crown moldingVictorian Style

Finish Carpenter Price c. $18.00/lf + $20.00/Corner or Return

You or your finish carpenter can make this crown molding by stacking four separate molding profiles together.

The design is a hybrid of sorts from several crowns I’ve seen in Victorian homes over the years.

Most of those crown moldings that resemble this one were originally made from plaster by master craftsmen.

You, however, can run down to your local molding and millwork supplier this weekend and install it on your very first try.

Below you’ll find installation tips and a materials inventory list to help you do it yourself.

But first, here are some before and after pictures.


The bay windows in this kitchen, with all of its inside corners, will look fantastic with this large crown molding wrapped inside of it.

bay window moldings

See, I told you it would look fantastic!

bay window

This large  home in Rochester Hills, Michigan, had the same moldings installed by the builder as what you’d find in the least expensive home in the area, or any place else in the country for that matter.

Yet this home was a million-dollar property.

kitchen crown molding

Look at how much interest wrapping the crown molding (and the large baseboard, too) around all of these outside corners created.

That’s what you need to visualize when you’re planning your own project — how the moldings look when wrapped around outside corners, because that’s where all the drama is created.

crown molding corners

finish carpenter work


Materials Needed to Make This Crown Molding

crown molding diy

1. Cornice, CA-009

This is a pretty common casing profile available at lumber yards all over the Midwest.

More about CA-009 here >>

2. Cove Crown Molding, CM-009

An mdf cove with a lot of detail.

More about CM-009 here >>

3. Frieze, MDF-300

This simple piece of mdf board is partly responsible for giving this crown molding design such a great visual impact.

I made the frieze by ripping 4″ wide strips from a full sheet of mdf board.  That makes the price for each 8′ long strip to about $2.72 or about $0.34 per foot. Not bad!

More about MDF-300 here >>

4. Collar, PM-002

Think of the collar in the same way you think of a collar on a column. Same thing. It might help if you think of a crown molding as nothing more than a column capital stretched along the wall.

More about PM-002 here >>


Crown Molding Installation Tips

Installing this crown molding is not much different from installing a three-piece crown molding.

If you need more explicit instructions than what I provide below, then check out my painfully detailed How to Install CROWN MOLDING-103 series.

Otherwise, let’s get started by creating layout lines all the way around the room.

Since this room has so many start and stop points, I take the time to create my crown molding return sketches like the one pictured below.

diy crown molding

Below  I like to work from the top down.

That’s what I did here by installing the cornice, made from CA-009, on the ceiling first before installing the frieze made from MDF-300 on the wall below it.

The frieze gets nailed to each and every stud along the way.

I also make sure that when I splice two pieces of frieze material together with a scarf joint that the scarft joint falls on a stud — this gives the joint a lot of much-needed strength when you shoot nails into it.

molding & millwork

In addition to using lots of Liquid Nails on the back of all moldings, I glue each and every miter and scarf joint together as well.

crown molding corners

Below  I use what I call hanging returns to stop the crown moldings here on both sides of the stairwell. This is a very old method for terminating crown molding.

For a full discussion on different methods for ending crown molding, see my Four Ways to Terminate a Crown Molding post.

moldings stairs

Below  The next step is to install the collar molding below the frieze, and there’s really nothing to it.

I do suggest you create your collar returns before installing the whole, long piece.

install moldings

Below  There’s no trick to installing this crown, either, other than using a regular miter joint on the inside corners rather than a cope joint.

It’s just that this is a really difficult crown to cope.

crown molding buildup

Below  Yes, by all means, take your time on the outside corners!

crown molding corners

With all four pieces of the crown molding installed you can start filling nail holes.

So turn on some music you can get lost in while you do tend to the holes and all of the other time-consuming prep work.

mdf moldings

For an in-depth tutorial on how I prepare moldings for paint you should read through my How to Paint Moldings series. You’ll be glad you did.

priming crown molding

I’m always amazed at how beautiful a molding buildup becomes after I lay that unifying coat of primer on.

It’s the first time I get to see the complete pattern as I originally envisioned it in my head, instead of a mix of molding profiles nailed on top of each other.

I never get tired of that!

kitchen crown molding

And there you have it, a beautiful and graceful Victorian crown molding installed as easy as can be.

I hope this post inspires you to install your own crown molding or, if you have a favorite finish carpenter, to have him or her install it for you.

Related Posts

How to Install BASEBOARD-103, a great baseboard to install along with this crown molding.

How to Install DOOR TRIM-114, a great companion pattern for this crown molding.

How to Install PICTURE RAIL-108, a possible substitute for using PM-002.