Step 7: Hang the cornice

Forming coped cornice joint.
Photo: Kolin Smith
Lay out the precut coped and mitered cornice pieces on the floor to determine how they’ll be arranged on inside and outside corners.

Coped pieces slide into square-cut pieces at inside corners. Mitered pieces meet at 45-degree angles at outside corners. However, the starting piece should have square cuts at both ends.

Hold a cornice to the ceiling on the starting wall, overlapping the edge of the last row of panels. Mark its bottom edge on the wall.

Use a level to extend this mark across the wall and around the room, creating a level reference line for positioning all the cornice pieces.

Place the first cornice on the line and against an inside corner. Nail it to the wall and ceiling every 6 inches. Continue installing square-cut cornice pieces until you reach the next corner. Cut the last piece to fit.

After installing cornice pieces across the first wall, move on to the adjacent wall.

Cut a coped joint on a length of cornice and then slide it tightly into the corner. Then, install the rest of the cornice around the room.

Seal cornice seams. Then caulk and touch-up any gaps. If desired, you can prime and then paint the ceiling.
Ask TOH users about Ceilings

Contribute to This Story Below

    Tools List

    • circular saw
      Circular saw,
      for cutting plywood sheets
    • jigsaw
      for cutting holes in plywood
    • drill
    • chalk line
      Chalk line,
      for snapping layout lines
    • gloves
      used to protect hands from sharp-edged ceiling panels
    • brad nailer
      Brad nailer and compressor,
      rent for about $40 a day
    • pencil compass
      used to mark round cutout holes
    • framing square
      Framing square,
      used to mark square or rectangular cutout holes
    • metal cutting snips
      Tin snips,
      for cutting ceiling panels
    • hammer
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level,
      used to mark cornice layout lines on wall

    Shopping List

    1. Pressed-metal ceiling panels

    come in 2x2- or 2x4-foot sizes

    2. Press-metal cornice

    come in 4-foot-long sections

    3. 3/8-inch plywood

    creates solid nailing surface for ceiling panels

    4. 2 1/2-inch decking screws

    for attaching the plywood underlayment

    5. 2x4s

    used to build T-braces for supporting plywood during installation

    6. 11/4-inch-long, 18-gauge finishing nails

    for brad nailer to fasten ceiling panels; or use special cone-headed nails

    7. Latex caulk

    used to fill gaps at the seams

    8. Metallic touch-up paint

    for concealing caulked gaps and mistakes on an unpainted ceiling

    9. 1x4 tapping block

    used to seal panel seams

    10. Fine-point indelible marker

    for marking cut lines on ceiling panels

    11. 1/8-inch drill bit

    used to locate ceiling joists

    12. 3/8-inch drill bit

    for boring tin-snip starting holes in ceiling panels