As even the most experienced handyman knows, crown molding is almost never easy – and it typically isn’t a task that a novice do-it-yourselfer would try to accomplish on their own. However, there’s a new solution for beginners that will allow almost anyone to install crown molding without the frustration of miter cuts!
A number of new products eliminate this step while still adding an upscale look to almost any room in your home, not to mention making it much easier to install.
Before you start the project, measure and assemble all your pieces and tools: you’ll need corner molding, crown molding, a stud sensor and combination square, a putty knife, handsaw, and one can of enamel paint.
Step 1: Preparation
1) First you’ll need to measure the amount of molding you need to span the length of the wall. Make your measurements from corner to corner, and if they are available, try to get molding pieces that are long enough to span the whole lengths and widths of the room.
2) It will make your life much easier if you paint the moldings while they’re still on the ground. Waiting until they’re up will become a pain – a stray hand can mean touchups on your walls and ceiling that could have easily been avoided.
3) Find and mark the wall studs using a stud sensor, and place your marks on the wall in a spot where they’ll be hidden by your new molding – again, avoiding potential touch-up jobs down the line.
Step 2: Corner Block Installation
4) The new products will come with pre-drilled nail holes on the corner blocks, so take advantage of these and install the pieces as tightly against the wall and ceiling as possible. There should be plenty of material in the corner area where you can nail in the blocks.
5) Remember that you’ll likely need pieces for both inside and outside corners, all of which must be installed before beginning on the crown molding.
Step 3: Crown Molding Installation
6) Measure the distance between each set of corner blocks. This is easier if you have a second person to help hold the tape measure, and afterward you can transfer your measurements over to the sets of molding. Draw your lines using a combination square.
7) Cut your moldings to the correct length, cutting about 1/16” extra to ensure a tight fit – these products are flexible, which needs to be accounted for during installation.
8) Line your first piece of molding up with the corner blocks, and push it into place in the center. If there’s too much resistance, don’t force the piece too hard and instead shave a bit off one end. Once you have a piece in place, press it in at the center and begin nailing at the stud marks.
9) Alternate nails at stud marks between the wall and the ceiling for the most secure fit. Also, drive in several nails at each corner, ensuring that the edges stay tight. This can be done with finishing nails, as they’re long enough to make it all the way into the wall framing. All nails should be just above the wood surface.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
10) Recess the nail heads to just below the surface of the molding, and fill in the holes with wood putty. Allow this to dry before sanding and doing touch-ups.
Check for any gaps, and caulk if necessary. Then, repeat the process for the rest of your crown molding pieces.