Installing Crown Molding…Another DIY Project

Crown molding is one of those architectural feature that when done well, makes the ceiling of your home look higher, more finished as well as more interesting , not to mention the adding value your home gets in its value. Now, what about the history of such a great home improvement idea? In order to share some interesting information regarding crown molding, I would like to mention that it all started with the ancient Greeks; they used it in buildings to visually divide spaces into smaller units, the most common molding shapes they used were based on the classical ellipse, parabola and hyperbola. Then the Romans simplified those shapes, incorporating molding on circles, developing the half round and quarter round shapes. Today it is still possible to find and see both the Greek and Roman versions of molding; they are actually considered the building blocks of interior ornamentation.

When it comes time to make some home improvements, it is the little details, as much as the large renovations, that essentially make an impact in transforming a room from a simple space to a textured and eye- catching area with a more finished, modern and sophisticated feel. Fortunately, adding those little touches and do it yourself elements in your home is easier and cheaper than it may seem. Understanding the ins and outs of molding installation is key in the process of arming yourself with everything you need in order to execute an outstanding DIY crown molding project; balance your skills and patience, the result will be your home’s rooms with a real impact. Crown molding is another great DIY project you can accomplish and today I would like to show how you can do it.

Determine the Style of Molding You Want

Since it comes in a wide variety of types that ranges from MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) to intricate wood designs, it is important for you to determine the material you want your molding to be made of. My suggestion is that if you are planning to install crown molding in areas such as the kitchen or bathroom, do not opt for MDF molding as the humidity of these rooms can cause it to warp.

Measure the Space

Luckily crown molding is designed to travel the whole perimeter of the room around the ceiling. What you need to do is just run a tape measure along the floor and once you have the linear footage calculated, you have to add 15% or 20% to ensure you purchase enough molding material.

Make Sure You Count on the Required Tools and Other Materials

Your main material will be molding, however you will also need the following tools and extra materials:

Power miter saw
Coping saw
Sandpaper (file)
Laser level
Chalk line
Paintable caulk/ caulk gun
Power nailer
4d, 6d, or 8d finishing nails
Carpenter’s glue
Wood putty

Cut the Corners of the Molding

The corner pieces of your molding should be cut at 45 degrees angles so they can fit into each space. Hold the molding upside down will be very useful in order to get each piece to fit together on the wall itself. When it comes to inside corners, you will only need one piece cut at 45 degrees, the other piece can butt against the wall 90 degrees. To make the two pieces fit together, cope the back of the 45 degrees piece so you can cut away the excess material and keep the profile at 45 degrees angle. As soon as you cope the joint, the 45 degrees piece has to fit in snugly against the 90 degrees piece on an inside corner. Now for the outside corner, you won’t need coping but only cutting two pieces at opposing 45 degrees angles; once again take care to cut them upside down. A smart idea may be using the opposing 45 degrees angle method for inside corners as well; adjust the angle of the cut’s long point towards the ceiling accordingly. Since the fit mitered 45 degrees cuts is not as tight as the coped cut for inside corners, you should pay attention and use caulk to finish these cuts.

Draw a Guide and Measure the Wall

Measuring the wall gives you an idea of the length your first piece of molding should have. Draw a guide on the wall to show the bottom edge of the molding, you might need someone else’s help in this step. Once you have mark the guide, press the molding into each other tightly enough that the fit is secure and aesthetically appealing. When you find that point, it is time to use a pencil to draw a line on along the bottom of the molding. Use a laser to level the molding and determine the angle of the ceiling. As a suggestion, draw a guide across the wall and leave a gap at the top so you can fill in with caulk or wood putty.

Cope the Joints

Coping a joint is simply scribing the end of one molding to the face of the other. To achieve this, darken the front edge with a pencil and the use the coping saw in order to cut as close to the line as possible. Hold your thumbs against the blade’s side so you can guide the start of your cut. Strive to start the cutting step slowly so you avoid splintering the delicate edge. Cut a slight angle and be sure to cut off more from the molding’s edge so you do not need to cut it all at one time.

Understand the Fits

Locate all the wall studs and ceiling joists by using a stud finder, mark each one with blue painter’s tape. These marks serve as your measurements for cutting the straight pieces of molding.

Attach the Molding

Take the molding to the wall once the fit is right. Ii is recommended to start at one corner and then make your way around the room. A power nailed with 2 inches finishing nails will be required to attach the molding at all the studs and ceilings joists. The use of this tool reduces fatigue and eliminates the need for predrilling. Additionally, it is important to add caul or construction adhesive to each corner as well as lap joint before to the installation. This not only creates a stronger bond but also ensures that the pieces firmly fit together, and makes finishing easier.

Make an Aesthetic Finish

Now that you have the entire room completed, add caulk to fill in the top areas; hide that nails by adding non shrinking vinyl adhesive to all nail holes. Be sure you tap in any nail heads which may be protruding, use a hammer and tamper.

Crown molding as a gorgeous home improvement has been part of the building tradition since the time of the Greeks and Romans; this architectural feature provides your spaces with classic and modern details that can beautifully set the tone of your room, whether to ornate or modern. I must suggest you to keep style in mind when deciding among the incredible variety of crown molding designs you can find; your style should suitably match the overall style of your house. On the other hand it is not worthy to install crown molding in a home where everything else is outdated, make sure to first upgrade other areas of your home for instance a fresh coat of paint, a new or refinished flooring and then focus on giving your home the best version of crown molding you can create, this architectural feature will ultimately give you the best bang for your buck.

Remember, address those various other issues in your home that need to be fixed and once you have them done, it will be time to move on to you DIY crown molding project; believe me, it will look out of place having such a good crown molding created by you in a home with worn- out flooring, peeling paint (or wallpaper) and outdated light fixtures.