Now that we have the door situation taken care of, and 3 fresh coats of paint on the walls it’s time for the crown molding! Best part about painting before crown molding? You don’t have to worry about the seam between the walls and the ceiling. +1 for laziness!
Are you excited? I’m excited. All in all to install crown around this 13×12 bedroom it took us only a few hours of actual work. Most of the time spent was waiting for paint to dry. Story of my life, right?
You will need 2 people to complete this project and at least one person who isn’t afraid of a nail gun while standing on a step stool/chair. Hey, power tools scare some people. Just sayin’.
What you will need:
Crown Molding in reflective lengths of your room’s walls.
Crown Molding is sold in linear feet so only buy what you need. Our room was 13×12 and the boards come in 16ft lengths. Just use the DIY cutting station at any big box store to get the amount you need. Round up to the nearest foot to make sure you’ve got plenty of wiggle room.
We used primed MDF crown because it’s cheaper.
Corner Blocks (x4)
This is the cheater step for getting around those complex corner cuts that most people (including myself) have difficulty wrapping their heads around sometimes. Besides, they’re pretty!
Nail Gun with 1 1/4″-1 1/2″ finishing nails.
I have a Porter & Cable finishing nailer and it’s been a dream. You get what you pay for. If you don’t own a nail gun, rent one. TRUST ME.
Painter’s Tape or Masking Tape (optional)
Paint (satin or semigloss finish)
Caulk & Caulk Gun
I have a 7 passenger SUV and it still wasn’t enough room to get home the 13ft boards. My best advice is run them up through the backseat and out the passenger window. Use a towel or soft cloth to protect any areas which could be damaged such as your side view mirror.
Never mind it was 20 degrees out when we drove home with the window open. I made sweet sweet hubby sit in the back to enjoy the breeze… It was… stimulating??
Once you’re home (and warmed up!) find an area to set up your boards. I used saw horses but really a few boxes would serve the same purpose. Don’t over think it! We used primed MDF so one coat of paint was sufficient. Let them dry for a few hours before moving on to the next step.
Install your corner blocks. It may seem REALLY tempting to put a gazillion nails in these things but really all you need is a few nails in each upper corner that will be covered by the crown molding after it’s installed. You can see in the photo we only used 4 nails total. The reason you don’t need a million nails is because the caulk acts like a glue. It will do most of the support for the corner blocks and the molding so don’t go too nuts.
Okay, it got dark and apparently I did not pay one iota of attention to the settings on the camera so this photo may make your eyes bleed from the discoloration BUT what I do want you to see is the “Faux Pro Tip” I discovered after months of working on my own.
So you have 2 people, a 13ft wall, and a saggy measuring tape. What to do to keep from getting inaccurate measurements?? TAPE!
Place a small piece of painter’s or masking tape every 3-4 feet along your measuring tape to keep it perfectly straight and flush with the ceiling. That way you know it’s an exact length. NEVER measure along the floor for a ceiling measurement. I have found some rooms are narrower at the top than the bottom by over an inch! Cut your boards to length and install.
Now, the first thing you will notice, and probably panic about, is that your ceiling isn’t flat 100% of the time. It’s just… that’s how houses are. There will be little wobbles as you press the board against the ceiling and the wall and you’ll see small gaps like you see in the above photo.
Take a deep breath! That is what caulk is for! Once you’ve got all your boards up and tacked every 12″-18″, caulk all those ugly gaps and cracks. Use a small opening on your caulk tube to keep from using too much caulk at a time. I prefer Alex Quick Dry Interior Caulk because a.) it dries quickly, and b.) it’s paintable within an hour should you need to paint over it. The key to caulking is to keep a wet rag handy and wipe up any “oops” spots quickly and thoroughly. Use your finger and wear latex gloves. The side of the tube indicates that caulk has been known to cause cancer in the state of CA. Do yourself a favor and keep it off your skin!
Once you’re finished give yourself a pat on the back because you just installed crown molding :)
Feel free to tell me if you have any tips or tricks you’ve learned from installing your own molding. I’d love to try out any new techniques in our next project room!