Step 2: Install the first length

installing the first length of crown molding
Photo: David Carmack
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•Measure the wall for the first molding piece. Transfer this measurement to the wood, then use a power miter saw to cut the molding square at each end.

•Align the wood with the chalk line from Step 1. Working from the center, drive 8d finish nails through the molding—½ inch from the bottom edge and ½ inch from the top edge—into each stud and joist. Near the ends, drill 1/16-inch pilot holes for 4d or 6d finish nails.

•If necessary, splice two pieces with a scarf joint centered over a stud. Set the saw to a right-hand 45-degree setting. Hold the first molding piece to the right of the blade, and cut. Hold the adjoining piece to the left of the blade, and cut. Pilot a hole in the overlapping molding, ½ inch to the side of the joint, and attach with 6d finish nails.

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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Power miter saw with 10-inch carbide-tipped blade
    • drill
      Drill/driver,
      for drilling pilot holes for nails
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • pneumatic finish nailer
      Pneumatic finishing nailer with 1½- to 2-inch finish nails,
      to fasten molding to wall
    • framing square
      Framing square,
      for laying out molding on walls and ceilings
    • chalk line
      Chalk line,
      for snapping installation lines on the wall
    • coping saw
      Coping saw,
      for coping molding at inside corners
    • utility knife
      Utility knife,
      for trimming coped joints
    • rasp
      Wood rasp,
      for fine-tuning coped joints
    • studfinder
      Electronic stud finder,
      for locating studs and joists
    • hammer
      Hammer

    Shopping List

    1. 4d, 6d, and 8d finish nails

    2. 1/16-inch drill bit

    3. Wood putty

    for filling nail holes



    4. Acrylic or other flexible caulk

    to seal gaps between molding and walls and ceiling



    5. Carpenter's glue

    for adhering outside corners and returns