How To Cut and Install Crown Molding

This three-piece crown molding technique simplifies installation and the results are spectacular.

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This three-piece system for installing crown molding removes all sorts of potential problems typical to crown molding. Achieve an elegant look with fewer errors and re-dos.

Tools Required

  • Air compressor
  • Air hose
  • Brad nail gun
  • Coping saw
  • Level
  • Miter saw
  • Rasp
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife

Materials Required

  • Masking tape

Crown Molding Installation

Crown molding can be intimidating, because walls often aren’t flat and nailing is difficult. This three-piece system solves those problems. In this article, we’ll show you how to install trim on the walls and ceiling first, then add the crown.

The built-up type of crown molding we chose for this project combines standard crown molding with two pieces of base trim. The result is a large, dramatic crown that’s easier to install and less expensive than single-piece crown molding of similar size.

DIY crown molding

Project step-by-step (24)

Step 1

Experiment with Different Molding Profiles

  • Purchase a few sample pieces of base trim and crown molding.
  • Nail or glue samples together and hold them against the ceiling in order to decide which combination to go with.

DIY crown molding

Step 2

Sketch and Measure

  • Make a simple sketch of the room.
  • Jot down the length of each wall.
  • Calculate how many pieces of base trim and crown molding you’ll need for each wall.
    • Note: Remember, for each wall, you need two pieces of base trim and one of crown molding.