and nail in place against the mounting board with the bottom edge even with the top of the cabinet frame. Aligning the bottom moulding edge with the top of the cabinet frame should eliminate curves and sags. As a precaution, though, check your work immediately to make sure the moulding runs in a straight line.
To apply the final side moulding, miter-cut one end of the moulding about 1/4-in longer than the moulding on the opposite edge. Test fit and gradually shorten the piece using miter cuts until you have a snug fit. Then nail the final side moulding in place.
Sometimes, a row of cabinets will exceed the 8-ft length of a moulding strip. If you need to splice two or more pieces, cut mitered ends that fit together. Cut the combined pieces to length. Then glue and nail through both pieces at the splice to hold them together.
Use drywall hole patch to fill nail holes and any gaps at the corners. (The patch material we used goes on pink and turns white when it dries.) Use a 320-grit sanding sponge to smooth the patched areas. Apply two coats of paint to match the cabinet finish.
If you're working with a stained wood cabinet finish and using unpainted wood mouldings, remove one of the doors and take it to the store. Ask a Lowe's associate for advice on matching the color and sheen of the door finish.