Weekend Warrior: Update up Your Home with Crown Molding

interior view of room with crown moldingInstalling crown molding in any home or apartment is a cost-effective way to add value and character to a space. Prepare for installing the molding by purchasing a few extra yards to use for practice cuts. Also prime and paint, or stain and varnish all sides of the molding before installation – this will keep the pieces from bending and save you time in the long run. As with any weekend warrior project, wear appropriate safety gear.

Tools and materials needed for crown molding installation include: hammer, tape measure, 4-foot level, miter saw, coping saw, a drill, clamps, stud finder, finishing nailer, caulk gun, nails, molding, caulk, and wood putty.

To get started, plan the installation. Some joints are more visible so these are the ones you’ll want to look the best. Start on the wall opposite the door and install a piece that’s square at both ends, as this will make a good first impression to anyone entering the rom.

Next, measure the room and mark the stud locations, as you’ll be nailing the molding into the wall studs. Make light pencil marks high on the wall to guide you as you nail. Put the molding against your framing square and note the distance between the face of the molding and the corner. Cut a scrap to the correct dimension and draw layout lines on the ceiling and wall. Align the molding with the layout lines during installation.

Starting with the wall opposite the door, cut the molding to the correct wall length. Mark the locations of the studs by holding the molding in place and notating the markings on the molding. Drill pilot holes the diameter of the finishing nails to prevent splitting. Nail in place.

Lay out the cope joint on another piece of molding. Use a piece that is a few inches longer than the finished length and flex it in place. Draw a line where you’ll cut at roughly a 45-degree angle. Set up the miter saw at a 45-degree angle and proceed.

Check the joint by fitting it against a cutoff and make the necessary adjustments. Sand and file any high spots to create a perfect fit. Nail the molding into the wall and ceiling. Putty the nail holes. Run a bead of caulk in the seam and wipe it smooth with a wet finger if you plan to paint the newly installed molding.