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Decorative Crown Molding

In this step-by-step video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shows the best way to install decorative trim to the joint between wall and ceiling.

In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva installs decorative crown molding in a room with precision.

Steps on How to Install Crown Molding

  1. Use a self-locking C-clamp to secure a short 1x4 to the saw table. Position the board at the correct distance from the saw's fence to hold the crown at the proper angle.
  2. Set the crown molding upside down against the saw fence and the 1x4 stop block. Cut a return into the end of a length of molding with the saw blade set at 45 degrees.
  3. Rotate the saw to the opposite angle and make a second 45-degree miter cut on the other end of the molding.
  4. Glue the small return piece onto the mitered end of the crown.
  5. Fasten the crown to the wall using a pneumatic finishing nailer. Be sure to drive the nails into wall studs.
  6. Cut a 45-degree miter onto each end of a length of crown.
  7. On the end that fits into a wall corner, use a coping saw to cut a coped joint. Carefully saw along the profile on the face of the molding. Fine-tune the coped cut with a file and sandpaper.
  8. Nail the crown molding in place with the coped end pressed tightly against the piece of crown installed previously.
  9. Cut a 45-degree miter on the end of the next length of crown to form a scarf joint.
  10. Spread a little glue on the scarf joint, slide the pieces tightly together, and nail the crown to the wall.