Step 6: Finish the edges with molding

Using a miter box and handsaw, straight-cut the ends of a piece of cove molding so it fits across the top of the back wall. If you need two pieces to span the wall, join them with a scarf joint, angling the ends 45 degrees to overlap each other. Using a brad nailer, tack the molding through its center into the top of the wall framing.

Cut a piece of cove with a 45-degree miter at the end that will go in the corner. Position the miter so the long point is on the back of the molding. Using a coping saw, cut the front edge of the miter along the molding profile revealed by the miter, angling the saw about 5 degrees to make a slight back cut. If the blade binds, back out the saw and cut in from the edge to make a relief cut, then start again. When the whole profile is cut, check the coped piece against the molding on the back wall to be sure it butts tightly. Then cut the piece to length and nail it in place. Repeat this process on the other wall.

If necessary, install cove molding along the bottom of the wall in the same manner.
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    Tools List

    • studfinder
      Stud finder
    • two-foot level
      2- or 4- foot level
    • pencil compass
      Compass or square
    • torpedo level
      Torpedo level
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw to trim cedar planks
    • pneumatic brad nailer
      Pneumatic brad nailer and compressor (rents for about $55 a day)
    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun
    • miterbox with saw
      Miter box and handsaw to cut molding
    • coping saw
      Coping saw to fit molding at the corners

    Shopping List


    Order online or through home centers. Choose lengths that will eliminate the need for joints, or use smaller boards for a patterned look


    to cover gaps at the top, bottom, and corners of the closet. Most manufacturers make cove molding to act as crown and to cover gaps at the floor. Optional corner bead will hide seams between walls


    for use with a pneumatic brad nailer


    to give additional wall adhesion and keep boards from bowing