Do it yourself!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

How To Cut And Install Crown Molding

Crown molding is molding applied to the ceiling and wall juncture. Anyone who walks into a home built with true craftsmanship, one of the first things that will catch their attention is the beautiful crown molding that perfectly interlocks the walls and ceiling together. When installed with a carpenter’s skill, crown molding adds that finished touch of elegance to your home that you’ve always wanted. When this project is complete it will be impossible to walk into the room without looking up.

Tools needed:


  1. The installer starts by drawing a map with measurements, including inside corners and outside corners. If applied in multiple pieces, the joint should be placed center of a wall stud. Wall studs can be found simply by driving nails through the drywall behind where the molding will cover. You must identify which is the top and which is the bottom of the crown mold.
  2. Next, cutting with a power miter saw, or a manual back saw and miter box. You will cut the longest lengths first. Note if a wall is longer than 16 ft (usually the longest stock length sold at stores). It will need to be applied in multiple pieces. To cut the molding it must be flipped upside down and bedded in at a 45 degree angle against the fence of the miter saw or miter box. Inside corners, the long point of the 45 degree angle would be to the back of the molding and outside corners, the long point of the 45 degree angle would be to the front of the molding. Note that the 45 degree angle deals with a 90 degree angle of a room. Should the angle of the room be 45 degrees the angle of the cut would be 22 ½ degrees. Thus two 22 ½ degree angles cut on the molding would be your joint on a 45 degree wall and two 45 degree angle cuts would your joint on a 90 degree wall.
  3. Nailing crown molding: It is easiest to nail crown molding using 2” to 2 ½” nails, in a pneumatic nailer (air gun) but can be installed the old fashion way with hammer and trim or casing nails. If using hand drive nails be sure to save the last lick with the hammer and drive it in beneath the surface of the wood with a nail set. You don’t want hammer tracks on the face of your molding.
  4. All your joints and nail holes will need to be filled with a suitable filler and sanded. If the molding paints, caulking not only fills the cracks it adheres the molding.

Helpful Hints:
Be sure to cut square ends to be joined. Do not use factory cuts.
Cut one 3” piece off one end of the molding. Use the piece to go around the room and draw a line at the bottom on the wall making sure the molding is bedded correctly.
Save the longest pieces to join the last corner so you can bow the molding together
for a tight fit.
Good luck!


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