How to Install Crown Molding Like a Pro


  1. Introduction
  2. Tools and Materials Needed
  3. Preparation
  4. Cutting the Crown Molding
  5. Installing the Crown Molding
  6. Finishing Touches
  7. FAQs


Installing crown molding can add elegance and value to your home. While it may seem daunting, with the right tools and techniques, you can achieve professional-looking results. This guide will walk you through the steps to install crown molding like a pro.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Crown molding
  • Miter saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Stud finder
  • Coping saw
  • Nail gun or hammer and finishing nails
  • Wood glue
  • Caulk and caulk gun
  • Wood filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint and paintbrush
  • Safety glasses and ear protection


Measure the Room

  • Measure Walls: Measure each wall where you will be installing crown molding. Note the lengths and corners.
  • Calculate Molding Needed: Calculate the total length of molding needed, adding an extra 10-15% for waste and mistakes.

Select the Crown Molding

  • Choose Style: Select a crown molding style that complements your room’s decor.
  • Check Material: Choose between wood, MDF, or polystyrene based on your preference and budget.

Gather Tools and Materials

  • Prepare Tools: Gather all necessary tools and materials. Ensure your miter saw blade is sharp for clean cuts.

Cutting the Crown Molding

Understanding Angles

  • Outside Corners: Molding will need to be cut at a 45-degree angle, with the cut opening toward the back.
  • Inside Corners: The cut should be at a 45-degree angle, with the cut opening toward the front. Often, coping one piece to fit against another can create a cleaner joint.

Using a Miter Saw

  • Set Angle: Set your miter saw to 45 degrees.
  • Cut Molding: Place the molding upside down on the saw with the wall edge against the saw fence. Make your cuts at the marked points.

Installing the Crown Molding

Mark the Wall

  • Find Studs: Use a stud finder to locate studs and mark them along the wall.
  • Mark Guidelines: Draw light guidelines on the wall and ceiling where the bottom and top of the molding will sit.

Attach the Molding

  • Start with Longest Wall: Begin with the longest wall and work your way around the room.
  • Apply Adhesive: Apply a bead of wood glue along the back of the molding.
  • Nail in Place: Use a nail gun or hammer and finishing nails to attach the molding to the wall, nailing into the studs for a secure hold. Ensure the molding is flush against the wall and ceiling.

Secure the Joints

  • Join Pieces: When joining two pieces of molding, apply wood glue to the ends and use finishing nails to secure them together.
  • Cope Inside Corners: For inside corners, cope one piece of molding to fit snugly against the other. Use a coping saw to cut along the profile of the molding.

Finishing Touches

Fill Gaps and Holes

  • Fill Nail Holes: Use wood filler to fill any nail holes. Let it dry and then sand smooth.
  • Fill Gaps: If there are gaps between the molding and the wall or ceiling, use caulk to fill them.

Caulk and Paint

  • Apply Caulk: Apply a bead of caulk along the edges of the molding where it meets the wall and ceiling. Smooth it out with a damp finger or caulk smoothing tool.
  • Paint: Once the caulk is dry, paint the crown molding to match or complement your room’s decor.


What type of crown molding is easiest to install?

Polystyrene or foam crown molding is typically the easiest to install because it’s lightweight and cuts easily. MDF is also a good option for ease of cutting and affordability.

How do I cut crown molding for corners?

Use a miter saw set to a 45-degree angle. For outside corners, cut with the angle opening toward the back. For inside corners, either miter both pieces or cope one piece to fit against the other.

Do I need to use a nail gun to install crown molding?

While a nail gun makes the job faster and easier, you can use a hammer and finishing nails. Be careful to avoid damaging the molding with the hammer.

Can I install crown molding on my own?

Yes, installing crown molding is a DIY-friendly project. It requires careful measuring, cutting, and attention to detail, but with the right tools and patience, you can achieve professional results.

How do I cope crown molding?

To cope crown molding for inside corners, cut the first piece at a 90-degree angle. For the second piece, cut a 45-degree angle and use a coping saw to cut along the profile of the molding. This allows it to fit snugly against the first piece.

By following these steps and taking your time, you can install crown molding like a pro, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to your home.

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