DIY Network

How to Repair Crown Molding

These step-by-step instructions demonstrate how to remove and replace crown molding as part of a ceiling repair.

More in Remodeling

  • Time


  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Apply Paint Stripper

The paint on the crown molding is removed with a paint stripping product. Cut the paper into strips that are long enough to cover about a two-foot section of crown molding.

Tape the paper strips to the wall, label side out, letting it hang down under the crown molding (Image 1).

Use a rubber spatula to apply paint stripper over an entire area of crown molding (Image 2). Make sure to wear gloves and goggles.

Step 2: Apply Paper Strips

Fold paper up and press it firmly into paint stripper so it adheres (Image 1).

Add a top strip of tape to the paper and let it sit for 12 hours (Image 2).

Step 3: Remove the Paper

After the paint stripper has sat for 12 hours, remove the paper strips. Pull back one section at a time so the stripper material doesn’t dry out (Image 1).

With a putty knife, scrape off excess material from the bottom and the top of the crown molding (Image 2).

Step 4: Clean the Molding

With a bucket of warm water and soap, wipe down a section of the molding with a sponge. Use a wire brush and a brillo pad to remove any remaining paint.

Scrub with the grain of the wood to avoid making any deep scratches.

Take some mineral stripper and wipe down the molding to get off the rest of the paint stripper residue.

wipe down section of molding with sponge

Step 5: Remove the Old Trim

If needed, additional molding can be purchased at an architectural salvage store.

When removing old trim that has been painted over, make sure to score the top and the bottom so that when the molding is pulled off extra paint does not pull away as well.

Use a small pry bar and a hammer to gently loosen old molding.

gently loosen and remove old molding