You should always build a model of the crown molding you want to install before you nail anything to your walls.
And even though I’ve installed this pattern in a dozen rooms over the years, I still built a model before installing it in our kitchen.
While I was in model building mode, I thought I’d make examples of the most common mistakes people make when designing a three-piece crown. I’ve made them all myself, so my critique comes from having installed each version in my own home (in my early years), standing back and saying to myself, there’s something not right about this crown!
Unfortunately you’ll find examples of all three of these crowns on large and small DIY sites all over the internet.
Model #1: Detail Repetition and Weak Cornice
The main problem here is molding repetition from the lower anchor up in the cornice. The second problem is this tapering pattern creates a weak cornice, and I know you don’t want a weak cornice.
Model #2: Drop Shows too Much Reveal
This lower detail reveal shows too much flat, white space. If the lower molding on this design were thicker and had more detail, it would be an OK design. The cornice flat-stock is good thought.
Model #3: Cornice Too Thin
The flat-stock for this cornice is a bit too thin for my taste, but the lower detail is just right.
Model #4: A Balanced Crown Molding Buildup
Having made all the above mistakes myself, I can assure you that this crown molding pattern looks best.
And this is the pattern we’re going to install in our kitchen. The next step is to clear out the room and start the installation.
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CROWN MOLDING-103 Installation Series
4. Building a Crown Molding Model
[This is part of my How to Install Crown Molding Series.]