Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/moldings


Hi. I have attached a photo of our kitchen cabinets which were done during remodeling about 12 years ago. As you can see, the horizontal moldings (about 3" wide) were not brought flush to the ceiling, so they are short by about 1/2 inch all around. My question is how to bring them up to the ceiling so there is no space. I guess the options are 1. to remove the moldings and replace them with wider ones and then trim the bottoms of the moldings to fit, 2. To put narrower moldings at the top of the moldings in the photo, 3. to pull off the moldings and slide them up to the ceiling. However I don't know whether there is anything solid behind them, and maybe that would leave it unfinished looking on the bottom. Do you like any of these solutions? Or can you think of a better one? Thanks!

kitchen crown
kitchen crown  

First off, the ceiling appears to be unevenly-spaced in relation to the top of the cabinets.  This may be one of the reasons that the original installer left the gap, instead of trying to fit the moldings to the off-kilter ceiling.  

I doubt that there is much solid behind the moldings.  They are probably attached to a thin strip of wood at the top of the cabinets.

I can't tell from the photo, but the moldings may also be manufactured by the cabinet company, and have a matched finish that would be difficult to reproduce in the field.  

No matter what you do, something will appear crooked, because the ceiling is not parallel to the cabinets.

If this was my project, I would install a two-piece system:  a flat element attached to the ceiling but scribed or fitted so it is also parallel to the cabinets, then a crown molding attached to the cabinets and to the top piece. See attached sketch.

In any event, making this look GOOD is a technical and skill challenge, and not something that a rough or amateur carpenter would normally be able to do.

Best of luck,
Steve Major

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks

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Stephen Major (Owner--Major Design Group)


I can answer questions regarding woodworking, cabinetmaking, architectural woodwork (interior and exterior), and the design of same. PLEASE provide photos whenever possible.


I have 25 years experience as a professional woodworker and cabinetmaker. I have a lot of experience in the design and fabrication of casework (built-ins, bookcases, entertainment centers) as well as free-standing furnishings including beds, tables, etc.

Author: "Architectural Woodwork - Details for Construction" published by Van Nostrand Reinhold (now Wiley).

BS Cornell University.

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