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  • Easy Crown Moulding

    So . . . is there such a thing? Recently purchased an old house, circa 1873, and in process of painting all the rooms. Would like to install a simple Crown Moulding but, is that doable alone, what are the "tricks" to cutting it, and how wide should I get as my ceilings are about 9 1/2 ft tall?
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  • #2

    Re: Easy Crown Moulding

    Challenge in any moulding is the corners. Your mitre saw cuts a perfect mitre but your walls are not square. In your case you likely have plaster walls so they are even less square. My house is about 130 years old so I share you experience and sometimes pain. Look up "coping a joint" as this will be far easier than mitring in your situation. A rough cope with a jigsaw and then final profiling with a file and some sandpaper usually get a good result.
    Your size and style of moulding is of course a matter of choice. I would got with something traditional so it looks like it was plastered in place and something large enough to suit the space. Modern mouldings in many case are just to hide mistakes or transitions rather than give a room character.
    Mark
    www.masterfinishing.ca

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    • #3

      Re: Easy Crown Moulding

      Originally posted by Bev in Ayr View Post
      So . . . is there such a thing? Recently purchased an old house, circa 1873, and in process of painting all the rooms. Would like to install a simple Crown Moulding but, is that doable alone, what are the "tricks" to cutting it, and how wide should I get as my ceilings are about 9 1/2 ft tall?
      Here are a few pics to show how to do it. One is adjustable and the other is just made from scraps. C1.jpg
      C2.jpg

      C3.jpg
      Woodyboy and beachburl like this.

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      • #4

        Re: Easy Crown Moulding

        Hello Bev - what do you have by way of a saw? - miter as shown, hand saw, table saw..... As Mark points out plaster walls will be a challenge.

        Why did you mention the 10 foot ceiling (a given) was it to do with the ladder access etc? The profile chosen will determine potential blocking required. If you are interested, look at Fine Homebuilding (Taunton Press) for a couple of quality books solely on the subject. And no, it isn't safely doable alone unless you are experienced in the art particulalry working at 10 feet altitude.
        Start slow; wind down gracefuilly

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        • #5

          Re: Easy Crown Moulding

          Bev,

          Here's my suggestions and comments:

          The mitre saw set-up that Wally is suggesting is the easiest way to go, as you don't have to worry about fooling around with the angle you'd otherwise have to set the angle of your blade at.

          Then, once you've decided on the molding width and set up your mitre saw as Wally suggested, you'll know is your saw has the capacity to do the job. Oh and by the way, you only have to cope inside corners, as the outside ones are a basic mitre. Of course, due to the "never any 90 degree corners in older homes" you'll have to play around with the angles of the outside mitres to sweeten up the fit of each one separately.

          You hadn't mentioned if you'll be painting the molding or if it's to have a clear finish. Painted moldings are so much more forgiveable as you can apply wood filler or caulking to fill and gaps. This being your first attempt, I'd go with a painted molding!

          LV sells a nifty board "holder" which eases the challenge of holding the other end of the molding in place as you focus on nailing the other end into position. Get one.

          I'd also start with the "least important" room, as you'll be going through a learning curve. By the time you get to the more public rooms of your home, you'll have gained more confidence and be better at it.

          A brad nailer or pin nailer is essential, from my experience.

          There are several Youtube videos out there which are very helpful. I haven't bothered looking any up for quite some time, so perhaps someone else here may be able to point you in the right direction.


          Steve,

          I think she mentioned the ceiling height, as a narrower moulding would likely look out of place with such a high ceiling.
          All the best,

          Marty

          Secretary of Kingston Wood Artisans Inc. https://kwoodartca.wordpress.com/

          Master Mistake Fixer (because I've made them all... at least once)

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          • #6

            Re: Easy Crown Moulding

            I’ve done a lot of crown moldings over my time, unassisted. Here are a few of my tips.

