New Search

Find Your Dream Home

Search Error

Multiple MLS Listings

Price Range


Bed & Bath

Bedrooms: All
Bathrooms: All


Crown Molding Installation

Add beauty and appeal to any room with this crown molding tutorial. Learn how to install crown molding in your home with this installation guide. 

Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens®

About this Project

Crown molding adds that finishing touch to a room. It calls for attention, but also blends in with the surroundings. Molding is an elegant element, and you can use it anywhere.

Crown molding installation employs some basic carpentry tools and techniques. Take your time and measure twice and cut once. Careful fitting and refitting are crucial to obtaining a close fit between sections of molding.

When working over your head, a solid working platform makes all the difference. Don't try to do the careful fitting and nailing that crown molding requires while working from a stepladder. Make the job easier on yourself by finding a plank and two sturdy sawhorses to make a platform to stand on while installing the molding. In addition, enlist a coworker to hold the lengths of molding while you measure, position, and fasten them.


1. Cut the first piece square

To achieve a mitered look with corners that are seldom perfectly square, run the first piece of crown molding tightly into the corner. Cope-cut the second piece in the shape of the profile of the molding, so it can butt neatly against the face of the first piece. 
Crown Molding Installation

2. Make a miter cut

Use a deep miter box and a fine-toothed backsaw to make a cut that reveals the profile of the molding. Position the molding so that it is upside down in the miter box. The face of the molding that goes against the ceiling will be on the bottom of the miter box. Remember, for inside corners, the bottom of the crown molding will be the longest edge. 
Crown Molding Installation

3. Cope the profile

If the mitered cut is correct, you'll be able to see the profile of the molding. Cut away the excess wood along the back side of the molding with a coping saw. Err on the side of removing too much rather than too little; only the outermost edge of the coped molding will be seen. 
Crown Molding Installation

4. Fine-tune your cut

Use a utility knife to remove any excess material you missed with the coping saw. Be careful that you do not cut into the exposed face of the molding. Hold the piece in place to test the fit. Take it down and do more carving if necessary.
Crown Molding Installation

5. Plan each joint

Map out the job so that one end of each piece of crown molding always will be cut straight and one end will be mitered and coped. Use butt joints for long runs. Save the most visible parts of the job for last, when you've honed your coping skills.

Crown Molding Installation

6a. Nail in place

If the molding runs perpendicular to the ceiling joists, determine the location of the joists. Drill pilot holes to keep the molding from splitting. As you attach the molding, tack it in place with a few nails. Take a good look at the positioning before completing the nailing. 
Crown Molding Installation

6b. Or add a nailer

To provide a solid nailing area where the joists run parallel to the crown molding, cut a beveled face on a 2x2, as shown. Cut the 2x2 to length and screw it to the wall so it's in the corner of the ceiling and the wall. The 2x2 provides a surface, at the proper angle, to which you can nail the molding. 
Crown Molding Installation

Your Opinion

Conducting a property search may direct you to a Web site that is owned and operated by a Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate brokerage. The site will contain local listing information that meets your search criteria. Different terms of use and privacy policies will apply.

© Copyright 2014, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC.

All Rights Reserved. Better Homes and Gardens® is a registered trademark of Meredith Corporation licensed to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate office is independently owned and operated.