Tip Top Shape

You know how something can be mostly done around your house, and although that final 3% makes you want to rip your hair out, you kinda just grind your teeth every time you walk by it and say that you’ll take care of it next week? Yeah … story of my life around this house right here.

So our kitchen has been mostly done for a while. We’ve actually been waiting MONTHS for Home Depot to come by and finish a few small details – they’re actually scheduled to come by today – so fingers crossed, they will actually be done after oh, 6-months of waiting. πŸ˜‰ That saga warrants another post, y’all, it’s been crazy town with those silly kids.Β I think because we knew they still had to come through and finish their portion, we kept on holding off on simple things we needed to do. Things like the crown and caulking and backsplash touching up. But you know what, This weekend, we grabbed that kitchen by the horns and just did it.

This is what our kitchen looked like sans crown. Almost there, but not quite.

Subway Tile Backsplash

After last weekend, we now have this!

Adding Crown in Kitchen

Boom chicka lacka lacka – BOOM. No kidding folks, this lady likes, eer loves her crown.

So after some heartfelt pleas from Jay bird, we decided to go with smaller, more manageable crown than the last joint. Added bonus, it was actually sitting in our garage from our last crown install in the house, so it was kinda a no brainer to use it up.

Before we could add the crown, we had to put in a header piece (just like the last house) so it had something to affix to.

Header for Cabinet Crown

Since we wanted to give this a second to cure, we actually cut and glued these pieces on with liquid nails the evening before.

Normally, a section of this header would be showing, but when we got started in on this little project, we realized that our ceilings are so dang not straight that we had to sorta nix the original plan.

How to Install Crown on Kitchen Cabinets The second crown install option above is what we thought we’d be doing, and in reality, we landed up having to do the first. Totally fine, not a big deal. I personally think the second one looks a bit more regal (extra height, more dimensional) but in the end, I’m just super happy to have to crown up and installed. Gotta work with what you got in old houses. πŸ˜‰

We also realized during our installation process that we had forgotten to add the top row of subway tiles back in the day. Not sure what happened there, but past self was definitely not looking out for future self.

Side note – notice the spot on the ceiling where there’s a curve – that’s where our old cabinets use to end! B-b-b-onus for way more cabinet space.

Subway Tile Above Range

All and all, it was a pretty quick project. After deciding to nix the visible base piece, we just had 10 cuts or so and this baby was done.

Adding Crown to Top of Cabinets

Here’s a close up shot of the crown up above the fridge cabinet. It still needs some paint touch up on the nail holes but man, does it look better. Oh my, why or why did we wait so long to bust this sucker out?

Adding Crown to Cabinets

Have you ever added crown to the top of your cabinets? How did it go?

Queen Bee

At least I’m feeling like yooouurr rulleer, now that’s I’ve some crown in this town. Along with wainscoting, I think you can add crown to my favorite things with the impact it hasΒ on a room. Like, not crappy in a snappy. πŸ˜€ Snicker. I’m on a roll, people.

One thing is for sure, when we moved into the house a few weeks back, I knew that their, faux crown – shall we say – would not be staying. It was pretty sad and pitiful up close. Here’s a shot of it in our Dining Room, post paint.


It was teeny weeny. Now in my dream of all dreams, my crown is like a foot. A massive chunk of heaven just chilling up there next to the ceiling. Alas, small wrinkle. My husband hates cutting large crown. When we installed super large crown molding in the last house above the cabinets, it took him like an hour to make each cut. Knowing that we had the entire house ahead of us for install, I opted to meet him half way on this one, and pick something a bit smaller than I’d normally go for.

Added bonus. Since this crown was more Jay’s jam, I was even able to convince him to spring for all of it once, which saved us close to $50 with reduced contractor bulk pricing. Huzza!! This is the trim we got, which averaged out to .93 a linear foot with the discount (not shabby).

Purchasing Crown in Bulk

Since most of the pieces we were installing were quite long, Jay did need my help for most of the project to hold the trim while he was installing and cutting, so although one person could do it, I would say it’s a 2-person job in all honesty.

My first call to duty was to pre-paint all the pieces, since we thought it would be a lot easier to just touch up the pieces of trim, vs. painting the entire piece once it was up.

Installing Crown Molding

Even though Jay petitioned for a smaller piece, it turns out this crown was actually still too big for his miter saw – whomp, whomp. But we found a work around and to make things easier, Jay decided to install a small piece of wood on either side of the miter saw, since this raised the fence and enabled him to support the crown against something flat as he cut it (allowing for a straight cut).

How to Cut Crown

My job with the cutting was to stand on either end and hold the piece, so it didn’t waiver too much. Hard stuff, people, hard stuff.

Once we got the crown back inside, we determined the best plan of attack was to nail it in along the bottom, and then come back right along the top, as close to the ceiling as possible. In the living room, we tried nailing it in right in the middle, and found that this kinda gashed the wood a bit, since it didn’t have anything to sink into. It would blow out the section we were in, and create a little crater there of nothingness. It also made a mess all over the floor. Trial and error.

How to Install Crown Molding

You can see the big difference crown made on the corner here in our Dining Room. On the far right, there’s the mini stuff from before and the rest of the shot panning to the left has the new stuff. Much, much better. The last stuff was so small, we were actually able to installing the new piece right over it in most rooms!

Installing Crown

Here’s a close up of the crown in the guest room after the install but before caulk. (Caulk cures all – it’s my number one home renovation motto).

How to Install Crown

See what I mean – same corner, after caulk, pre-paint.

