[This is part of Our Kitchen Molding Makeover series.]
On This Page
- Prepare the Corners
- Gluing the Scarf Joint
- Wrapping Molding Around the Air Vent Box
- Cutting the Cope Joint
- Glue Molding to the Brick Wall
Prepare the Corners
Drywall tape and joint compound usually forms a small “U” shape in the corners that can push your moldings out of whack. To help your corners come out better, use a putty knife to knock them square like I did in the images below.
Note: I normally install the cornice piece first. But since I can’t layout the cornice on the ceiling until I’ve installed the lower detail around the air vent, then I have to start with the lower detail this time.
Note: I’m using 18g brad nails for the majority of this installation.
Gluing the Scarf Joint
The right side of this air vent is a long wall that requires I use a scarf joint to join the two pieces together. Here’s how I do it.
Wrapping Molding Around the Air Vent Box
Air vents are one of those limiting factors that affect what size crown molding you can install in a room. My preferred method is to wrap a box around the vent like I’m doing here. But you could also start and stop the crown with a return to the wall on either side of the vent.
Note: Make sure you make your box deep enough that you have room to adjust your air vent lever.
Above: This is what I get for putting too much glue on the mitered faces. Tip: Let the glue dry for two or three minutes and then scrape it away with a scale or putty knife. Glue that has set up a bit won’t smear like fresh glue does.
Above and Below: With the extension tabs installed and the glue dry (above), you can now measure an then cut the front piece (below).
Below: I built this box just barely big enough to allow me to adjust the vent lever and also remove the screws and the entire vent if I need to.
Glue Molding to the Brick Wall
Our “dining room” wall is a brick firewall between ours and the next townhouse. If you have a brick wall too, you may be wondering if you can install crown molding. The answer is yes, and there are two methods:
- Anchor the lower detail by drilling holes in the brick and screwing and gluing it in place.
- Just glue the lower anchor in place.
I use method #2. I’ve attached plenty of crown molding to brick and tile walls, and they are all still solidly in place today. All I ever did was glue the lower anchor to the wall with a heavy duty construction adhesive (not molding adhesive) — and lots of it — and hold it in place for a while until it sets up. That’s it. That’s my secret to attaching crown molding to brick or tile.
Below: Tack a scrap piece of wood that can support your lower detail until the glue drys.
Cutting the Cope Joint
Below: The lower anchor only needs to be coped on the right side. The left side will be a blunt cut.
Tip: Don’t force the blade through the material, let the blade do the work. It helps to always use sharp coping blades — they’re not expensive, so have lots on hand and change them often.
Note: Always test the fit of your cope joint before you apply the glue. This MDF is soft enough that you can use a utility knife to make fine adjustments to the fit.
Below: After gluing a molding to a brick wall, I always let the glue dry overnight before I add any molding on top. That may be overly-cautious, but I feel better if I don’t disturb it for while.
The next step is to install the cornice on the ceiling.
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CROWN MOLDING-103 Installation Series
7. How to Install the Crown Molding Lower Detail