You’re never too old to build models.

[This is part of Our Kitchen Molding Makeover series and How to Install Crown Molding Series.]

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.

Crown Molding Model 1

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.

unbalanced crown molding buildup

This lower detail, the “drop,” is just too long.

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.

Crown molding model 1

This crown design is the least offensive of the three.

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.

A balanced crown molding

A balanced crown molding design.

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

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

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