My DIY Kitchen: Cabinet Crown Molding, How to Fake the Look Without the Fuss

12:21:00 PM

Hey, Hey, Hey!  If you follow me on my Instagram page, you will see that I have continued to work on my kitchen.  So far I've added an additional pantry cabinet, I added a plate rack to the side of that cabinet and this past week I replaced our over-the-range microwave, with a range hood and DIY range hood cover (a how-to is coming soon).  But, if you read my DIY Plate Rack Wall Post, you would see how I've  been putting off adding the crown molding to the cabinets, for obvious reasons of course---crown molding is hard work and can be very frustrating.

Although I have installed crown molding in the past, I decided that I wanted something very simple this time around.  Something that adds a finishing touch, but with clean, clean lines.

I've made a concerted effort in this new year to finish (at once) all of the projects that I start.  So after completing the range hood, the last thing I wanted to deal  with was fighting with my miter saw and figuring angles!

So here's what I used:
  • 1x2 pine boards
  • Cove Molding (Foam)
  • Compound Miter Saw (But a hand held saw and miter box would work fine on this project)
  • Brad Nails
  • Campbell Hausfeld Pneumatic Nailer
  • Paint
  • Caulk

Measure the width of the cabinet and cut your first 1x2 to that measurement.

For the pantry cabinet that is shown in this tutorial, I used a 1x4 and a 1x2 because my cabinets are staggered.  The height of your trim is really based on your own preference.  Staggering the heights also helped me to avoid having to cut inside corners. (More on that in a minute)

Then cut an additional 1x2--2 inches longer than your 1st piece (width of cabinet) This will be the top of the "crown".  I stacked the 1x2's like an "L" shape and nailed them together.  The longer piece should hang over the front piece by 1 inch on each end.  (The photo above is just a side profile view to give you an idea)

I then placed this piece on top of the cabinet.  You can see that I also added a piece of lattice trim to cover the seam (the tops of the pantry cabinets uneven in height because one was installed before flooring, and the other was installed after).

I then nailed small 2.5 inch blocks (scraps of 1x2's not shown), behind the 1x2 molding and nailed them to the cabinet.  Similar to this image (for visual purposes only, disregard the wording)


I nailed the 1x2 molding to the blocks.  For the sides of the cabinet, I cut 2 other 1x2's to the depth of the cabinet minus 2 inches and placed it behind the front piece so it butts against it.

I then added cove molding underneath, the cove molding is the only piece that needs to be mitered.

This image shows how the cove molding sits against the 1x2's

This can easily be cut with a miter box and saw.  If you use a compound miter saw this image from Shanty 2 Chic  may be helpful.

Note how the cove molding sits against the saw wall.

Next, you'll want to sand, caulk and paint!  



and Voila, you get the look of a basic crown molding without the fuss!

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  1. You are so amazing, Carli! Your projects always look so polished and professional. I love the work you're doing in your kitchen.

  2. It looks great. I have always thought cabinets looked better with some type of molding at the top.

  3. That after is divine! I love the tutorial, the step by step instructions will make this easy for me when I give this a try!

  4. Great finishing touch to your cabinets! Love it!


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