before crown molding

[This is part of my How to Install CROWN MOLDING-103 series.]

The traditional style crown molding I installed in this boy’s room, complete with these toy airplanes hanging from the ceiling, is a classic design that’s an appropriate style for the majority of homes in North America.

But I warn you, crown molding is the gateway drug to the permanent condition of wanting to upgrade all the moldings in your home, once you see a nice three-piece crown molding like this one installed in your very own home!

crown molding

And since it is so easy and affordable to install — about $3.00 per foot — it would make a great first project if you’re still unsure about taking on a diy molding project. You can start this weekend!

Even if you don’t have a quality molding & millwork retailer nearby, you can buy all the moldings in this buildup at the nearest Lowes Home Improvement or Home Depot.



Some Tools You’ll Need

  • Power miter saw
  • 18 gauge nail gun and compressor
  • Coping saw
  • Ladder
  • Misc. hand tools

And that’s about it.

blue bedroom

So begin in a subordinate room like an extra bedroom or even a laundry room if  you’re worried about making a mistake that will be highly visible.

I always start by making a model of the crown molding I want to install. That way I can work out any changes to the proportions before I commit to gluing and nailing moldings to the wall.

I also use it to get my final projection and drop dimensions.

mdf crown molding

Below  These scribe blocks I use to guide my #5 mechanical pencil around the room as I make layout lines.

diy molding & millwork

Below  Note how I cut a slight angle or chamfer to the ceiling side of the block.

I do that because the corners of ceilings are notoriously bumpy — the chamfer helps me scribe straighter layout lines.

how to install crown molding

millwork installation

For an industrial-strength crown molding installation, always glue every single contact surface of your installation.

The cornice and lower detail in the picture below are glued and nailed in place. The glue is Liquid Nails and the nails are 18 gauge brad nails.

Make sure you nail the lower detail to the studs.

bedroom moldings

Below  Cope joints are strong joints for this kind of crown molding installation. Use them. They are not hard. Practice on some scrap pieces and you’ll do just fine.

diy moldings

Below  Filling the nail holes is very important for the final finish (I use this kind of spackling). Be patient. Fill each one.

I go into more detail on how to prep your moldings for paint here on my How to Paint Moldings article.

And you can find even more detailed three-piece crown molding instructions here: How to Install CROWN MOLDING-103.

paint moldings

sanding sponge

Now don’t you think this crown molding would look great in one of your rooms?

Why don’t you give it a try?

It’ll be the start of something beautiful in your home that you won’t want to stop until the whole house has beautiful moldings!

painted moldings


Posts in This Crown Molding Installation Series

1.  How to Install CROWN MOLDING-103 for About $3.00/ft

2.  Crown Molding Limiting Factors

3.  Kitchen Crown Molding: Materials from Lowes $211.75

4.  Building a Crown Molding Model

5.  Preparing the Cornice Molding

6.  My Crown Molding Layout Techniques

7.  How to Install the Crown Molding Lower Detail

8.  How to Install the Crown Molding Cornice

9.  How to Install the Last Piece of Crown Molding

10. Before & After: Another CROWN MOLDING-103 Installation