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How to Install Crown Molding

How to Install Crown Molding

This post is a long time coming. Like the saying goes “home takes time”. This is especially true when you are trying to document it all ha ha! Let’s dig in and see how to install crown molding.

Just last year we finished installing crown molding in the first floor bathroom, hallway, and guest room! It is so nice to look up and see it. The rooms look so finished ya know?

The top floor remains crown molding-less. We will get there. For now, I will bask in the crown molding glory that is my first floor.

If you are new here, we live in a 1929 Tudor Revival that was in fixer upper condition. Since purchasing the home, we’ve been non-stop with the renovation projects. We do a lot of DIY! One such DIY project is the crown molding.

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Gather materials.

Crown molding Make sure to let wood boards acclimate in your home for at least three days!

Crown molding cutting jig

Flexible caulk– good for temperature fluctuation

Plastic wood wood filler -time dry indicator; goes on pink and dries neutral

Miter saw

10 inch blade 80 tooth (more teeth = finer cut)

18 gauge Nail gun

Air compressor

Sanding block

Spring clamps

Construction adhesive

Set up crown molding cutting jig.

Set up jig to cut molding

At this point you have measured your walls at least twice and got the most accurate measurements. Next up is prepping to cut.

Oh were you wondering “what is a crown molding cutting jog?” It is the black plastic apparatus shown above. A crown molding cutting jig will help to cut the inside and outside corners correctly.

Cutting crown molding.

Cutting crown modling

With the jig in place, you can cut the molding that will run to your corners.

Remember that the more detailed side is hung at the bottom.

If you have scarf joints to cut, you will remove the jig. And don’t forget to change the angle of the saw. We used a thirty degree angle.

What is a scarf joint? This is the seam where two pieces of crown molding meet along a wall.

Add supports to ease affixing to the ceiling and wall.

How to Install Crown Molding

Use 1×4 poplar wood.

How to Install Crown Molding

Measure the spring angle of the crown molding. Using this angle create a triangular template.

Cut a few triangles at once. An eight foot board would need three triangles.

The purpose of these triangles is to ensure the boards sit correctly against the ceiling and the wall.

Optional- instead of attaching the triangles to the crown molding directly, some people choose to attach to walls.

Nail boards in place.

How to Install Crown Molding

Apply spring clamps if needed.

How to Install Crown Molding
My little guy helping his papa.

This step applies if you have a corner like the closet corner shown above.

The spring clamps prevent the boards from sliding out of place.

Cover the nail holes.

How to Install Crown Molding

We like to use plastic wood with the color change property. You can see it goes on pink, then turns light brown when it is dry.

Sand the wood filler.

Sanding crown modling

Excuse the blurriness- hubby was on a mission to finish!

That tube in the photo is a vacuum to catch as much dust as possible.

Caulk scarf joints.

Caulking scarf joints on crown modling

Here is an up-close shot of a scarf joint with dried wood filler and the caulk being applied to the seam.

Depending on preference, wood filler can be used in the scarf joints.

Prime and paint.

How to Install Crown Molding

If you need help with cutting your crown molding and getting the angles correct, take a look at this super helpful post from Sawdust Girl- How to Cut Crown Molding Using Easy Templates.

Thanks so much for reading!

Make sure to check out these other DIY posts:

Easy DIY Wood Fireplace Mantle

Installing Hex Tile

Our breakfast nook bench top tutorial

Replacing a kitchen faucet

21 thoughts on “How to Install Crown Molding”

  1. Some great tips in this post. Your crown moulding looks stunning. You mentioned that you live in a ‘fixer upper’. I’ve seen photos of your house and I wonder when you stop calling it a fixer upper. It’s funny because I would call mine a fixer upper too but it’s nearly finished.

    1. Thank you Carol! Haa that is such a great point. Hmm I guess I’m still in the fixer upper mode because our basement is still in progress and then the backlog of content I want to post lol.

  2. It looks great, Marie! I just finished installing crown molding on my main floor. It really adds that little extra, special touch 🙂

  3. myhomeandtravels

    Great advise here. I tried crown molding around a tricky fireplace MANY years ago before power tools and how to videos. Didn’t go well. I think I could do it now.

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