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Crown moulding on an uneven ceiling

I'm new around here, but I was hoping for some help on a moulding mess. We're doing 4.5" wide crown moulding in a 1920's Chicago apartment with plaster walls and ungodly hard ceilings (not sure the material but it feels like concrete). All was going well enough until we got to a corner that rises to 5/8" higher than the rest of the ceiling, starting about 2' from the corner. I've been all over everything with a carpenter's square, it's definitely the ceiling and not a warped piece of moulding.

This gap is too big to fill with joint compound, and scribing and sanding won't work because of the position. I've considered laying a thin piece of wood over the gap to cover it and just shaping that to fit, but I'd have to do this on the next wall as well to make the corner work. The only other thing I think might work is putting some long screws in and just forcing the piece to meet the ceiling, but 5/8" in 2' is a lot, and replacing the piece if it splits after everything is caulked and painted would not be fun. This is all going to be painted white and in a less than noticeable spot in the room, so a little kludgyness is OK.

Any ideas? I'm kind of at my wits' end.

Re: Crown moulding on an uneven ceiling

Been there dozens of times...enough to know by now to really check my ceilings before crowning them. Theres a lot of alternatives but its good to know whatcha dealing with"before" you start :D
When I have a real bad ceiling and I know it there have been times I've installed some 1x on the flat first. For one...it gives you another detail which is nice and two...you can plane, or grind the profiles of an uneven ceiling into it first.
You have the other choices of grinding the grown or chopping the ceiling both of which don't look too apealing but they ARE choices..just not for me.
This is another reason to cope your corners rather than to miter them. It won't solve this problem but it WILL cut down yet another headache when you find the corners are out of square which you can expect in a room like that.
At this point if I were you..short of removing all the crown I reckon I'd try and whittle with a grinder some 1x to fit in your gap and them fill with All purpose bondo...sand and paint/stain.
Another choice if its paint grade work is to fill the gap with PL Premium and be sure you leave a real good recess cause polyurethane glus expands (but it also sticks real good). After the PL is dead dry fill flush with All purpose Bondo and sand. If you do, do this I'd make the PL real gappy (is that a word...lol)so the Bondo has something to lock itself into to.
sounds to me like you need a good grinder in your tool box (another excuse to buy a new tool : )
PS,,you can also use the grinder to back cut your copes if you don't have a Collins coper for your jig saw.
HAve fun :)

Re: Crown moulding on an uneven ceiling

You don't say what type of finish is on the ceiling (paint,historic wallpaper, ??? )........but if I were facing such a drastic swoop in the ceiling....I'd get out the hawk and trowel and plaster the area flat rather than fool around with other "options"...........if at all possible.

This because a compromised job will always look like a compromised job...and because it's usually faster in the long run to do things right in an instance like this, than to spend time buggering it......and because you'll then have a result you can be proud of in the end.

Re: Crown moulding on an uneven ceiling

The ceiling is just paint, including a fresh coat as part of this job. Leveling it out is a bit bigger job than I want to tackle, given some of the other issues in the room I'm not sure where I'd stop.

Re: Crown moulding on an uneven ceiling

The minimalist way, shoot a straight line to install the bottom of the crown to then fill the gap with patching plaster and paint the same as the ceiling that will make it the least noticeable.

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