Is Crown Molding Hard to Install? [Inc. A How-To Guide!]

You want to add some flare to your walls, and you think crown molding might do the trick. It adds a dash of elegance to an otherwise plain space. After looking at the cost, you wonder if this could be a do-it-yourself project. But, is crown molding hard to install? We've done some research and have some great information for you to peruse before you take on this DIY project in your home.

Crown molding is not hard to install. In fact, the most difficult part is ensuring the molding is cut correctly to fit the inside and outside corners of the room in which you will install it. Take the following steps when preparing and installing your crown molding:

  1. Determine how much wood you will need by measuring the walls.
  2. Paint the molding before installation.
  3. Cut the crown molding to fit your walls.
  4. Nail the pieces to your walls.
  5. Use caulk to cover nail holes or gaps in installation.
  6. Touch-up the paint.

Now that we've given you some basic information regarding installing crown molding read on to find out all the details. We'll go over each step, discuss important considerations, and provide helpful tips. There is certainly more to learn about the process before you break out the hammer and nails!

workers on the ladders installing crown moldings, Is Crown Molding Hard To Install

1. Determine How Much Wood You Will Need by Measuring the Walls

No project can officially begin without the proper materials. To install crown molding, you must first determine how much wood is required to complete the project. Measure your walls using a tape measure. As a general rule, purchase about ten percent more wood than what you've measured you'll need -just in case of any accidents or missteps.

While you measure your walls, go ahead and mark the wall to show where the bottom edge of your crown molding will be. This will come in handy if you're painting your walls before installation.

View this tape measure on Amazon.

2. Paint the Molding Before Installation

Once the crown molding is installed, it'll be difficult to paint without accidentally getting some on your walls. Go ahead and pre-paint all of the pieces, ensuring they have plenty of time to dry before cutting and installing. Be sure to reserve some paint for touch-ups. Use caution not to expose yourself to paint fumes for extended periods without proper safety equipment such as a mask or goggles.

View this paint on Amazon.

3. Cut the Crown Molding to Fit Your Walls

Cutting the crown molding is perhaps the most difficult part of the installation process. To cut the wood, you'll need a miter saw, also known as a chop saw. The pieces for your corners must be cut at a 45-degree angle. Be sure when operating a miter saw you observe all safety precautions and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

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This has to be done precisely, so the pieces fit snugly in the corners. If the cut is for an inside corner, the molding's bottom should be longer than the top part of the molding, while the opposite is true for an outside corner. Check the fit on the intended edge pieces before installing. Some suggest gluing together the corner pieces before nailing them to the wall to keep a super tight fit.

4. Nail the Pieces to Your Walls

Nailing the pieces to the wall sounds simple, but be wary! It helps to have a second pair of hands to hold an exceptionally long piece of crown molding while you nail. Use a stud finder to ensure you are nailing the molding to the wall studs. Don't forget the safety equipment before using a hammer and nails and lifting potentially long, heavy molding. A hard hat, safety goggles, and work gloves are necessary.

View this stud finder on Amazon.

If you're in an older home or have not perfectly straight walls, you might find it difficult to install the molding in a straight line while also keeping it flush. In these instances, use your bottom trim as an eye reference, ensuring your crown molding and trim and parallel.

5. Use Caulk to Cover Nail Holes or Gaps in Installation

Finish by covering the nail holes with caulk. Be sure to smooth the caulk after it is applied, but before it dries. Use caulk in any gaps between molding pieces. If something went wrong and there are gaps in your corners, you can resolve this with caulk. Keep in mind; there isn't much to be done with outside corners if they are not flush. You can also use caulk on any gaps between the ceiling and the crown molding.

View this caulk on Amazon.

6. Touch-up With Paint

Cover the caulk with paint and watch it blend the molding into the room. Use paint to cover all caulk and any scuffs that might've occurred during installation. Hopefully, you saved some of the paint when you first prepped the crown molding and have it handy for touch-ups. Once completed, allow the paint to dry. Stand back and be proud of what you accomplished!

How Long Does it Take to Install Crown Molding?

The length of time it will take to install crown molding depends on several factors. Variables include room size or home size, and whether you are doing more than one room. Most professionals can install crown molding in a standard-sized room within a few hours. For the novice, this timing will understandably increase. With help, installing crown molding as a DIY project shouldn't take you more than a weekend.

Does Crown Molding Add Value?

Crown molding can add value to your home. Many realtors use it as a selling point when showing homes for sale. It's a fairly simple process that can add significant appeal to your home. Remember, though, just adding crown molding when everything else is outdated won't help you much. Additionally, crown molding obviously installed poorly could take away from the value of your home. If doubting your DIY skills, always consult a professional!

How Much Does it Cost to Have Someone Install Crown Molding?

This depends on how much crown molding you want to install and whether or not you're having the whole house done. The cost can also change depending on the materials used, such as the type of wood or design of the molding. HomeGuide advises crown molding costs anywhere from $7 to $16 per linear foot to have it professionally installed. An average-sized living room ranges from about $500 to $1,000—a whole house costs between $2,000 and $4,000 for materials and labor.

Compare this amount to the do-it-yourself amount of about $1 to $4 per linear foot, and the appeal of handling the crown molding yourself goes up. Again, be sure to maintain all safety precautions and contact a professional if you have any doubts.

In Closing

The installation of crown molding is not difficult. If you're familiar with doing things yourself, something like this should be fairly simple. If cutting the pieces for crown molding intimidates you, feel free to enlist someone to cut the pieces for you and save the installation for yourself. Even if you require contracted help with part of this project doesn't mean you can't still save some hard-earned money by doing the rest on your own. Lessening the effect on your wallet is always the end goal.

Before you start your DIY crown molding project, check out our related posts for other great tips:

What Is The Best Paint For Crown Molding? [7 Suggestions]

Should You Calk Crown Molding? [Here's When and How To]


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