How to Install Crown Molding Around Corners | Ask This Old House

In this video This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shows host Kevin O’Connor a tip for installing crown molding around awkward wall angles.

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General contractor Tom Silva shows Kevin how to handle a common problem: crown molding around awkwardly angled walls. Tom explains that most folks cut returns that avoid the angle rather than wrapping the crown molding around, and that’s not necessarily the best solution.

Certain homes like capes and those with gambrel roofs can make installing crown molding very difficult. They often have angled walls (known as cheek walls) formed by roof rafters, and many homeowners don’t know how to install crown molding around these walls.

Sometimes, folks simply end the molding before the edge of the cheek wall and install returns, but they’re often eye-catching and ugly. Others may overrun the cheek wall, leaving a large gap underneath the molding. The tip below is a better option.

Difficulty: ⅗
Time: 1 hour
Cost: Under $10

Installing Crown Molding Around Corner Angles
1. Cut an outside corner on a miter saw. Remember to cut upside and backward when cutting crown molding angles. Use glue and a couple of small nails to create this joint and allow it to dry. This is a corner template, so using a few scraps of shorter crown molding cut-offs is fine.
2. Place the corner template over the corner. Mark the ceiling along the tops of the molding with a few light pencil marks. Also, mark the crown where its bottom edge meets the cheek wall. Remove the template and measure the distance between the mark and the corner of the template.
3. Place the 1×4 board so the edge is against the ceiling and the flat of the board is against the cheek wall, overhanging the edge of the corner in question. Use a pencil to trace the angle against the back of the board. Cut along this line with the circular saw or hand saw to create an angle template.
4. Use the angle template to adjust the blade angle on the table saw. Hold it against the blade and lower the blade until it lays flat against the angled cut.
5. Adjust the saw fence so the blade will cut an angled board to the correct width measured in step 2. This can be a bit tricky, so start with a few test cuts before committing to a final cut.
6. Cut and install the final moldings as you would any other outside corner, using the reference marks on the ceiling for alignment. Once the moldings are in place, find the length of the filler piece by measuring the length of the gap under the molding. Mark and cut this piece on a miter saw before gluing and installing it in the gap with brad nails.
7. Caulk any small gaps and paint the molding for a seamless look.

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* Extra crown molding []
* Wood glue []
* Clear pine or similar wood 1×4 board []
* Brads []
* Caulk []

* Miter saw []
* Brad nailer []
* Tape measure []
* Circular saw or hand saw []
* Table saw []
* Pencil []

About Ask This Old House TV:
From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. ASK This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.

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How to Install Crown Molding Around Corners | Ask This Old House

13 Replies to “How to Install Crown Molding Around Corners | Ask This Old House”

  1. Myself I would have filled the the gap with high density expandable foam, trim excess and done, then paint!

  2. I was lost on what to do when Tommy was showing how easy it is to do this job.

  3. The easyest way , for me , is by hand tools . One plane and one handsaw that’s it .

  4. Baseboard and crown molding cuts are like teaching quantum mechanics to a toddler for me. I cannot pick it up if my life depended on it. I’d just shove a bunch of bondo and sand the bottom smooth, then go grab a beer.

  5. Thank God I don't have any angles like that in my house that need crowned. Makes my head hurt trying to figure that out. LOL

  6. I've been doing crown for over 15 years. You can miter your crown to wrap around the corner without having to add a wood filler. There's better tricks to making it work. You can rip the back side of the crown to adjust the pitch or you can do a three piece corner. While this option Tommy is showing is more of a DIY solution, professional crown installers know better ways.

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