(Mis)Adventures in Crown Molding

Sometimes you have this great idea. You sketch it out, head to Home Depot, price and pick out lumber, and head home to a project full of possibilities. You know that in just a few short hours you’re going to have something that looks amazing and you’re excited. You can do this.

EDIT: We just added this to our bedroom: two skinny Ikea Billy bookcases with frosted doors and a Hemnes TV stand for more storage. The top, crown molding, pot lights, and mirror are the additions to make it look more built-in and less like Ikea furniture.

You measure twice, cut once just like Grandpa taught you.

You carefully nail the trim to your header board, being careful not to ding the trim with the hammer.

You attach the end pieces… or at least, you attempt to.

And somehow you still end up wondering why the h-e-double-hockey-sticks they didn’t cover mitering crown  moulding molding in Engineering 1o1 back in college… because I am an engineer, damnit–two if you count the hubs–and I will not be outsmarted by an angled bit of primered pine!

After doing a little research into the science that is crown molding installation, it was discovered that all we did was “cope” the ends of our trim. We also needed to miter them at the appropriate angle. $#!%

I guess you win some and you lose some. We lost this one like the nerdy kid in a game of dodgeball. But like the nerdy kid, we’re not just going to curl up in the fetal position and cry ourselves to sleep (for long). We’re going to go read up on what’s kicking our awkward little butts and come back, ready to fight another day.

Have you ever had your butt kicked by crown molding before? How the heck do you spell it anyway? Would it surprise you if I said I was the awkward , nerdy kid on the dodgeball team that was always considered an automatic out?


    • littlehousebigheart says:

      Haha. We really did measure twice just to be sure they were all the right length (and I even took the angles into account when we measured). Just somehow we forgot/didn’t really know what we were doing.

  1. Reuben says:

    Crown angles are tough. You’ll get it.

    Do yourselves a favor, though, and buy a small compressor and air nailer. You’ll love it. They’re not as expensive as you think, and it will revolutionize attaching crown molding. You’ll never use a hammer again.

  2. Kelly @ Corner of Main says:

    Darn. My husband has done some crown molding, and we usually have some sort of problem! It’s those darn angles. When he did the molding in our dining room a few of the pieces of wood were done backwards/upside down.
    Good luck!!

  3. Christine @ Casa-de-Christine says:

    Crown moulding is tricky!! (I always spell it with a u but not sure if that is right… it could be an Amercian vs. Canadian thing too… we always add u’s – colour, favourite). I’m sure you guys will figure it out though and it will all work out fine! It looks like a great project! Have a great weekend!

    ps- I was always that kid on dodgeball teams too…

  4. Gabbi says:

    That’s never happened to us…because we are too afraid to even touch crown molding! Hahaha. I give you guys props for even trying, and at least you have learned a valuable lesson. Can’t wait to see attempt #2! Good luck! 🙂

  5. AveNewTX says:

    One of the best things I’ve learned about crown molding is how valuable it can be to have each of the 4 corners sitting around for reference (ie: inside-left, inside-right, outside-left, inside-right). Then when you are measuring a piece, lay the proper corner over the piece to be cut and mark the trim where the corner of the wall is located. Sounds more complicated than it is, but it cuts out so much second-guessing!!! Good luck.

  6. Ooooh, that would surely happen to me, too says:

    Man, I know that some people say molding is easy to do, but I’m a total DIY dork. Seriously, it’s all hit or miss with me, so I give you credit for tackling this. And if some people somewhere in the world think that the how-to’s of molding and baseboards are totally self-evident, hey, they haven’t seen my condo. The prior owners apparently thought it was sufficient to cut all the baseboards at right angles – LOL! I’m not kidding. … So, yeah,the baseboards on the ole to-do list for me –or the to-pay-someone-ELSE-to-do-list (blush) !

    • littlehousebigheart says:

      Oh no! They really just butted up 90s? Awful!!

      Through trial and error (and about 20 feet of molding) we finally (mostly) have the hang of things and will be posting a (very) generic how-to next week! Hope it will help you out!!

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