Cabinets Got Crowned


March 31, 2014 by Sarah

Install crown molding on kitchen cabinets??? Sure I love installing crown molding–said no one ever. At any rate, the cabinets got crowned.

installing crown molding on kitchen cabinets after

Long live ceiling height cabinets!

ikea counterdepth refigerator

These pictures make it look easy–but trust me it was very time-consuming.

The crowning glory went up after installing the trim pieces around the cabinet

trimmed cabinets

I bought pretty much the cheapest crown I could find in the approximate size I needed, a simple primed 3 1/4 inch pine crown. Brought it home only to find that it looked a little too small on top of such tall cabinets.

picking the right size crown molding

Back to Menards I went and later returned with a more substantial 4 1/2 inch primed MDF crown.

mdf crown molding


I thought it would suit the cabinets and the room much better. However, it ended up being a hair too big so we reverted back the original crown we picked out. Oh well.

We decided we would run the crown only around the cabinets to save on some time and as well as money.

ceiling height cabinets with crown molding

Hanging crown can be a pretty time-consuming process for someone who doesn’t do it that often (AKA me).  I made sure to abide by the old rule: Measure twice, cut once. However, it was actually more like measure four times cut once. As you can imagine, paranoia makes for a very long day.

I turned to my old stand by on trim/moldings that I picked up moons ago:

1001 ideas for trimwork

This book is pure DIY idea gold and it also doubles as a pretty good coffee table book.  If you aren’t in the market for books there are tons of helpful tutorials and videos on the internetz.

I learned the hard way that you always cut the molding upside down when working on a crown molding project at our old house (worst day ever).

cutting crown molding

After it was cut and the dry fit was perfect, it was nailed in place.  I was the “cut man” and Adrian installed. We still don’t have a proper nail gun so Adrian did it the old fashion way with nails and a hammer.

nailing crown molding

He predrilled all the holes before placing the nails, and he used a nail set to recess the heads of the nails into the trim without marring and damaging the face of the crown.

nail set crown molding

Adrian glued this small corner return piece in place since it would likely crack if he tried to put a nail through it.

crown molding return

To fine tune any irregularities at the miters I used my hand file to smooth everything down.

crown modling milter joint

crown molding filing

A little bit of caulk/primer/paint will really finish it off when I get around to it. For now I am enjoying it as is.

crown molding north wall


I am not going to go into the intricate details of installing crown molding because I am soooo not an expert on this. Ask me to cope a joint and I will assume the fetal position faster than you can blink. Please consult the internetz for proper instruction.  Try here, here, or here.

After the crown was installed on the fridge cabinet we were able to start putting on the extra trim is was talking about here to mimic the custom cabinet doors.

installing lattice trim on cabinets

lattice trim installed on ikea cabinet sides

Again–needs caulk, primer, and paint. It’s going to be so beautiful.

kitchen remodeling

Those plastic things on top of the cabinets are the quartz countertop templates. We finally approved the templates yesterday. The whole thing was an ordeal–I will write about it another time though. The manufacture will start production on them this week and we should be ready to pick them up in about 2 weeks.

countertop templates

The oven is even in place now 🙂

ikea cabinets oven

What do you think? Would you have run the crown all the way around the room or kept it to the cabinets like us? Anyone have any particularly helpful crown molding tips that you would like to share? I for one am glad the majority of the house already has crown molding in place.  Does anyone else have quartz countertops? How do you like them? We went back and forth with quartz and granite. In the end I liked the quartz just a bit more since it does not require repeated sealing. WOOOOOOOOOOP countertops!!!! Crown molding!!! WOOOOOOOP!

8 thoughts on “Cabinets Got Crowned

  1. Lory says:

    Significant, skilled progress and all looking beautiful. Your language in this post around the word ‘crown’ is clever and only hints at how hard this really was. The post does leave me wondering if you’re thinking you want to put the molding all the way around : )

  2. Stacey says:

    We are in the middle of Riverstone quartz installation (we did the template thing too:, and I really like them. Which is good, because moving them was no fun. Take many people!

  3. Sarah says:

    Thank you Lory. I don’t think we will add more crown molding. It would add a few hundred dollars and it would be more difficult to add it later than to have just completed it at the time of the first install. I could always change my mind though 😉

  4. Sarah says:

    OMG I just spent a little chunk of time looking through your blog. I love finding fellow DIYer in the TCs! I’m so glad someone else have ordered countertops from Menards. I feel your pain on that template situation–we had something similar happen. We also ordered cotton. I’m looking forward to reading more about your house.

  5. Buy a nail gun and you’ll hate it a little less. Plus you can make so many fun things with it!

    • Sarah says:

      Ugh I know…it is on the short list. I am almost embarrassed that I dont have one. I keep saying next project…50 projects later I still dont have one. 🙁

Comment or I'll hate you forever.

Sarah&Adrian @ StPaulHaus

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