How to Install Crown Molding

Unless you install crown molding properly, it could end up as a disaster. These instructions will show you how to put the material on kitchen cabinets.

Required Tools and Materials

Wood filler
Miter saw
Measuring tape
Crown molding
Finishing nails
Air finish nailer (optional)
1- to 1 ½-inch strips of wood

Step 1

Cut the wood strips so it will fit on the kitchen cabinet edge.

Step 2

Nail the strips on the kitchen cabinet top edge. This will function as a nailing strip so there is no need to nail the cabinet’s finished surface. You can also use an air finish nailer. If that is
not possible, hammer and finishing nails have to be used.

Step 3

Before you install crown molding, cut it to fit. For kitchen cabinets, these are installed as square. This means you can make 45 degree cuts.

Step 4

Hammer the crown molding on the nailing strip. This should be at the cabinet’s top.

Step 5

To finish the installation, fill the gaps with the wood filler. The wood filler can also be used to cover up any imperfections. You can also use staining or painting. However, there are some pre-finished crown molding available. They will render this last step unnecessary.

Step 6

If you have any other kitchen cabinets, just repeat the process.

Other Information

There are crown molding products made specifically just for cabinets. Whenever possible, use the air finish nailer. This tool can make it easier to trim and put crown molding in place. One of the advantages of using headless nails is they cannot be seen.

Note that the installation process will vary if the kitchen reaches the ceiling. In this case, you have to put the crown molding at the front surface. You may also have to put a nailing strip on the cabinet’s front surfaces.


When putting in crown molding, patience is required. If you have to work with several cabinets, work only on one project at a time. If the molding has rough surfaces, use your fingers. They are best for working on joints and holes.


Be careful when using the power miter saw. Make sure you wear safety glasses so splinters do not get in your eyes.

If you are going to install crown molding, accuracy will be critical. Make sure the measurements are appropriate. It is a good idea to purchase extra material in case you make mistakes. If you are inexperienced, try working on a small section first.

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