The Trials of Crown Molding

Who doesn’t love crown molding?  It’s simple, elegant, beautiful, timeless, and instantly boosts the value of your home.

I’ve been drooling after houses with crown molding for as long as I can remember.  There have been times when I’ve been caught gazing longingly at the ceiling of someone else’s house during a visit, completely unaware of any other conversations that were going on.  Therefore, when I saw the ho hum of my bedroom ceiling, I thought… this is my chance.


Our good friend, Chandler, was in town the weekend we decided to tackle our crown molding project.  Bless him.  He helped us haul the 12′ crown molding strips and the lumber for Evan’s bookcase project from Lowe’s.  That would’ve been a funny sight to see me driving down the highway with crown molding hanging out of my convertible.  He also served as Evan’s helper so I could stay out of the way of the project, the miter saw, and math.
The boys at work.
The first thing we did was determine which side of the crown molding’s design was going to be on top.  After that was decided, we marked the molding strips to eliminate any chance of mistakes.
Then the guys went to work determining how long the crown molding needed to be for each wall.  All of the walls in the master bedroom are longer than 12′, so we needed to use the full length of one strip of crown molding, as well as half of another strip.  Once they figured out the dimensions of the room, they used the miter saw to create 90 degree cuts on each second half of the molding strips.
Up until this point, we thought this project was going to be a cinch.  The guys then took two small test strips of molding to see how the corners of the room were going to play out.  They cut the right and left side of the strips at a mitered 45 degree angle because it seemed like the logical thing to do.  We then pranced inside the house with the cut pieces to see how they would look against one corner of the room.
Well, our angle was wrong.  
It looked something like this.  I was too ashamed to take a picture of it myself.
Back to the garage.  The guys busted out pencils, paper, and their brains to conduct some math that I couldn’t understand.  When they thought they had found the perfect angle, they cut the two trial pieces again.  And again.  And again.  And again.
It was that pesky spring angle that was messing everything up.
I felt kind of useless at this point, so I went inside to check out if anyone had the “perfect angle” for crown molding somewhere online.  The first thing I saw when I searched Google was, “Crown molding is essentially the hardest thing you can possibly install in your home.”  Well, that was encouraging.

I should’ve followed the advice of multiple websites by driving back to Lowe’s, purchasing a simple coping saw (just about everyone said that’s how they installed crown molding), and returning as a conquering hero for Evan and Chandler.  
But I didn’t.  Instead, I wrote down some angles that I found online and presented them to the guys.  By this point, Evan and Chandler had spent the entire morning and afternoon trying to figure out the molding dilemma.  They were tired, defeated, hungry, and just wanted to get the project done — so was I.  
So we may or may not have just taken one of the angles I wrote down and fudged the rest.  Therefore, if you want to know how to properly install crown molding, please follow these directions.
As for us, well, I applied wood glue to the top and bottom corner of each strip of crown molding, and the guys quickly installed the strips by using our brad nailer and air compressor.  There were large gaps at every corner of the room, but Evan and I were perfectly content with living with them.
A few weekends later, I finished painting the rest of the bedroom and was determined to resolve our little crown molding issue.  I used painter’s caulk (my favorite wall fixer-upper) to putty in all of the brad nail holes and fill in the corners.
It’s not the prettiest of results, but I’m ok with it.
Once the caulk had dried, I finished the crown molding with three coats of semi-gloss white paint, which appeared to masque any of the imperfections pretty well.
Afterward, as further explained in the master bedroom reveal, I painted the ceiling with Olympic’s “Volcanic Ash” and Valspar’s silver paint crystals to really help make the crown molding pop.  
My favorite thing about the room?  Without a doubt, the crown molding.  It helps bring a level of elegance to the room, and draws your eye to the ceiling.  Even though we are admittedly not the best crown molding installers, I do have to say that I am quite pleased with the result.  

13 thoughts on “The Trials of Crown Molding”

  1. Hanging crown molding is HARD! The trick is to cut it exactly the way it will be installed. I't gets easier every time. Don't give up. It looks great and caulk is amazing at hiding imperfections 😉

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  2. Thank you, Rachael! You're totally right. My dream is to eventually put crown molding throughout the entire house (starting with the bedrooms first). I think the next room we do is going to be a lot easier the second time around!

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  3. Hi Krista, I'm your newest follower, as well! It was really sweet of you to leave a comment! I think your vaulted ceiling and large bedroom would be FANTASTIC with color. You should give it a shot! The worst that could happen is you'd just have to paint it over. I have to be honest — I was TERRIFIED that my ceiling was going to be too dark; now I just adore it. So you'd never know unless you tested it. 🙂

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  4. Thank you so much, Clint! HA. If I knew about corner blocks at the time, I would've bought them, too! I'm sure the next time we install crown molding, we'll be better at it!

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  5. Thank you so much, Angela! I loved seeing all of the entries for your link party last Friday! And yep, crown molding is pretty scary, but it's TOTALLY worth it. You should give it a try!

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