How to Hang Crown Molding on Kitchen Cabinets | Ask This Old House

5November 2018

Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva installs crown molding on kitchen cabinets with full overlay doors
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Time: 6 hours

Cost: $100

Skill Level: Moderate

Tools List for Hanging Crown Molding:
Brad nailer
Drill driver
Miter saw
Caulking gun

Shopping List:
5/4” Pine
Fast drying spray primer
Super glue
Wood glue
Brad nails
Wood screws
Wood putty
Paintable caulking

1. Cut strips of the 5/4” pine to length and width, based on the size of the cabinets. These will be the filler pieces.
2. Make rabbet cuts on the filler pieces so that the piece fits tightly on the top of the cabinet and over the door of the cabinet.
3. Once the cuts are all made, spray paint the filler pieces to match the color of the cabinets in case they show through.
4. Mount the filler pieces to the cabinets using super glue to hold it in place and wood glue to more permanently bond it to the cabinet.
5. From the sides of the cabinet, nail the filler pieces in the place. For the front filler piece, drill from underneath the inside of the cabinet, and then secure that piece with wood screws.
6. Hold up the crown molding on the sides of the cabinet. Be sure they’re tight against the wall. Use a pencil to mark from the inside the correct measurement to cut the crown molding. Draw an arrow on the inside to help determine which angle the miter cut should go.
7. Hold the crown molding upside down and backwards so that it presses up safely against the fence of the miter saw. To keep it from slipping, you can use some of the clear polyurethane glue and a couple small pieces of wood to glue on the base of the saw to act as stops.
8. Turn the miter saw to 45 degrees based on the direction of the mark drawn on the crown molding during measuring. Cut the piece.
9. To make the sister cut on the opposite piece of crown molding, turn the saw to the opposite 45 degree angle and cut it again.
10. Nail the two pieces together using the brad nailer and then hold the crown molding back up to the cabinet to get the next measurement. Measure and mark the front piece of crown molding. Be sure to also mark the direction of the angle for the crown molding like before.
11. Make the miter cut for the front piece of crown molding. Then, make the sister cut for the following side like before.
12. Mount the crown molding to the cabinet using the brad nailer. Repeat this process with the rest of the cabinets with outside corners.
13. For any cabinets with an inside corner, cut the miters with the opposite 45 degree angle so that the miter angles on the crown molding cuts into itself.
14. Fill in all the nail holes with wood putty.
15. Caulk around the crown molding where it meets the ceiling to give it a finished look.

The homeowner had already purchased shaker-style cabinets that came with the crown molding.

The wood glue and super glue Tom used for the crown molding and the filler pieces are both manufactured by Gorilla Glue (

The other materials Tom used to install the crown molding, including the brad nailer, compressor, and spray paint, are all found at home centers. For the spray paint, Tom recommends getting a fast drying spray primer with a dry time of one hour.

Expert assistance with this segment was provided by Universal Factory Direct (

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How to Hang Crown Molding on Kitchen Cabinets | Ask This Old House

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