How to Install Crown Molding

Materials Needed:

    • crown molding
    • measuring tape
    • miter saw (we have a DeWalt miter saw)
    • miter saw crown stops
    • stud finder
    • trim nail gun
    • finishing nails for nail gun
    • caulk

Neal and I have installed a lot of crowning molding over the years. We have made many mistakes and wasted a lot of crown molding trying to get the “cuts” right. However, we have perfected (well maybe not perfect, but better 😉) our technique and want to pass on what we have learned to you.

Tip: It saves time to paint the crown molding before installing and then just touch up paint after it is installed and chalked.

A few things to understand that will aid the process:

    • There are a top and a bottom to crown molding.
    • There are outside corners.
    • There are inside corners.
    • You will need to cut the molding at a 45-degree angle (but there are two different cuts depending if it is an inside or outside corner).
    • It is best to do a miter cut for joints (when a piece of crown molding is not long enough and needs to be pieced with another on a long wall).
    • Pay attention when measuring the wall (to determine the length of crown molding) and the actual crown molding. The molding will end up having angled ends. Typically, measure from the longest point on one end to the longest point on the other end.

Make Templates:

The most important thing is to understand the angles and CREATE TEMPLATES. This will save you from making mistakes and wasting crown molding, which is not cheap!

Below is an outside corner.

Below is the template for an outside corner. Each piece is cut at a 45-degree angle. 

Below is the same template held together to show how this fits to make an outside corner.

Below is an inside corner.

Below is the template for an inside corner. Each piece is cut at a 45-degree angle.

Below is the same template held together to show how this fits to make an inside corner.

Below is a mitered joint. Cut miter joints (each piece) at a 45-degree angle.

Measure:

Measure from one corner of the room and determine the length. Remember to measure from the longest point on one end to the longest point on the other end.

Note: To learn how we installed our shiplap ceiling, click HERE

Cut:

Be sure to install the brackets on the miter saw so that the trim snugly fits with the part that is on the wall placed flatly on the wall of the saw. Adjust the saw to 45 degrees, but insure which way (left or right) depending on if it is an inside or outside corner. There may be some pieces of molding that will be cut to be an inside corner on one end and an outside corner on the other end. Again, this is why creating templates will be helpful.

The miter saw is set at 45-degrees to cut either the right side of an outside corner  (would be the piece of molding cut on the left side) OR the left side of an inside corner (would be the piece of molding cut on the right side).

To cut the right side, outside corner or the left side, inside corner, the saw should be set at 45-degrees to the right.

To cut the right side, inside corner or the left side, outside corner, the saw should be set at 45-degrees to the LEFT (i.e. rotate the saw in the opposite direction as pictured above.)

Mark the studs:

Mark the studs around the perimeter of the room (on the wall). It is essential to have wood behind the drywall to nail into to hold the molding in place. Typically, there are studs in the corner, around doors and windows, and every 16 inches apart within the wall.

Nailing:

Once cut, place the molding in place and nail using a trim nail gun. Make sure the nails securely go into studs.

Caulking:

    • Set each nail using a nail punch and hammer and then fill the holes with caulk. Once the caulk dries, wipe the excess to create a smooth surface.
    • Caulk the corner joints.
    • Caulk the mitered joints.
    • Caulk the seam between the wall and the molding.
    • Caulk the seam between the molding and the ceiling. Note: We did NOT caulk this because we installed shiplap on the ceiling and did not want to touch up the paint where we caulked.

Touch up paint where you caulked. Caulk will turn yellow over time if not painted.

Below is an outside corner.

Below is a finished inside corner.

To learn how to install a shiplap ceiling, click HERE.

Final advice, take your time and think through each cut. It will be worth it in the end!  Happy Cutting!

 

 

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Author: Suzanne

Blogger and DIYer with my talented husband Neal. I share about our projects and life lessons following Christ.

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