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Crown molding, or moulding, can enhance just about any room in the home.

But creating this look of elegance isn’t without its share of headaches, especially when it comes to the home improvement do-it-yourselfer. Carpentry basics like measuring and sawing can be challenging enough, but when you throw in things like angled cuts, baseboard, painting/and or staining, the difficulty is enhanced.

Though crown molding looks great anywhere, installing it in the kitchen has become an ever-increasingly popular improvement as a means of filling the gap between the cabinets and the ceiling or adding somewhat of a kitchen cabinet upgrade without doing a full-blown kitchen remodel. But before you head to the hardware store to rent the tools you need and buy the product to get the job done, there are certain things about such a project that it would behoove you to know. Here’s a look:

 

Key Challenges

One of the biggest challenges involving crown molding in any application is cutting the material and taking the likes of inside and outside corners, right or left boards and their respective angles into consideration. While this is possible to do on a normal table saw, we’d highly recommend picking up a crown molding jig and adjusting it accordingly to the job you’re working on. This can streamline the efficiency of the project and lead to far fewer cuts for the DIY homeowner.

The second big challenge you’ll face with installing crown molding on cabinets is matching the molding to the color of the cabinet itself. This is much more of an issue when you’re working with stained wood cabinets than it is with painted ones. In terms of the latter, all you’ll need to do is grab some paint swabs from the hardware store and select the one that matches the color. Matching stain can be more complicated. We’d recommend starting with the cabinet maker to see if you can purchase a quart or gallon of the stain that was used on your cabinets for the project. It’s bound to be more expensive than the stuff you’ll get at the hardware store, but it’s worth it to get that precise match and ensure a satisfying end project. You can also bypass staining altogether and instead decide to paint the molding the same color as the ceiling.

 

Installation Tips

Use baseboards: Use baseboards first to fill the gap between the ceiling and the cabinets. This will also provide you with a good anchor to nail the molding into, rather than hunting and pecking for ceiling joists for support. Your baseboard cuts don’t have to be perfect, as it will be covered by the crown molding in the end.

Caulk: Crown molding is wood, and wood products can change based on temperature and humidity. Noting this, caulking and proper sealing are especially important.

Consider corner blocks: Don’t think you can hack the angled cuts? Opt for corner crown molding blocks instead. These can be a novice DIYer’s best friend when it comes to projects like this.

 

The good news is that no matter how difficult crown molding may appear at the beginning, the end result is almost always worth it at the end. Just be sure you know what you’re getting into and what you’ll need before starting the job.

 

In a career spanning over 10 years, Scott C. has experience writing for a variety of mediums. He edited a magazine focused on disaster restoration - and the construction re-build that often followed fire, water and mold damage. He's also been on many construction job sites during his tenure with the publication, helping familiarize himself not only with the tools and practices involved in the trade, but with the safety equipment that should be worn as well.

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