Installing crown molding will add a touch of class to any room. And while it’s probably one of the most difficult trims to cut once you learn how it’s really not that difficult.
To begin, using a piece of the crown, chalk lines all the way around the room. This will represent the bottom of the trim. This will ensure the trim is installed in a straight line. This is a step a lot of people skip but you will get a nicer job if you chalk lines. Next find the studs around the room and mark them lightly on the wall. The crown must be nailed into the studs.
There are a couple different ways of cutting crown molding. One is to miter the inside corners and the other is to cope them. Both ways are correct but coping is superior because the joint is tighter and won’t open up over time. If the crown is going to be painted this is less of an issue as you can caulk the corners prior to painting. In this article I will use the coping method.
When using the coping method only one side of the crown molding gets mitered. Start by installing your first piece of crown from wall to wall with square cuts on both ends. The next piece will be coped and installed against the face of the first piece. To make the coped cut you first need to cut a 45 degree angle on the end of your piece. To do this set your piece in your miter saw upside down and backwards and miter it at 45 degrees. In other words the bottom of the trim will be against the fence and the top will be against the bed of the saw. Once you’ve made the cut highlight the cut line on the face of the crown with a pencil. Your going to cope on this line back about 5 degrees. Try to cut close to the line. With a wood file file right up to the line. Put it in place to test the fit. You may have to file it a bit more for a good fit. Next measure it for length leaving it a little bit long. This helps the joint close up. Continue around the room using the same process.
Some rooms are longer than stock trim lengths. In this instance we’ll need to connect two pieces together using a scarf joint Never just butt two pieces of trim together. When things in the room move over time a line will appear where the two pieces are butted together. With a scarf joint this won’t happen. To make a scarf joint both pieces are cut at a 45 degree angle. The first piece is cut with the face shorter than the back. The second piece is cut so the face is longer than the back. One piece is lapped over the other. This way when anything in the room moves the joint won’t show a space.
Today there is a much simpler way to install crown molding. You can buy pre-made inside corners. Once you mount the corners you only need to run the crown molding between them with all square cuts. Whatever method you choose crown molding is a great way of giving your room a finished look.