Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Crown Molding Tutorial

I have seen a lot of post on line about crown molding and everyone said it was relatively easy and like an weekend project.  So I thought it was going to be no big deal.  I had know idea how to do it, but I rarely know how to doing things before I decide I can do them.  In my naivete I loaded 3 of my kids into the van and headed off to Home Depot.
I now know why the very nice guy at Home Depot who helped me pick out and cut the molding and gave me a few tip on installing it was looking at me like "yeah good luck with that crazy lady."
Lets just say crown molding is not something you can install by yourself in one day while your kids are around.   Especially if one of those kids is a crazy one year old who thinks the the ladder is in fact his and feels the need to try to climb it every chance he gets.

However many ft of molding you need plus like 12 ft. (One nice thing is that if you buy it by the foot you can return it be the ft)
A ladder or two would be nice. 
Some liquid nails are nice to have
A caulk gun
Paintable caulk
Nails and hammer (or nail gun whatever you like)
A miter saw
Paint and stuff you need with paint (tape, brushes)

So one Saturday my in-laws took the kids to go play and Scott and I got to work.  Scott was nice enough to start cutting the pieces while is finished getting the kids ready to go.
To cut the molding the best description I can give it to hold it against the miter saw like you would the wall and ceiling.  Make sure your molding is upside down, and turn the base angle to the 45 degree angle you need and leave the saw angle straight up and down.  I would suggest cutting one corner at a time. 
To put it up Scott took one piece and I took the other and we lined them up, then with each of our free hands we nailed them up.  We used liquid nails to help hold the pieces in place while we nailed, BUT ONLY USE A FEW DOTS!!  If you put a whole line of liquid on the pieces they will be really hard to move to get it lined up really well and you will end up with a mess like this...

I know it is not pretty.  This was our first corner.  All the dark stuff is liquid nails.

Once all our corners were up we then put in the middle pieces.  Somehow the angles are not always 45 degrees once you get to the middle.  I would suggest taking a scrap piece of wood and testing your angles before cutting the ones you plan on putting up or just leave the middle parts straight.  We worried that doing straight lines wouldn't be as "professional," but honestly I don't think it would have mattered.

Then once it is all up caulk the cracks.

I caulked the tops and the bottoms of the molding.  I thought it looked better.  Basically just caulk everything. This took FOREVER because I have to climb up, caulk a little, climb down, and then do it again.  We only got the molding all hung on Saturday.  So Monday I caulked.  I started when Bryce when down for his nap.  There was lots of caulking the sanding the places where the pieces met together.

I didn't get it all done while Bryce was sleeping and I couldn't have him crawling around while I was working (I learn my lesson the first time.) So I put him in his high chair and gave him something new to eat every few minutes.

I don't think he minded too much and once I was done cleaning up the mess in the family room for the day, I got to clean Brycey up.

By Tuesday I was really sick of my family room looking like this (all the furniture is moved to the middle so I could move the ladder around and not get paint on anything. Added to the fact that my husband had bought a huge bag of popcorn at the store and the kids got popcorn EVERYWHERE.)

So Tuesday night after all my little ones were in bed I stayed up until the wee hours getting it done.  It took a while to paint and then once I had paint on it I could really see the spots the needed more sanding.  The last time around I just put a little mound of spackle on each seem and the sanded it down smooth. Then painted one more time.

 Lastly pull off the tape and enjoy!


  1. Wow it looks terrific! I totally understand about having a toddler underfoot, mine is IN TO EVERYTHING! It really adds to the room, I may have to tackle this one soon, when the baby is away :)

  2. Laura!! just came here from your link on FB after seeing your lovebird painting!! Ahhhh love it!! And so glad I found your blog. It is so fun!! Anyways, I look forward to seeing all your cool projects. If you ever want to hop on over to our family blog just send me your email address. I would love to send you an invite. hope all is well and that life is good! You have such a beautiful family!!

  3. Love the curtain material. Where did you find it?

  4. funny i stumbled on this while looking at your other posts because tonight my hubby and I were measuring and researching how we could do crown molding ourselves in our new house!

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