General contractor Tom Silva shows Kevin how to handle a common problem: crown molding around awkwardly angled walls. Tom explains that most folks cut returns that avoid the angle rather than wrapping the crown molding around, and that’s not necessarily the best solution.
Certain homes like capes and those with gambrel roofs can make installing crown molding very difficult. They often have angled walls (known as cheek walls) formed by roof rafters, and many homeowners don’t know how to install crown molding around these walls.
Sometimes, folks simply end the molding before the edge of the cheek wall and install returns, but they’re often eye-catching and ugly. Others may overrun the cheek wall, leaving a large gap underneath the molding. The tip below is a better option.
Installing Crown Molding Around Corner Angles
- Cut an outside corner on a miter saw. Remember to cut upside and backward when cutting crown molding angles. Use glue and a couple of small nails to create this joint and allow it to dry. This is a corner template, so using a few scraps of shorter crown molding cut-offs is fine.
- Place the corner template over the corner. Mark the ceiling along the tops of the molding with a few light pencil marks. Also, mark the crown where its bottom edge meets the cheek wall. Remove the template and measure the distance between the mark and the corner of the template.
- Place the 1x4 board so the edge is against the ceiling and the flat of the board is against the cheek wall, overhanging the edge of the corner in question. Use a pencil to trace the angle against the back of the board. Cut along this line with the circular saw or hand saw to create an angle template.
- Use the angle template to adjust the blade angle on the table saw. Hold it against the blade and lower the blade until it lays flat against the angled cut.
- Adjust the saw fence so the blade will cut an angled board to the correct width measured in step 2. This can be a bit tricky, so start with a few test cuts before committing to a final cut.
- Cut and install the final moldings as you would any other outside corner, using the reference marks on the ceiling for alignment. Once the moldings are in place, find the length of the filler piece by measuring the length of the gap under the molding. Mark and cut this piece on a miter saw before gluing and installing it in the gap with brad nails.
- Caulk any small gaps and paint the molding for a seamless look.