Nothing says “style” like crown molding and it’s easy to add that decorative touch to one or more rooms in your home. Whether you favor contemporary, traditional, creative, or romantic styles, you can find the right kind of molding products to enhance your room, and with the right tools, can create the visual impact you’ve always admired.
Assess the Condition of the Room 1. As well as the addition of crown molding, consider whether or not your base boards need replacing with an appropriate match in size and style.
2. How many windows and doors in the room should have molding added or replaced? Again, consistency of style and size are important.
3. What problems exist in each room that must be overcome? * Does the ceiling sag? It’s not that difficult to conceal except at the corners, which are more troublesome. * Are the corners square? Check the corners with a framing square to learn how bad they actually are. * Note the location of registers or any other obstacles in the path of your baseboard molding, as well as the crown, door and window molding.
Measure, Measure, Measure 1. Carefully measure the room, and each feature – ceiling, floor, door – to which molding is to be added. Record the measurements on a floor and wall plan, and count the number of corners. Note whether the corners are angled “in” or “out.”
2. Discard that cloth tape measure and the foot ruler. Arm yourself with a good retractable tape measure, or, if you can, purchase an easy-to-use and accurate laser or digital tape measure. After you’ve measured everything, measure again, just to be sure.
Select Your Favorite Molding 1. You can purchase wood moldings that are suitable for either paint or stain, which is higher grade and more expensive. Paint covers a multitude of sins, and stain shows not only the grain of wood but also how well or badly the corners fit.
2. If painting, don’t waste your money on oak or mahogany – choose an inexpensive wood instead. Save the fine wood for a picture frame or molding you plan to stain.
3. You can pre-drill to make installation a whole lot easier, especially if you have a cordless drill for example a Bosch cordless drill, which also reduces the possibility of splitting the wood when you are attaching it, particularly at the ends.
4. There are some faux wood crown moldings available, which are fine if your ceilings are high and the molding isn’t going to be examined closely.
Preparations Tips 1. This is a good time to invest in a sliding compound miter saw, which is the perfect cutting tool for moldings, particularly crown, as well as baseboard, window, and door moldings, and cabinetry and frames for pictures. The sliding feature allows angles to be cut on two planes – the horizontal (miter angle) and the vertical (bevel angle) – at the same time, which saves a lot of effort. A stud finder is a great help and so is a power tool for nailing ( e.g., a nail gun), which allows you to counter-sink the nails as you drive them in.
2. Priming and pre-painting or staining the molding saves time, but remember you will have to apply a second coat after it is installed and the nails have been counter-sunk and the holes filled.
3. When using a pry-bar and hammer to remove old baseboards, be careful not to damage the walls, and if accidents happen, repair the holes before beginning the trim job.
4. When purchasing the molding, add 10% to your initial estimate to allow for mistakes and waste.
5. To check inside and outside corners, cut four pieces of molding, each about a foot long, two with 45? inside angles and two with 45? outside angles. These can be used as test pieces to check each corner just before you cut it.
After you have installed your new molding and any baseboards, door, and window trim that is needed, add a bead of caulking along the seams, fill the nails holes, and add your second coat of paint or stain. You’re finished – until you walk into another room in your home and realize how great it would look if you added some crown molding.
About the Author: Scott Gray is currently a home improvement, handyman enthusiast and freelance writer who enjoys providing tips to consumers about do it yourself DIY Home Repairs for maintaining their homes.