The cabinets are one step closer to being done!
One very sexy step closer.
When last we left these cabinets, they were looking a little plain.
So I figured crown molding would do the trick. I knew I wanted the trim to be black — you can see the black paint chips taped next to the cabinet in the photo above. I narrowed it down to 3 or 4 choices pretty easily, but after that they all kind of looked the same to me. So I picked the final color like all professional decorators do: I liked the name.
(It’s Benjamin Moore’s Black Iron.)
Last weekend my mom helped me paint all the trim, so this week I was ready to install it. And I knew just where to start.
Templates! I learned how to make these from Sawdust Girl (Sandra Powell) when I attended the session she taught at Haven (thanks, Sandra, you’re amazing!). I’m not gonna rewrite the book on this one (you’ll see in a moment that you probably don’t want my advice on installing crown molding) so if you’d like instructions on how to make these templates, head on over to Sandra’s blog.
But just because this isn’t necessarily a how-to doesn’t mean I don’t have a good story for you. Because of course, having awesome templates will only get you so far. There’s still plenty of room for operator error.
Here’s where this operator erred: I thought my crown molding had a 38-degree spring angle. (Don’t know what a spring angle is? Sawdust Girl explains it here.) See, I didn’t have a good way to accurately measure the angle. I sort of guesstimated by lining the molding up with…you know what? It doesn’t matter. You shouldn’t do it my way. Because my estimate put the angle somewhere between 38 and 45 degrees. And I chose 38, because it’s the most common.
A lot of time could have been saved if I owned a protractor.
Never underestimate the power of mathematical tools that you learned about in fourth grade. (Or whenever it was that we learned about protractors. My point: it was a long time ago.)
So, using the templates and setting my saw up to cut 38-degree crown molding, I cut the first piece. Then I reached for my trusty cordless nailer (that thing is truly awesome) and pinned that bad boy in place. The picture below shows the technique that I found easiest. (Don’t forget your safety glasses!)
And then I stood back to admire my handiwork while congratulating myself on being so awesome. Encouraged, I measured and cut the second piece.
Then I spent waayyyy too long trying to wrestle a 6-foot length of crown molding into place by myself. Here’s a tip you’ll actually want: get an extra pair of hands for this project.
All the while I was cursing crown molding and blaming the lack of helper-hands for the corners not lining up.
I mean, really not lining up. Not even a little bit. And I was worried that if I re-cut it, I wouldn’t have enough crown molding to go around.
I eventually got it secured. Then I got out my trusty wood epoxy to fill the gap.
But I’m nothing if not stubborn. And if at first you don’t succeed…
Fool me once, shame on you, crown molding. Fool me twice…
…well, okay. The third one was totally my own damn fault.
Stubborn though I may be, I do eventually learn. And what I learned was that my crown molding is the 45-degree kind. I did a bit of googling around the interwebs to find out how to set my miter saw for 45-degree crown molding (30-degree bevel and 35.2-degree miter, if you’re interested). Then I crossed out the numbers I had written on my templates, filled in the new ones, and continued on my merry way.
Within an hour, all of the crown molding was installed. Compare that to the three-and-a-half hours spent messing around before I reset the angles. Grrr.
After that, putting up the trim piece that hides the seam between the cabinets and their caps was a piece of cake. It sits flat against the surface, so there are no crazy angles to deal with.
Once that was done, it was time to fill and sand the nail holes.
Oh yeah, and sand down the wood putty I used to fill in the massive gaps in the first three corners.
After sanding, they looked like this:
Not too shabby, huh? Kind of reminds me of a figurehead on the prow of a ship:
Glorious, isn’t she?
Next, a bit of paint to touch up the filled spots, and TA-DAA!
Crowned kitchen cabinets!
But if you think these cabinets look sexy now, just wait until you see their underwear.