how to cut crown molding corners

Learn how to make a hanging crown molding return, step by step.

[This is part of my How to Install Crown Molding Series.]

Chances are there’s at least one corner of your home that will need the crown molding returned to the wall.  If you don’t know how to return a crown to the wall, fear not, I’ll show you how.

Hanging Return Example #1

When the crown molding is simply wrapped back on itself like this, I call it a hanging return.  This first example shows how I returned this three-piece, Victorian cove crown molding in a hallway.

Step 1

Make a model of your crown molding like I did here, and then hold it up against the wall where you want it to stop.

crown molding buildup model

Making a crown molding model helps you solve all kinds of problems before you install.

Step 2

Use a pencil to scribe the outline of the crown profile.

how to cut and install crown molding

Thick carpenter pencils are for framing. Use a #5 mechanical pencil for finish carpentry.

Step 3

Install both the flat-stock cornice and the lower detail, both returned to the wall.

diy crown molding buildup

Glue and nail the upper and lower details in place.

Step 4

Make the outside miter that wraps around the lower crown detail before you install it.

crown molding corner

Make a reurn the same depth as your lower crown detail.

Step 5

Install the crown with the return on the end.  Don’t forget to use plenty of Liquid Nails on all contact surfaces.

diy mdf crown molding in hallway

The crown should just drop into place as one piece like this.

how to install easy cronw molding

This is a good way to terminate a crown molding.

Hanging Return Example #2

This sequence shows how I returned a four-piece crown molding buildup in a large kitchen.  The steps are the same as the previous sequence, the only change is the addition of the fourth detail, the crown necking.

crown molding corners in large kitchen

crown molding return

four-piece crown molding kitchen

how to instal kitchen crown molding buildup

large crown molding return diy

Now all that’s left is to paint the crown, then the ceiling and then the walls.

Good luck!

[This is part of my How to Install Crown Molding Series.]