Step 5: Cope inside corner joint

•To create a snug-fitting joint, hold a coping saw at a 5-degree angle away from the face of the molding and carefully cut along the pencil-marked edge. Check for a tight fit by bringing the molding to the wall and sliding it into place. If necessary, use a wood rasp or utility knife to pare away excess wood.

•Before attaching the piece to the wall, determine if its uncut end will land at an inside or outside corner. For an outside corner, proceed to Step 6. For an inside corner, measure from the top edge of the first piece you installed (Step 2) to this corner. Transfer that measurement to the coped molding by hooking the measuring tape on its top edge. Mark the length to the inside corner. Using the miter saw, make a square cut on that mark and nail the molding up, as in Step 2.

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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Power miter saw with 10-inch carbide-tipped blade
    • drill
      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

    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