How To Install Crown Molding On Cabinets That Go To The Ceiling

How To Install Crown Molding On Cabinets That Go To The Ceiling

Crown molding is one of the easiest ways to turn a regular interior into one that feels stately, upscale, and traditional. This is the kind of upgrade you’ll find in older apartments in New York City, Victorian homes, and country homes that have that extra allure of a day gone by.

Do you love that retro look? Who doesn’t? If you want to get a nice touch of old school living to your home, you probably have been thinking of installing crown molding on your ceiling…or as a way to bridge the gap between the cabinet and the ceiling.

Believe it or not, crown molding installations can be a simple DIY project for the right person. Here’s how to do it.

Facts: There’s more than one way to install crown molding.

Crown molding installations can be done in a wide range of different methods, including the one mentioned below. When doing your installation, make sure to have a friend who can help you hold the molding level when you’re installing it.

It’s important to remember that crown molding also comes in a wide range of different sizes and shapes. Sometimes, the molding that you get won’t be able to be installed through these means and actually touch the ceiling. If this happens, you might need larger molding to get it to reach the ceiling, or you might need boards that are larger than your typical 2×4.

It’s worth pointing out that there are some types of molding installations that are specialized in unique molding looks. If you see other methods of crown molding installation on the net that would work better with your molding type, by all means, use it.

Before You Begin: Inventory

Before you can install your crown molding on your cabinet, you’re going to need to make sure you have the right amount of supplies. You will need:

  • Three 2×4’s
  • Three 1×4’s
  • Crown molding
  • Baseboards
  • A measuring tape
  • A pencil
  • A miter saw
  • Carpenter glue
  • Hammer and nails
  • A pin nailer

Before You Begin: Specialty Molding

If your crown molding has a specialty cut or is cut on an angle, you’re going to need to continue searching for separate instructions. This molding guide is made for crown molding that works to be flush against the stiles of your cabinetry.

Let’s Start!

Are you ready to get your molding on? Awesome! This setup is best done when you’re still installing the cabinets in your kitchen. When using these instructions, make sure to adjust them to the surroundings of your cabinets and your cabinets’ positions.

For example, if your cabinets have more extra dips or bends in their architecture, make sure to cut your 2x4s and molding accordingly. If only two sides of your cabinets are going to be visible to people in your kitchen, don’t worry about a third side.

Start off by filling in the front and side stiles of your cabinetry.

Measure the front stile of your cabinet and cut a 2×4 in that length. Attach it to the front stile using carpenter’s glue and a nail gun. Do the same for the side stiles, using another 2×4 cut of wood.

Next, you’re going to need to grab 1×4 cuts of wood. Measure your cuts to fit the length of your cabinet, and then glue it into place, right over the 2×4. Next, grab two more 1×4 wood pieces, and measure them out to match the sides of the cabinet. Place these two pieces of wood over the 2x4s above the sides of your cabinet.

This should give your cabinetry extra “fill” close to the ceiling and also provide more stability for your cabinets. This will be the foundation of where you’re going to be attaching your molding.

Now, you’re going to need to prep the baseboards.

To get working on your baseboards, measure the lengths of each side of your cabinet, and cut a 45-degree angle (also known as a miter cut) on one side of each baseboard you’re going to use on your cabinet. Ta da! You have the baseboards for the side cabinet.

Then, measure the front of your cabinet. Cut off one side, and then mark where the baseboard would need to meet the edge of the sideboard. Cut a 45-degree angle that begins where the edge ends and extends to where the outside of the cabinet’s other baseboard tip ends.

Attach the baseboards into place.

Dry-fit one of your side baseboards and your front baseboard together. You want to make sure that they are able to fit together snugly and that the side baseboard is all covered. Use a pin nailer (or similar tool) to nail the two pieces together. Use the same method to attach the other side baseboard into place.

Dot the 1x4s on their respective sides with carpenter glue, and glue the boards into place. Secure your baseboards with nails to ensure that your molding has the added stability it’ll need to stay in place.

Now install the crown molding and finish the deal.

Remember how you learned to measure out everything and give your baseboards that 45-degree angle fit? You’re going to need to do that again, this time with your crown molding.

Grab your crown molding and dry-fit the front and side of your crown molding together. Then, use a pin nailer to bind the two together. Attach your molding to the top of your cabinet, making sure that the 45-degree angles fit together.

When fitting your molding together, align the bottom of your molding to the top of the cabinet. Secure it in place with nails, and then top any nail dents off with drywall hole patching. Sand down the patching and then you’re good to go.

Final Thoughts

I’ll be the first to admit that installing cabinets isn’t something that everyone should try to do, especially if you’re new to woodworking. If you’re not feeling confident enough to add the molding on your own, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with calling in a pro. It’s better to be safe than sorry, you know!

Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of homeowners and home improvement enthusiasts who enjoy sharing decorating, gardening, home improvement, and housekeeping tips with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for advice on furnishing your living room or the next outdoor DIY project, we've got you covered.

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