Welcome to the next installment of DIY home improvement, brought to you today by Karen’s husband. Karen asked that I share a little with you regarding our trials and tribulations of installing crown moulding in our bedroom. Of which, there were many.
You may have noticed from some of the lovely pictures that Karen has posted of our much improved bedroom, that we now have crown moulding along the ceiling. Upon home ownership, we inherited a bedroom that had picture frame trim, although for some reason it was placed about 1/4 inch down from the edge of the ceiling, leaving a small, scary, dark gap where an array of eight legged creatures may lurk. That had to go.
Our walls are lath and plaster, so I assume the old trim was hung in order to avoid putting a hole into the fragile plaster. I first started by ripping the old trim down with a crow bar. It came off easily in nice long pieces, which may be re-purposed to hang in the hallway to match our office.
I then picked up the necessary tools at Ye Ol Home Depot; a compound miter saw ($189) and an air compressor kit ($199) which included 16 and 18 gauge brad nailers (bonus!) instead of buying each separately. I then picked up some three inch crown, which I think ran us about $3.50 a foot.
Next stop. YouTube. So, if you’ve ever tried to cut a 45 degree angle, let alone two of them, to try and match a corner perfectly, it’s freaking hard. The YouTube videos show the pros flipping the crown this way and that way, free handing coping cuts, holding the crown perfectly still along the rail of the miter saw, yadda yadda. I quickly learned that trying to figure out which side of the trim piece is long vs short vs inside corner vs outside corner on those 45 degree cuts is enough to melt your brain.
Recommendation #1: cut some practice pieces and mark them with a marker so that you know which cut to make for a left or right side cut. Use these to small pieces to check the inside corner of the wall as no corner is exactly 90 degrees. You may have to adjust your saw one or two degrees to make the corners flush.
Recommendation #2: pick up one of these bad boy Crown King jigs. It was impossible for me to make a perfect 45 degree cut while trying to hold the crown in the perfect angle against the fence of the saw. This jig made life a million times better, holding the trim without movement during the cut. It’s also marked on the jig which way to align your saw bladed for a right sided or left sided inside corner cut.
It was really hard to cut the pieces to length along the 14 foot wall of the room. So I decided to cut two seven foot pieces and have them join somewhere in the middle. With the Crown King jig, it was way easier make the seams match. Three out of the four ended up really well, and with a little bit of caulk and paint, you have to look hard to notice it’s not once piece of wood.
Mounting the crown was the easy part. Hold it to the wall, drain the nail with the brad nailer. Boom. I used a little spackle to fill the nail holes and caulked the edges to the ceiling and the wall, as well as the corners. I had painted the ceiling beforehand, so all it needed was a little touch up paint and then we applied two coats of trim paint to the crown and painted the walls for the finished look. In hind sight, I should have sanded the seams for a more flawless look, but overall we’re really pleased with the way things turned out.
We fired through the entire season of The Crown pretty quickly. It subsequently inspired this blog post, and as a result, we’ve been referring to the new crown moulding as The Crown in our fancy British accents. I’m bad at it. Karen’s is legit though.