Crown molding – including wood crown molding and faux crown molding – can change the appearance of any room. Its original purpose is to tidy up space where the wall meets the ceiling. If done correctly, it lifts the space by drawing the eye up visually. This gives the illusion of the ceiling being higher. Here are the 6 tips for DIY crown molding like a pro.
Table of Contents
- Tip One: Choose the Correct Molding
- Tip Two: Use a Coping Saw
- Tip Three: Measuring, Marking, and Cutting
- Tip Four: Know How Pieces Join
- Tip Five: Learn How to Cope a Joint
- Tip Six: Check how it Fits
- What is the Easiest Crown Molding to Install?
- What Can I Use Instead of Crown Molding?
- Does Crown Molding Add Value to a Home?
Tip One: Choose the Correct Molding
Crown molding can be expensive. So, homeowners may want to use one made of MDF. MDF is a mixture of resins and wood. It is pre-primed and owners can readily paint it. Do not use MDF on bathrooms or kitchens as the heat from these areas can cause warping.
Tip Two: Use a Coping Saw
The most difficult part of installing crown molding is cutting the corners correctly. Coping saws provide the best way to cut corners with precision as a coped joint will be tighter as opposed to a mitered joint. It is also good for a beginner to use as gaps can be concealed with caulk.
Tip Three: Measuring, Marking, and Cutting
Measure the wall lengthwise so you will know how long the crown molding will need to be. Then, place a mark on the wall to indicate where the bottom of the crown molding will hit. After that is completed, cut the first piece.
The line should be cut straight at a 90° angle. The moldings should click into place against the corners of the wall. Cut the following piece of crown molding at a 45° angle. Set this piece in place. The edges should be firmly pressed along the saw table, and vertically to the side fence. This is the primary tip to a good fit and straight cut.
Tip Four: Know How Pieces Join
This is where things can become confusing for DIYers. The crown molding is upside down. This means that the edge which is along the vertical fence is at the crown molding’s bottom side. The edge located against the table is the top.
When it’s in a proper position, utilize a 10” saw blade to cut a 45° angle. Ensure you cut the angle in the proper direction. Inside corners should have the bottom molding longer than the top. Outside corners need the top molding longer than the bottom molding.
Tip Five: Learn How to Cope a Joint
This method involves scribing the end of one crown molding to the face of another piece. The front edge should be darkened with a pencil. Use a coping saw to get as close to the line as possible. The thumb needs to be held against the blade’s side to begin the start of the cut.
Start slowly so the edge doesn’t splinter and saw at a slight angle. Users should cut off more from the molding’s edge.
Cut small sections to make the coped joint easier to create.
Tip Six: Check how it Fits
You always want to check the fit of your work. Check the molding against a scrap to show if gaps exist that require trimming. A coping saw should be used to cut high points. Once this is completed, attach it to the wall. For long runs, use an 8D nail under the molding. This should be done every few feet. This will hold it into place. The nails should be angled slightly up to hide holes.
They should be in enough to keep the molding in place. Long pieces may require help in holding it up. The end should be pushed into the corner. The fit should be tight. Caulk can be used to hide gaps (use a paintable caulk). Outside corners should meet seamlessly. Beginners may want to paint the crown molding since paint can hide the use of caulking.
What is the Easiest Crown Molding to Install?
Foam crown molding is the easiest to install and is affordable. Foam crown molding is pliable, which makes it easy to work around a home’s curves. In this type of crown molding, you can either spray paint or hand paint.
What Can I Use Instead of Crown Molding?
There are five crown molding alternatives you may want to consider when doing your home:
- Picture Molding. This is very easy to install and is lightweight. If you do not have finishing nails, you can use hot glue to hold the molding in place.
- Paint a Strip. Some homeowners paint a strip at the top of the wall. This can be done successfully if the gap is caulked smoothly. Accent colors can be used and all that is required is masking tape to tape off the area.
- Peel and Stick. This molding is easy to work with and is cost-effective. The back has an adhesive which sticks to the walls. Cutting it can be done with scissors as opposed to a saw.
- Polyurethane Crown Molding. If you want inexpensive molding, yet the same high quality as the actual crown molding, polyurethane foam strips are your perfect option. They look like wood and come in various designs.
- Wallpaper can be used to replace molding and to separate the wall from the ceiling.
These alternatives can be used for baseboards, casings, or chair rail molding.
Does Crown Molding Add Value to a Home?
It can lead to an increase in your home’s resell value. It really falls under cosmetic improvements to enhance the look of the home. It falls under the same category as repainting, adding flooring, etc., to increase the sale of the home.
Crown molding alone does not significantly impact the home’s value but works collectively with the home improvements. Crown molding can add beauty and depth to the home when installed correctly. There can be several steps in installing the molding properly. However, when done correctly, it can be beautiful.
Crown molding was originally created to hide the gaps between walls and ceilings or floors. They also add dimension and height to a room. It makes a small room appear bigger and can really accent high ceilings.
If real crown molding is out of your budget, or you want an easier alternative, choose an alternative such as peel-and-stick molding for your house. The project is less finicky, and it cuts can be done easily with scissors. You also eliminate the need for nails.
Whatever you choose should reflect your style and should go with your skill level. Doing a professional job may not be possible for some. In these cases, cheaper alternatives may be the way to go.