It takes two hours per room to measure and make cuts; installation takes longer.
May be worth the DIY if your budget is tight.
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What you'll need:
Two 1-inch-by-4-inch pieces of wood, 8–12 inches long
Two 1-inch-by-6-inch pieces of wood, 8–12 inches long
Two 3/4-inch-by-3/4-inch pieces of wood, 8–12-inch long
Crown molding sets a room apart from the ordinary. Whether it’s large, small, bright, or subdued, that little strip of trim between the ceiling and wall significantly impacts a home’s design.
But for a DIYer, it’s arguably the most challenging type of trim work to master. Luckily, you don’t have to have years of carpentry training to make excellent-looking crown molding cuts. Some knowledge and patience are all it takes to conquer the basics. By building a simple jig, you’re well on your way to giving your interior an excellent face-lift.
Prepare to Make Perfect Cuts With a Jig
For crown molding, a jig helps make consistent cuts safely and efficiently. The jig works no matter what crown molding you choose, even if your chosen molding rests at angles other than 45 degrees to the wall.
Cut a 3- to 4-inch sample piece of your crown molding.
Hold the trim against the wall and ceiling, oriented the way you’ll install it.
Mark the sample’s edge on the ceiling.
Measure to the ceiling mark from the wall and note the measurement.
Use wood glue and screws to attach the two 1-by-4-inch pieces of wood to the two 1-by-6-inch pieces perpendicular to each other. This makes two corners.
Transfer the ceiling measurement to each end of the top sides of the 1-by-6-inch wood pieces.
Align the inside edge of the 3/4-by-3/4-inch wood on the markings. Use glue and screws to attach it. The top of the molding will rest here when cutting.
Need-to-Know Crown Molding Terms
Before you start cutting, get familiar with some terms associated with trim work.
Square cut: Set your miter saw to zero degrees angle and bevel to make a square cut.
Butt joint: A butt joint is simply created by affixing two pieces together at flat ends. For trim work, this could mean a joint between two square-cut trim pieces or a square-cut trim piece butted against a flat wall surface.
Inside corner: An inside corner forms when two trim pieces create an internal angle. The trim pieces of an inside corner appear to tuck into the corner. When you’re working with trim, the left inside corner is on the viewer's left side.
Outside corner: An outside corner is a corner that forms an external angle. The trim pieces appear to make a point extending from the corner. A left outside corner refers to the part of the corner on the viewer’s left.
Mitered cut: A mitered cut can create an inside or outside corner. Make a mitered cut by setting your saw angle to 45-degrees.
Scarf joint: A scarf joint is a joint between two trim pieces that consists of opposing 45-degree-angle cuts meeting end-to-end. Usually used in trim work on long walls when you need two or more trim pieces to cover the wall’s length.
Coped joint: Create a coped joint by joining a square-cut trim piece with a trim piece cut to match the trim’s profile. They’re helpful for inside corners that don’t measure exactly 90-degrees.
Corner block: A corner block in trim work is a decorative piece with flat edges that accepts square-cut trim piece ends to form either an inside or outside corner.They’re handy items to have for crown-molding beginners and veterans alike.
When making corners, set the saw’s bevel to one-half of the measured angle where the ceiling starts to rise.
Transition pieces work best to make the change from one angle to another.
You can use a table saw to trim the back of the crown molding to eliminate the gap left by the ceiling slope.
DIY Crown Molding Installation vs. Calling a Pro
Cutting and installing your crown molding is time-consuming but will save the labor cost of professional installation. With some knowledge and a little patience, DIYers can succeed with some practice.
Crown molding installation costs between $300 and $800 per room for materials and labor. Carpenters spend several years perfecting the art of advanced-level crown molding cutting and installation. If you’d rather avoid the possible frustrations that go along with it or simply don’t have the time, a professional crown molding installer near you can get it done in a timely manner.