How to Install Crown Molding 01:00

John DeSilvia explains how to install decorative crown molding on a wall.

Step 1

Available in traditional egg-and-dart or dental molding, crown molding materials have evolved to include foam and MDF. As well as enhancing your home, crown molding has a practical benefit because it hides any imperfections where the walls and ceiling meet. When installing crown molding, always remember to follow safe practices when working on a ladder or scaffold.

Step 2

Find Wall Studs

Find Wall Studs

Find and mark the wall studs in the room with a stud finder or with nails. Mark studs with just a pencil.

Photo by: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Find Wall Studs

Find and mark the wall studs in the room with a stud finder or with nails. Mark studs with just a pencil.

Step 3

Secure Nailing Strip to Wall

Measure the height of the crown molding. Trace the height of a piece of molding on a block (Image 1).

Transfer the measurement to a nailing strip and cut it to length (Image 2).

Use the nailing strip to mark layout lines on the walls (Image 3).

Cut a miter in the nailing strip so it follows the profile of the crown (Image 4).

Use screws to securely attach the nailing strip along the stud marks (Image 5).

Step 4

Measure and Cut Molding

Mark the placement of the crown molding on the wall (Image 1).

Measure and cut the molding to length (Image 2).

Smooth the ends of mitered pieces to make a clean joint (Image 3).

Drill pilot holes in the molding to help prevent splitting (Image 4). Nail in place.

Step 5

Attach Molding to Wall

Using finish nails, nail the piece of crown in place (Image 1).

Use a nail set to make sure the nails are below the surface of the molding (Image 2).

When attaching mitered pieces, line the end of one piece with construction adhesive (Image 3).

Use a finish nail to secure the two pieces at the joint (Image 4).

Step 6

Mark for a Cope

When shaped moldings meet at an inside corner, the best way to join them is with a coped joint, which is created by cutting a profile on the end of one piece of molding so it fits over the contours of the face of the second piece of molding.

Measure and mark for the length of the molding that will be coped (Images 1 and 2).

Set your miter saw to 45 degrees. Place the molding on the miter saw with the ceiling edge flat on the bottom. Cut the end of the molding (Image 3).

Step 7

Mark for a Back Cut

Scribe the profile of the trim to bring out the line (Image 1).

Using a coping saw, cut along the profile of the end, removing material behind the end at about an angle of 45 degrees (Image 2).

Step 8

Coping Tips

Coping is not as hard as it may look. And the benefits over mitered joints are worth the extra few steps. Wood tends to contract, and a mitered end will pull away from what seemed like a perfect joint. A coped joint will not open up as much. Use a coping saw to remove the material behind the end of a piece so that it fits snugly with another piece.

A coping saw has a c-shaped frame, a handle and a thin flexible blade (Image 1). The blade can be installed to cut on the push or pull stroke.

Smooth the end of the coped joint for a clean finish (Image 2). Test the fit of the coped piece by holding it in place against a scrap piece of molding.

Step 9

Molding Tips

Fit a coped end to the piece of crown (Image 1). Cut more material or sand to adjust the fit.

Nail the molding in place. Fill any gaps with caulk. Fill nail holes with caulk and wipe the excess with a damp cloth or sponge (Image 2).

Use a wood block to gently tap crown molding pieces in place or to adjust a fit (Image 3).

Fence accessories help support tall pieces of molding in the saw (Image 4).