Gaps in cabinet crown molding with baked-on finish


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Old 02-17-22, 05:17 AM
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Gaps in cabinet crown molding with baked-on finish

I hope the expert carpenters on this forum can help.

Our new home is in the final stages. The crown molding above the kitchen wall cabinets have some ugly gaps. These cabinets do not go all the way up to the ceiling. There are multiple gaps, some at the 45 degree joints and some where the molding meets the cabinet. This molding was supplied by the cabinet maker and I believe it has the same “baked on” finish as the white shaker style cabinets.

Our builder is taking the position that we’ll just have to live with the gaps, that caulking will yellow over time. Is there a caulking or filler product that will solve this and not make it worse?

Thanks!
 
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Old 02-17-22, 05:22 AM
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Some caulks yellow more than others.
Why not caulk and then paint the caulk with the ceiling.
 
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Old 02-17-22, 05:29 AM
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Send pics. I don't understand what the cabinets have to do with the crown molding. The crown molding is going against the ceiling. And no, if cut properly the molding should not have gaps or at the very least nearly invisible gaps. And I disagree that caulking will not yellow (unless it's white) with age. But it should age along with any painted molding. Is the crown molding wood grain or painted white?

edit...yes you stated it's white.
 
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Old 02-17-22, 07:05 AM
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Norm, the crown is on the cabinets. The cabinets don't reach the ceiling.

MaintDude, carpentry is a skill. And there are various subsets of carpentry. Framing, roofing, drywall, finish work. Every carpenter has different abilities, things they are good at. And fast at. You have to be fast to make any money... and sadly nowadays, you don't have to be good. (Which is apparently what your contractor is trying to do.)

Unfortunately, fast, good, and "finish work" do not typically go together. There are very few carpenters who can put up prepainted crown "quickly" and have absolutely no gaps. To do a perfect job, you need to take your time. The other problem is cost. That sort of crown molding usually costs around $12 / ft. So if a piece has a gap, you feel pressure to nail it up anyway and let a painter fix it. Because you don't have any extra pieces at $12 / ft.

Having said all that, it is possible to put up crown molding without any gaps... your contractor just didn't take the time to do it, or didn't hire the right guy to do it. Framers, drywallers and roofers aren't typically your best finish carpenters. The lowest bidder (subcontractors) won't typically have the best finish carpenters.

To your question, if the joints are glued and pinned together, caulk and another coat of color matched paint (preferably professionally sprayed on) would make those gaps disappear. But it is very possible they will reappear with changes in the weather and humidity. Which is why it's usually better to do a good job and have no gaps in the first place.

You need to convince your contractor that he needs to agree to have a painter fix and paint those gaps. Prepainted trim is great, but it always needs caulk and one final coat of paint to cover up the caulk and the nail holes.
 
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Old 02-17-22, 11:14 AM
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Thanks, pics added







 
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Old 02-17-22, 11:16 AM
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Norm, the crown is on the cabinets. The cabinets don't reach the ceiling.
Believe it or not I have never seen that type of crown molding used on cabinets that don't reach the ceiling.
 
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Old 02-17-22, 11:21 AM
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All - thanks for your responses and willingness to help. I just added 5 pics in the event that helps. To clarify, the crown molding above the cabinets isn’t just primed or preprinted, it’s from the cabinet maker and has the same hard shell finish as the cabinets … I call it baked-on.

the install job was performed by my builders in-house carpentry crew.

My feedback to the builder is that for the $000, 000s that we are paying for the house, the gaps should be resolved.
 
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Old 02-17-22, 11:42 AM
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Yes, I understand that you said it's prefinished. And that's what you can expect from prefinished cabinets. Seams are not invisible. Caulk and paint are what make any sort of trim look seamless. He can obtain matching touchup paint kits from the cabinet supplier, if he wants to keep the caulking and painting to a minimum. We can't really help you deal with your builder, this is a diy site.

Norm, you really need to get out more.
 
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