Most people recognize the appeal and luxury that crown molding exudes in a home. Crown molding is a simple and easy accent to install in your own home. You can purchase simpler small crown or more elegant and intricate oversized molding. You can even stack crown molding with other moldings to add to the elegant appeal.
Crown molding is readily available in many shapes and sizes at your local home improvement store. It usually comes in primed wood or particle board or unfinished wood. The particle board has to be painted, but the unfinished wood crown can be painted with a primer coat or can be stained to meet your personal décor needs. Pricing on crown molding is very reasonable as well, usually costing only a few dollars per linear foot.
Crown molding is easy to install in your home if you have the right tools. It is easiest to use a compound miter saw to cut the molding to size. When cutting the molding you need to keep in mind that you need to adjust both the miter and bevel to cut the molding as it is not installed flat on the ceiling, but rather at a 38 degree spring angle to the ceiling. In order to get the 38 degree spring angle, the miter saw needs to be set at a 31.6 degree miter and 33.9 degree bevel settings to accomplish a 90 degree corner. These cuts are so common that many miter saws have them pre-built on the saw as easy settings. A contractor tip for simpler cuts using a miter saw is to use a jig that fits onto your saw to keep the molding at a 38 degree angle to your fence. When using a jig, it raises the molding to the necessary 38 degree angle, so you can just adjust the miter angle to 45 or 90 degrees and cut just like any other molding that fits flat to the wall. Remember that when you make the cuts, the crown molding needs to be placed upside down in the miter saw for the angles to be cut correctly. Also remember that there are different miter angles that need to be used for both inside and outside corners.
If you are hanging the crown yourself, you want to make sure that it is flush to the ceiling. For a professional looking install job, a 23 gauge pin nailer will drive a nail so small, that it is barely visible to the naked eye. A less expensive option would be to use a brad nailer, commonly found at the neighborhood home improvement store or online. Once the crown is installed, you can fill in any gaps at the ceiling or in corners with paintable caulk or color matched caulk. Another tip of the trade when using wood moldings that are a darker color is to use a colored market and color in the freshly cut angles that will meet to make your corners.
To achieve an elegant look, you can stack your crown molding with other moldings. This can change a simple 2” crown molding into a 6”, 10”, 12” or more stunning creation. If you have wood moldings, you can use a mixture of baseboard, chair rail, light rail or show moldings stacked under the crown molding to create a majestic look. If you are hanging your molding and have flat drywall or plaster under it, leave a gap of 6”-12” in between the crown molding and shoe molding and paint the wall in between the molding to match the molding to give the illusion of one huge piece of molding.
Crown molding can be used in more places than just between the wall and your ceiling. You can use it to make a standard square cabinet look like an expensive piece of built-in custom cabinetry. Using additional moldings like light rail, baseboard molding and toe kick can create a magnificent 4-piece stacked masterpiece. Another rarely used application for crown molding is to also use it as a picture frame or to frame a mirror with it.