            Get a piece of 8 ft strapping exactly 96”. Use it to measure lengths across rooms longer than 8ft at the ceiling. Mark the 8 ft on the wall and then come from the other direction and mark that on the jig at the mark onthe wall. Measure that mark and add 96”. You now have the length you need. If it’s longer than 16 ft, measure the gap between the 2 marks.

            Build a miter saw jig that will set up the molding at the correct angle. A lot of the moldings are 45° so that’s pretty straight forward.

            Watch YouTube videos on how to cope. I use a coping saw to cope and then use a Dremel tool with a rotary rasp (1/8”) to fine tune it.

            Build or buy a “helping hand” extension pole to hold up the molding at the non working end while you start fitting it at the corner and tacking it. Maintain the ceiling to wall angle placement.

            Any joints on a stretch of wall should be cut on a miter. A butt joint will always show.

            If you don’t have a finish nailer (they will shoot up to 2 1/2” nails needed to reach the upper part of the wall plate) use a brad nailer with 2” brads nailed near the bottom of molding angled upwards into the plate or studs if you can locate them with a stud finder. Ceiling joists are only on 2 opposing walls, so they are iffy.

            Have caulk and a damp rag to finish off all joints and nail holes.if the joints are tight, it will take very little caulk.

            Oh, BTW, miter cuts are made upside down. Do practice pieces and hold them the way they will be installed. It just takes a bit of practice.

            Have fun

            MartyFromKingston likes this.

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            • #7

              Re: Easy Crown Moulding

              With a 9 1/2 ft ceiling I would consider a foam or polyurethane crown moulding. They come in a variety of sizes and with a high ceiling your typical 4 1/2 or 5 1/2 crown looks out of place. I have only installed them for one client and was surprised how easy it went. I got them from Wollat Supply on Hwy 100 in London. I would stay away from big box stores when looking for crown moulding or any moulding as far as that goes. The link will give you an idea of profiles and sizes. They are a paint grade moulding . There is lots of video on YouTube on installation

              http://www.elitemouldings.com/crown-moulding.html

              If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

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              • #8

                Re: Easy Crown Moulding

                My suggestion to find the book was harder than I realized so consider these:
                Crown molding & Trim - Install it like a pro, 125pp., compoundmiter.com. Far more expansive than you need, but you can skim out the applicable chapters.

                Trim complete - expert advice from start to finish, 235 pp.Tauntonstore.com

                As a secondary thought, while the crown will be attractive, how authentic is it to the particular architecture you have acquired, and whatever plans you might have for the house?
                Last edited by Woodwreck; 08-02-2018, 12:38 PM.
                Start slow; wind down gracefuilly

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                • #9

                  Re: Easy Crown Moulding

                  Some times I have pin nailed a temporary strip to the wall along the bottom line of the molding when working alone to rest the molding on while nailing. This ensures a straight line when done. Any irregularities in the ceiling are not as easily noticed as those on the wall.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Easy Crown Moulding

                    Thanks guys for the great tips. I think I will absolutely get a human helper to assist, so at least we can double check measurements before we cut. It will be painted so can cover my mistakes somewhat. The house is a bit of an anomoly with 3 rooms on main floor and even though the "original" section which is now the front was constructed in 1873, it was originally meant as a carriage house for the BIG house next door and it has 2 additions at the rear added at a later date. It isn't an historic home so I can do what I want, but like to have it look as it would have from the late 1800's. I will look into the foam/poly moulding and if anyone has more tips, please pass them on.92 Newgate St - Google Maps (2).png

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                    • #11

                      Re: Easy Crown Moulding

                      Is that the 'Big' house in the rear of the pic posted? Regardless of moulding issue, please do show us more pics of both structures. This is fascinating! Thank you.

                      I really do like the front door entry. It is delightful.
                      Start slow; wind down gracefuilly

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                      • #12

                        Re: Easy Crown Moulding

                        Thanks Steve, I love my wee house and the "Big" house is on the right side as you look at mine. I keep forgeting to do before and after pics of my projects, but will try

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