Caulking Crown

Now that we have the crown up, I can definitely tell a difference when I enter the rooms. Call me greedy though, I have plans down the road to potentially snaze things up a bit by adding a small piece of trim down below, and painting the rest. Like this. Here is an example via pinterest.

Faux Crown Molding

Here are some before and after pictures, too!

Of the Living Room.

Living Room Before

After. (Sneaky peak at some new furniture, too!)

Crown Molding in Living Room

The Guest Room, before.

Guest Room Before

And after crown. Still needs some paint touch up though.

Adding Crown To Bedroom

And the Dining Room, before.

Dining Room Before

For this room, I’m just going to show ya a corner, since that chandelier makes it darn impossible to get a good shot of the space otherwise. πŸ™‚ Yum. Don’t you just want to eat it up? Well it’s definitely better than what we had before – that’s for sure!

Crown in Dining Room

Crowning Glory

Our kitchen has been 95% done for the last month, but there were a few finishing touches that had to wait on other finishing touches, which prevented us from signing off on this reno and calling it don-zo. Main culprit, sorry to say, was our cabinets that were left in our garage by the installers for a month, leading to warping and all kinds of ugliness. Since the cabinets have a life time warranty against these type of defects, we got all the messed up stuff replaced at no cost. But, it still took over a month to get everything in, which slowed our final touches down. Urgh.

The damage is really hard to see in the picture below (the lines are very fine) but they are definitely there, which was definitely not ok πŸ˜‰

Water Damage on Kitchen Cabinets

Another issue we had with the install, was the spacing between our fridge, and the cabinet panel. Our installer wanted a bit more room to work with, so he just installed some filler panels and bumped out everything a bit to accommodate the fridge. And I hated it. Whats the point of paying extra for a counter depth, built-in fridge, when it doesn’t look built-in? Ya know? So when he came back to fix the doors, he also modified the fridge panels to make a tighter fit. Things went from this:

Gap Between Fridge and Panel

To this. Much better. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

GE Cafe Counter Depth Fridge

With the new fridge all set and in it’s place, we could finally move on to installing the crown, which to me, was MEGA exciting. Since we didn’t paint above the cabinets, things were looking very not finished in the kitchen without our crowning jewel. Now when we were picking out the cabinets, we had to decide between a 3″ space for crown (smaller) and a 6″ space for crown (pretty substantial). Being that I knew nothing about the logistics of crown installation, I went with the tried and true American mantra, bigger is better.

White Shaker Kitchen Cabinets

We knew to get the look we wanted we would have to have a flat piece (more or less an elongation of the cabinet) and the crown, which would rest on the flat piece, and come up to the ceiling. A la this photo.Β With our inspiration tucked away for reference on pinterest, we jumped right in to our first crowning experience. We started by installing the flat piece along the top of the cabinet.

Being newbies at this whole crown business, we realized that the flat piece we bought was way too big, wouldn’t even fit between the cabinet and the ceiling. So we had to take it outside and rip it. Rip it good.

How to Rip Wood

You have a few options here. You can mount this piece on the side of the cabinet (I thought that looked funny), or you can just make it look like an extension of the cabinet, we opted for that one. Here is Jay, modeling our flat piece. He could be a hand model, no?

How to Install Crown Molding

Once we ripped each piece and mitered the edges, we decided to glue these flat pieces right on to the cabinetry. We considered nailing them, too, but really glue seemed like the least intrusive way to go and aesthetically, the most appealing (no nails to cover up).

Now overall, I would say this project was a 7 out of 10 on the difficulty scale for us. A few reasons why. The first is that the cabinet installers kind of did a crappy job. It’s been a learning experience for us hiring someone else out to do some of the home reno dirty work, and overall, I’m kinda like, I’m not sure I wan’t to pay you money to make my house look like poo. I’d rather do that myself, for free! πŸ˜‰

Case and point. The cabinets were not level. At all. See?

How to Install Large Crown

That is some gap action, my friend! Now we called Lowes and told them about this and they just weren’t that receptive. Which makes me kind of mad at them. We’re still trying to work with them to resolve the issue (I’ll keep ya updated) but overall, meh, probably wouldn’t go there again.

The other issue that made the install kind of trick-a-licous was that the crown was big (MEGA) actually, so it didn’t fit right under Jay’s miter saw. Snicker. My baaadd. So anyway, each cut took Jay like an hour. I kid you not. And he’d usually come back into the house and huff and puff and then the piece wouldn’t fit right, which made him huff and puff more. πŸ˜‰ I’m kept telling him – the good news is – you only have 6 cuts! πŸ˜‰

How to Install 6 inch crown

After we installed the crown and caulked the H-E-double hockey sticks out of it, things were looking like the photo above. Not bad, pretty majestic! One of the consolation prizes that Lowe’s gave to us during our ongoing discussions about our cabinet troubles was that they offered to give us a free pint o’ paint from the manufacturer of the cabinets, which matches their color exactly. Now if you’re saying, hurumph, a pint of paint, what is that? I would normally agree with you, but this is like gold plated paint, cause it was $80 bucks for a pint. So I’ll take it!

We had to come through with lots (ahem, LOTS) of caulk to help the trim look a little less janky in a few spots. Since we live in a house as old as Jesus himself, let’s just say there’s been some settling, leading to less than flush surfaces.

How to Caulk Trim

So after carefully painting the trim and caulking the gaps the same corner is now looking like this. Ain’t that purty.

Installing Crown Molding

Here is a front and center shot of the fridge area. Can you tell I’m pretty smitten.

How to Install Crown

Confession. Sometimes I tell Jay I’m looking for the cat at night, but I’m actually just going in the kitchen to look at this crown. I can’t help myself, I’m just drawn to it like a bug to the light. I. love. it.

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