Kitchen Cabinet Crown Molding - Make Them Fancy!

David McIntosh
by David McIntosh
6 Materials
2 Hours

I helped my Neighbor install some new upper cabinets... this project is about how we made them fancy by putting a simple crown molding on the top.

The challenge is that there is little room on the top to nail the crown directly into the cabinets.... so we got creative with some cleats and caulk.... looks great!Here is the before of one section. Lets get started and make them look even better!

The premise is simple... We have 45 degree cabinet crown... so we just built up a cleat we can nail into.It consisted of a small piece tacked directly into the top co the cabinet... then we added a 45 degree piece against the back of the crown so we has something to nail in to.

Here is the top of one of the cabinets.... only need a few around the edges to give you something to pin nail into.

The cleats were made out of some 1x3 wood we actually used to put up the cabinets... this was a longer board used under the cabinet to support them when we screwed the cabinets into the wall. Made the job go much easier. We just repurposed the wood strip after to cut the "base blocks" and the "angled blocks".

The BIGGEST trick in crown molding is to make sure you use wood glue on the corners. The pin nails only hold it in place while the glue dries.

Here is one of the cabinets after we are done.Remember: "Caulk is your friend!" It hides the gaps and it helps hold it in place!

Perfect example of how caulk saves the day. Since the cleats do the heavy lifting.... caulk helps make it look pretty and gives it a little extra support.

Day light gone! The gap filled in nicely.

Here is the final! Looks much nicer doesn't it?Simple way to make any of your cabinets pop. Add it to your kitchen, bathroom, anywhere on a cabinet near you!

I love Crown molding as it turns corners... giving nice shadows and contours. A simple way to make anything POP!Hope this inspires you to try something in your house... or your neighbor's house in this case! The project on this page was just for my neighbor to help him out... If you like this project, then check out what I did for my own kitchen remodel.. going all the way to the ceiling - link below...

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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 22 questions
  • Jackie Britton Lopatin Jackie Britton Lopatin on Mar 07, 2020

    I have a china cabinet with "crown molding" and I would much rather it have a board across the top of the molding. All that space between the crown molding and the ceiling is wasted (in my opinion). Just extra space for dust to collect and no easy way to wipe off the dust. So congrats on having done a good job to get the look you wanted, but have fun getting up there to clean it out later.

    Sorry to be a downer. I'm looking for projects that make my stuff easier to keep clean while expanding my storage space. Can you have too much clean storage space?

  • Carol Carol on Dec 12, 2020

    May cabinets are against the celling, can I nail molding to the cabinet?

  • Mary Njus Mary Njus on Jan 24, 2022

    David, could you be MY neighbor? Love what you did. Thanks for sharing.

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  • Doreen Kennedy Doreen Kennedy on Mar 05, 2022

    Your crown molding looks beautiful. The whole kitchen looks nicer now that the cabinet tops are updated. I have the same cabinets and crown molding in my kitchen. The tops do get dirty, but it’s no big deal. Spending more money to extend the cabinet tops is not a priority for me. I wish people would just appreciate looking at your excellent work rather than focusing on the fact that dirt may accumulate on the cabinet tops. I do thank you for sharing!

  • Monica Packard Monica Packard on Oct 24, 2022

    Unfortunately to old to try but would like to share a tip. If you line the top of cupboards with newspaper, all you need to do is throw up the old paper and put on new. Job done in abut 5-10 min. At most.