To determine how much molding to buy, measure each wall, round up to the next foot, and mark those measurements on a plain-view sketch of the room you're working in. If one wall measures within a few inches of the length of a full piece of crown, buy the next longer length. When the wood arrives at the site, number the back of each piece with a pencil to correspond with the numbers indicated on your plan-view drawing.

The first piece installed will be square-cut on each end. Each subsequent piece will typically have one end that is square cut and another end that is coped or mitered. In some cases, the end opposite the cope will have to be mitered to helpmake an outside corner. When a length of molding is coped on one end, cut the coped end first. Once the coped end fits tightly, mark and cut the opposite end, whether it's a miter or a square cut.

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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Power miter saw with 10-inch carbide-tipped blade
    • drill
      for drilling pilot holes for nails
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • pneumatic finish nailer
      Pneumatic finishing nailer with 1½- to 2-inch finish nails,
      to fasten molding to wall
    • framing square
      Framing square,
      for laying out molding on walls and ceilings
    • chalk line
      Chalk line,
      for snapping installation lines on the wall
    • coping saw
      Coping saw,
      for coping molding at inside corners
    • utility knife
      Utility knife,
      for trimming coped joints
    • rasp
      Wood rasp,
      for fine-tuning coped joints
    • studfinder
      Electronic stud finder,
      for locating studs and joists
    • hammer

    Shopping List

    1. 4d, 6d, and 8d finish nails

    2. 1/16-inch drill bit

    3. Wood putty

    for filling nail holes

    4. Acrylic or other flexible caulk

    to seal gaps between molding and walls and ceiling

    5. Carpenter's glue

    for adhering outside corners and returns