Entry #215, July 17, 2010
Crown molding is one of those features of a home that can take a room from “so-so” to gorgeous! When selling your home, crown
molding is a feature that appeals to most home buyers and home owner’s love boasting about the amenity.
There are some misconceptions about installing crown molding, some people say it’s easy – ‘Anyone can do it!’. While others will say it’s the hardest thing ever – ‘Don’t try it!’
I’m here to tell you – they are both wrong! I say this to mean – it depends on your patience, skill background, ability to follow directions, and confidence in using power saws. This is a job that can be time consuming, so allow ample cushion time to finish the job. For those of you that prefer to hire a professional, it’s understandable, but for those of you that like the satisfaction of crafting a job on your own – here you go.
E-How has a step by step guide on installing crown molding. See here the tools needed, preparation, and simplified execution. For a full description, visit E-How.
Tools you will need:
1.) Take measurements to get the linear footage needed to span the distance to be trimmed out. Add 10 percent to this figure for waste and mistakes.
2.) Select the style and finish you want for your new crown molding. There are many shapes and sizes available.
3.) Pick a style that suits your decor and personal taste. The finish that you put on should be purchased and applied before you start any cutting and fitting.
4.) Try to buy your trim in lengths that will need as few splices as possible. In some cases splices are unavoidable but the fewer there are the better the finished job will look. (Very long walls may have to be spliced ― 14 to 16 feet is about the longest you will find in most trim pieces and these longer pieces are more susceptible to warping and damage.)
5.) Stain or paint all the molding then allow it to dry thoroughly.
Trimming & Joining:
1.) Overcome not-quite-square corners ― and most of them are not square ― with a “coped” joint:
2.) Run the first piece of crown molding tightly into the corner. Cope-cut the second piece that will form the other leg of the corner angle in the shape of the profile of the molding so that it can butt neatly against the face of the first piece. Here’s how:
3.) Use a deep miter box and a fine-toothed saw to make a cut that reveals the profile of the molding. Position the molding so that it is upside down in the miter box. The face of the molding that goes against the ceiling will be on the bottom of the miter box. Remember, for inside corners, the bottom of the crown molding will be the longest edge.
4.) Cutting the proper miter will reveal the profile of the molding. Cut away the excess wood along the backside of the molding following that profile line with a coping saw. Err on the side of removing too much rather than too little; only the outermost edge of the coped molding will be seen.
5.) Use a utility knife to remove any excess material you missed with the coping saw. Be careful that you do not cut into the exposed face of the molding. Hold the piece in place to test the fit. Take it down and do more carving if necessary. This will sometimes take several fittings and trimmings to get the cleanest-fitting joint.
Attach & Finishing
1.) Determine the location of the joists. Drill pilot holes to keep the molding from splitting.
2.) Attach the molding with only a few nails. (Use 6d or 8d finish nails for this, depending on the thickness of the molding). Take a good look at the positioning before completing the nailing.
3.) Provide a solid nailing area where the joists run parallel to the crown molding by using a 2 x 2 cut on a 45-degree bevel. Cut the 2-by-2 to length then screw it to the wall so that it’s in the corner where the ceiling and wall meet. The 2-by-2 provides a solid surface sitting at an angle, to which you can nail the molding.
This You Tube video will show you step-by-step on how to install crown molding.