Kitchen Cabinet Installation Guide Chapter 6

Learn how to install decorative cabinet molding professionally with this step-by-step video.

Architectural moldings used in numerous ways complete a custom furniture look. A primary use for molding is as crown molding around the top of the cabinets. Moldings can also be used under cabinets, as accent pieces to conceal under-cabinet lights, and along the base toe-kick area of the cabinetry.

A few notes before you begin cutting and installing your molding: Installing molding is detailed work and requires special tools such as a miter saw, coping saw and brad nailer, as well as a working knowledge of fractional and angular dimensions. Be sure to research this process if you’re unsure of any step.

Using your floor plan, layout and inspect the molding pieces. Match wood grain and color so each piece blends with the next. Within each area, cut the longest pieces first to avoid unnecessary seams. It’s also very helpful to have an extra set of hands to help with molding installation.

Before installing crown molding, attach molding support strips flush along the front face frame and sides of the cabinets (no higher than the height of the molding).

Measure the exact dimension of the cabinet width and depth. Mark the back of the molding with these measurements and indicate the direction of the cuts. Place the molding upside down (top at bottom and bottom at top) in the miter saw with the finished face toward you, and position against the saw’s fence at the angle it will be installed. Make your 45-degree cuts and check for size. Cut your dimensions just a bit long to allow for adjustments – you may need to trim again later after dry fitting the molding.

Dry fit each piece of molding to insure correct size and to allow for alterations. Before installation, stain or touch up paint the raw edges of each miter cut to eliminate the white line that can sometimes be seen at molding joints. Install the molding with 18-gauge brad or finish nails. 90-degree corners require 45-degree cuts and 45-degree corners (diagonal wall applications) require 22 ½ -degree cuts.

Complete the cabinet installation with matching toe kick along the base of the cabinetry.

Measure each area, cut toe kick to length, and install with construction adhesive and/or brad nails. Additional decorative molding, such as inside quarter round molding or base shoe, can be applied as a final step.