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Install crown moulding

  • Difficulty: hammer hammer
    Close Difficulty
    Beginner Do-It-Yourselfer - Easy
    Intermediate Do-It-Yourselfer - Moderate
    Experienced Do-It-Yourselfer - Difficult
    Professional - Expert
  • Completion Time : Week-end

Crown moulding is used to provide elegance to the transition point between wall and ceiling. Adding both texture and character to a room, crown moulding also acts as a decorative border to your décor. There are many styles and patterns to choose from.

Installing crown moulding takes patience and considerable skill; the moulding is positioned at an angle on the wall, and each joint is made up of compound angles. By following our step-by-step instructions, any determined DIY can install crown moulding with professional-quality results.

Another option to consider for easier installation: mitreless crown moulding with corner blocks.


Tools and materials required


  • Mitre saw or Mitre box with saw

  • Mitre saw cutting supports, or Saw horses

  • Caulking gun

  • Tape Measure

  • Hammer or Power nailing gun

  • Stud finder

  • Level

  • Coping saw

  • Round file

  • Square


  • Crown moulding

  • Wall panel adhesive

  • Paintable caulking

  • Finishing nails, or Power brad nailer

Before Assembly


Taking measurements is an essential step in determining the quantity of mouldings required and the exact length of each piece.

Calculate the length of each wall using a tape measure. Add 12" to 24" for each wall to account for losses resulting from angle cuts. If there are obstructions that prevent you from installing mouldings, don’t forget to subtract them from the total length.

For aesthetic reasons, opt for long mouldings. For example, in the case of a 14' wall, use a 16' moulding rather than two 8' mouldings. You will reduce the number of joints and enhance the look of your mouldings.

Crown moulding can be made from vinyl, painted wood or medium density fibreboard (MDF). They can be 16’ long, so it is important to set up supports at the height of the mitre saw to hold the mouldings in place. These could be sawhorses built up to height or adjustable supports with rollers.

Set up the mitre saw in a well-ventilated area outside the room to avoid dust.

Use a good-quality finishing blade with a minimum of 40 teeth, though 80 teeth is preferable since the more teeth a blade has, the cleaner the cut.

Before you start, allow the crown mouldings to acclimatize for 24 to 48 hours in the room where they will be installed.

You can paint or stain your crown mouldings in advance. You will simply need to touch them up a bit after, and cover the nail heads you’ve concealed with wood filler. This actually simplifies the job, because you won’t need to do any masking.

Crown mouldings can be fastened with finishing nails or a power nailer. Never use nails longer than 2" as you might hit a wire; 1 ½" nails are perfect for the job. For a cleaner, more professional job, use a brad power nailer. Pre-drill your nail holes so that mouldings do not split. Use a drill bit of a smaller size than the nails.

On a long wall, shorter pieces can maintain the look of continuity by mitering the joints rather than having them butt together.


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Crown moulding provides a decorative transition between wall and ceiling
Install crown moulding