Photo: Kolin Smith

Step 8: Make a 45-degree cut

Inside corners are composed of a square-cut piece that butts the corner, and a corresponding piece that's cut on an angle and coped (carefully cut along the molding's profile) to conform to the first piece.

Begin by installing a piece of crown with a square-cut end (zero degrees on the saw).

Then position a second piece of molding upside down on the saw and adjust the blade for a miter cut. If this piece comes to the joint from the right side as shown in Step 3, swing the blade to 45 degrees left and make the cut. The bulk of the molding should be sitting on the left side of the saw.

If cutting a left-side coped piece, swing the blade to 45 degrees right, with the molding sitting to the right.

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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