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Photo: Nico Kai
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Cutting Decorative Molding

Q: I plan to install decorative molding in our kitchen, but in one location I'd like to have it stop before it reaches the intersecting wall. How do I make that look good?
—Ed Ludlum, Ballston Lake, N.Y.

A: When a molding has a profile, it will look much better if you highlight that profile by cutting a small, wedge-shaped piece from the same stock. This piece, which caps the end of the molding, is called a return because it "returns" the profile back to the wall. Knowing how to cut a return is a useful skill, whether you're installing baseboard caps, wainscot caps, or crown molding. Here's how to do it safely using a miter saw.
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