How to Cut a Cornice for a Kitchen

Written by samantha kemp
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How to Cut a Cornice for a Kitchen
Spruce up your kitchen window with a built-in cornice. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Adding a cornice to your kitchen window lets you transform your casual kitchen into a formal and stately room. Cornices provide a built-in and timeless feature for the kitchen, while providing the flexibility to change out draperies as you see fit. A cornice is a simple box over a window, so you don't need to be a master carpenter for this project to elevate your kitchen.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Curtain rod
  • Hardware
  • Drapes
  • Tape measure
  • Plywood
  • Saw
  • Carpenter's glue
  • Nail gun
  • Nails
  • Crown moulding
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Section of 1-by-2-inch ledger board

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  1. 1

    Hang a curtain rod over your kitchen window. Mount the hardware and rod according to the manufacturer's instructions. Hang your curtains from the rod.

  2. 2

    Measure the length of the curtain rod. Add 1 inch. Measure the depth of the curtain panels. Add an inch.

  3. 3

    Mark your measurements on a sheet of plywood. Saw along your marked locations for the length of the cornice at a 45 degree angle. Using a straightedge will help you achieve a straight line.

  4. 4

    Use leftover wood to mark your lines for the depth of the cornice. Saw one end of two pieces of plywood at a 45 degree angle. Saw the other end to the depth measurement at a 90 degree angle.

  5. 5

    Spread a bead of carpenter's glue on one of the mitred edges of the long board. Attach one of the end pieces with 1-inch nails. Repeat the process for the other end. You should now have one long board with two small boards protruding from the long board.

  6. 6

    Turn the partly finished box so the ends stick up. Measure the length from one end to the other. Cut another piece of plywood equal to this measurement.

  7. 7

    Place the long piece of plywood on top of the ends of the partly finished box. The long piece should be flush against the box. Use carpenter's glue to glue the long piece in place. Reinforce it with nails every 6 inches.

  8. 8

    Cut two pieces of crown moulding 1 inch longer than the plywood ends. Use a saw to make a 45 degree angle on one edge of each piece of crown moulding, one right and one left. The other edge should be kept straight with a 90 degree angle cut.

  9. 9

    Attach the crown moulding to the top of the cornice box. Use carpenter's glue to hold one piece of crown moulding against a cornice box end. Nail it in place to reinforce it. Repeat the process for the other end of the cornice box.

  10. 10

    Attach the long piece of crown moulding. Line up the 45 degree angles. Use carpenter's glue and follow with evenly spaced nails to secure the last piece of moulding.

  11. 11

    Prime the cornice and crown moulding. Paint the cornice white or a colour that matches your kitchen decor.

  12. 12

    Install a 1-by-2-inch ledger board between the two curtain rod brackets. Drill several screws through the board and into the wall to secure it.

  13. 13

    Mount the cornice over the kitchen window. It should be placed in the middle of the window with the same amount of overhang on each side of the window. Drill screws into the cornice at an angle toward the wall. Use 2-inch screws to drill the cornice to the small board underneath to secure it to the wall. The cornice should completely cover the curtain rod.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a jigsaw to make a cornice that is not the traditional rectangular design. You can also mount the curtain rod inside the cornice box by adding a few pieces of medium-density fiberboard to hold the rod in place.
  • Complete the same process if you want to make an upholstered cornice but add batting and fabric to each individual piece before you join the plywood pieces together. Use L-brackets to attach the wooden pieces together.

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