How to Install Crown Molding

How to install crown molding

Installing crown molding can be one way to add value and a sleek look to your home. Follow the steps in this project guide to learn how you can give yourself the new crown molding you’ve always wanted.

Step 1: Measure Walls

To install crown molding, first use a tape measure to measure and add up the length of all the walls. Be sure to purchase enough extra stock to account for cutting and fitting.

How to install crown molding image step 1 

Step 2: Locate and Mark Studs

Locate and mark studs

For fastening, use a stud finder to locate and mark all the studs around the room. Position a scrap of molding against the wall and ceiling to mark guidelines for the bottom edge.

Step 3: Begin Installing on the Longest Wall

Install on the longest wall

Begin installation on the longest wall. Here, because the wall is longer than our molding, we’ll need to join two pieces to complete the run.  To do this, we’ll use a scarf joint. A scarf joint is two opposing miters that overlap.

Step 4: Join with Scarf Joint

The first piece should be cut square on the left and mitered on the right. 

Straight cut

Miter cut on right

A hand miter box and saw or electric miter saw can be used.

Step 5: Fasten Molding at Stud Locations

line molding with stud markings

fasten at stud locationsInstall with hammer and nail set

To install, align the bottom edge with the reference lines and butt the square end against the wall.  Then, nail the molding at each stud location using a pneumatic trim nail gun or hammer and nail set

At the scarf joint, be sure the scarf lands on a stud for solid backing and fastening.

The adjoining piece is cut square on the right end with a reverse miter on the left.

Step 6: Glue Joints

glue joints with wood gluefasten

To install, apply wood glue to the joint, position it, and fasten before nailing off the rest of the piece.

continue to install

On the adjacent wall, we’ll be installing a full length piece which is measured from wall to wall.

Step 7: Cope Inside Corners

cope inside corners

The right side will be butted and the left will be a coped miter.  To make the coped joint, miter the left end of the molding and then back cut it with a coping saw.

miter piece

coping saw

Be sure to follow the trims profile as a reference for the blade.  Then, file the edges clean, so the profile slips neatly over the previous piece; creating an inside corner.

file the edges of the molding

Fasten the piece and continue the process of measuring, cutting and fitting as you work your way around the room.

Step 8: Miter Outside Corners

last piece corner

For the last piece, we have an outside corner.  Outside corners are made up of two opposing miters.  Once cut, apply glue and install. 

Step 9: Prepare for Painting

fill nail holes to prep for painting

Fill all nail holes with wood putty, calk the seems and the room is ready for painting.

caulk edges to prep for painting