How to Cut Crown Molding

Updated: Jul. 25, 2023

Here is an easier, more precise method you can use to cut crown molding while it's flat on a miter saw.

A piece of crown molding laid flat on a miter saw | Construction Pro Tips

Cutting molding on a miter saw can be tricky business. Most techniques for cutting crown molding involve awkwardly holding the crown against the fence of the saw while making the cut. With this method the crown can be laid flat on the saw, which makes the whole process a little easier and a lot more precise.

Note: This method is for cutting crown molding to fit a 90-degree corner.

What is Crown Molding?

Crown molding, unlike other types of moldings that can be any trim in a building, runs along the area where the wall and ceiling meet, hiding the seam. It can be made out of wood, medium density fiberboard (MDF), metal and many other types of materials. There are also many different pattern options, ranging from bold to more conservative.

More than just way to hide the seam, crown molding can be a dramatic architectural flare in a room. It can make a room feel taller by drawing a viewer’s eye upwards toward the ceiling. There are so many different styles and design ideas for crown molding, and you can really get creative with it in your home. It’s been a popular addition in kitchen remodels, especially adding it to kitchen cabinets, but crown molding goes well in just about any room of the house.

Before committing to a style, it might be helpful to take some pictures of the different options you’re considering and printing them out in scale. With that, you can hold the photos up to the ceiling to get a sense of how it will look once it has been installed.

Working with crown molding can feel challenging for the beginning DIYer. That’s because it can be difficult to nail and cutting and measuring it isn’t an easy process.

Another helpful tip for working with crown molding is to experiment. Once you’ve decided on a style, buy a few extra pieces of base trim and crown molding, when you’re at the lumber yard or home center.┬áNail or glue your samples together and hold them against the ceiling in order to decide which combination to go with. You can also practice making precise cuts with the extra pieces.

Steps for Cutting Crown Molding

Step One: Set the miter angle to 31.6 degrees. On most saws, “31.6” is specially marked.

Step Two: Set the bevel to 33.9 degrees. Once again, this adjustment will have a special marking on most saws.

Step Three: Lay the crown flat and cut. Now there’s no need to precariously hold crown at an angle right next to an incredibly dangerous saw blade!

Step Four: Reverse the settings and repeat.