Checking the angle
Photo: Kolin Smith

Step 4: Determine angle of outside corner

An outside corner can be formed by cutting two pieces of crown with opposite miters of 45 degrees each, making sure both miters are longer on the top of the crown (the part that rests on the saw table when you cut). But sometimes a wall corner isn't exactly square, so you must first measure the angle formed by the two walls and and then bisect it.

To do this, take two pieces of wood of exactly the same width and hold one against each wall, making sure their ends overlap by an inch or so.

Next, draw pencil lines on the face of the upper piece (the one held flat to the ceiling) alongside each edge of the overlapping piece.

Draw a diagonal line to connect two opposite corners of the marks.

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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Power Miter Saw,
      rents for $30 to $50 a day
    • coping saw
      Coping Saw,
      for shaping inside corners
    • chalk line
      Chalk Line,
      to creat a reference line on a wall with an uneven ceiling
    • hot glue gun
      Hot-Melt Glue Gun,
      to glue a temporary fence to the saw
    • rasp
      for smoothing coped joints
    • drill
      to predrill nail holes where molding is prone to split
    • hammer
      Hammer and Nailset,
      or rent a pneumatic nail gun and compressor for $30 to $40 a day

    Shopping List

    1. Crown molding

    To get the number of linear feet you need, measure the perimeter of the room, then add 15 to 20 percent for cut-off waste and errors

    2. 4d finish nails

    3. 6d or 8d finish nails

    4. Polyurethane glue

    (or yellow carpenter's glue, which cleans up more easily but isn't as strong on the end grain of a miter cut)

    5. Wood putty

    6. Paint or stain