Step 11: Install the First Run

installing the first run of three-piece crown molding
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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On the fascia, mark a line where the lower edge of the upper molding should fall. Position the first run of molding along this line, and butt its square-cut end against the corner. Drive 2-inch nails through the molding and into the fascia, then drive 2-inch nails through the molding and into the joists or backing blocks. Don’t add nails within the last few feet of the coped end in case adjustments are needed when the adjoining run is installed.

See a typical sketch for laying out crown molding in a room.
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    Tools List

    • studfinder
      stud finder
    • chalk line
      chalk line
    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • coping saw
      coping saw
    • drill
      drill/driver
    • brad nailer
      nail gun
    • hot glue gun
      hot-glue gun
    • hand clamps
      spring clamps
    • caulk gun
      caulk gun
    • sandpaper
      fine-grit sanding sponge
    • chisel-tip paintbrush
      paintbrush

    Shopping List

    Primed crown molding. Select a larger profile for the upper run and a smaller one for the lower run. To calculate how much to buy, round the length of each wall to the nearest foot and add the lengths together. Get tips on sizing crown molding to suit your space

    Primed fascia board with a decorative profile on one edge.

    Primed 1x6 soffit board

    2x2 for cleats on the walls and ceiling, to which the half beams will be attached.1x1 for the nailing strip that will help you join the soffit and fascia boards.

    2x4 to rip at an angle for making backing blocks for the gable ends of the room.

    Painter's tape

    1¼-inch and 3-inch screws

    1¼-inch and 2-inch finishing nails

    Toggle anchors

    Paintable caulk

    Semigloss paint