crown moldingTraditional/Victorian

Finish carpenter installation price c. $12.00/lf + $12.00/corner or return

The reason I’ve classified this crown molding as both a traditional and a Victorian design, is because I’ve seen similar profiles in American Victorian homes as well as very old classical buildings in Europe.

So feel free to use it with either style decor.

An Easy Installation

I have enough installation pictures below of this crown molding to give you the general idea of how to do it yourself.

But if you want even more explicit instructions, you can read through this series: How to Install CROWN MOLDING-103.

crown molding

Notice how the door being set back like this provides two perfect places to show off the crown molding as it wraps around these outside corners.

mdf crown molding


Molding & Millwork Inventory

molding & millwork

1. Cornice

This is our familiar old, pre-primed mdf flat-stock.

More about FS-001 here >> 

2. Crown Molding Profile

This pre-primed, mdf crown is pretty common any place where you can buy moldings. Be careful you buy a version of it that has a nice resolution.

More about CM-011 here >> 

3. Lower Detail

And here we have another old favorite. Normally sold as a baseboard molding, most people have no idea how versatile this profile is!

More about PM-008 here >>


Installing the Crown Molding

I always make a model of my crown molding before I install it, even if I’ve installed that buildup before.

The reason is that small changes in materials can sneak in that you might otherwise not notice.

This happens because lumber yards often have several suppliers for the same profile. And though that profile may look the same superficially, it could be different enough to cause trouble in the middle of your installation.

After I build the model, I’ll use it as a gauge to double-check limiting factors, or obstacles that might force me to make small adjustments in the proportions.

crown molding

Scribe Layout Lines

Make a couple of gauge blocks out of scrap flat-stock and use them to scribe the cornice and lower detail layout lines all the way around the room.

If you have a hanging return to make, you can use the crown molding model to sketch out your termination profile. See how to make a hanging return here >>

Install the Cornice

Use lots of Liquid Nails, along with 18 gauge brad nails, to help hold your cornice in place.

diy crown modling

Install the Lower Detail

The lower detail takes a little more work than the cornice since inside corners need to be coped and outside corners carefully matched.

Don’t forget to use lots of Liquid Nails and nail at the studs.

Installing the Crown Profile

If there is a blind corner like this one, then I usually start by installing the first piece of crown molding profile here.

I don’t cope this crown profile, but you can if you want. Just remember to glue both faces of the mating joints.

install modlings

The rest of the installation is pretty straight forward. Wrap the crown around the rest of the room.

Use a 45 degree scarf joint when splicing two pieces together along a wall. And make sure you glue both faces of the scarf joint.

If you can, make your scarf joints fall on a stud so you can nail into something that solid.

how to install moldings

Prep for Paint

The final quality of your finished crown molding depends as much on how well you prep it for paint as how well you installed it.

Make sure you take your time and do a good job, it’s always worth it!

Here is my process for prepping and painting moldings here: How to Paint Moldings.

finish carpenter

This is a truly beautiful crown molding, but unfortunately the client did not want to upgrade the door trim and baseboard, so this is how I had to leave it.

But you don’t have to.

If your tastes run on the Victorian side, then corner blocks for door and window trim would be a fine choice. If your tastes run traditional, then perhaps some nice eared architraves would do well, like DOOR TRIM-103.

Good luck!