three piece crown molding
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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Install Three-Piece Crown Molding

A common decorative flourish for traditional homes, crown molding enriches a space by forming an eye-catching transition between the walls and ceiling. But if your ceilings are high or your room has generous moldings around windows and doorways, a single strip of crown molding might get lost. To get the right effect, you could opt to use a large-profile molding, says This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers. "But you'll pay a hefty price for that," he says.

To lower the cost without sacrificing aesthetics, Mark came up with a way to install a simple L-shaped half beam first, then attach crown moldings to the fascia and soffit for a handsome, built-up appearance. Recruit a buddy to help you make cuts and lift the bulky pieces into place, and in just a couple of days, you'll have pulled off a room transformation that will draw all eyes upward.

For full step-by-step instructions, shopping list, and tools list, see How to Install Three-Piece Crown Molding.
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