Posted on: 18.09.2023 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

During a recent renovation project, you may have removed or are preparing to remove beautiful crown molding from a room. Perhaps it’s in wonderful condition and you’re wondering if you can use it elsewhere in your home. Some people even consider using it as chair rail molding.

Can you use crown molding for chair rails? In the traditional sense – no. Crown molding is not used as chair rail molding. Crown molding was designed to cover imperfections where the walls of a room meet the ceiling. A chair rail, which sits much lower on the walls, typically has a much slimmer profile and does not extend as far from the wall as crown molding.

However, there are plenty of creative ways to incorporate crown molding in many different ways. Most of them are fairly easy to accomplish, so even DIY enthusiasts can easily add beautiful accents with crown molding.

Why Crown Molding is not used as Chair Rail Molding

Crown molding is much more ornate and styled than chair rail molding in most cases. Chair rails are typically a simple design intended to add dimension to a room. A chair rail is not intended to draw attention, but often a crown molding is designed specifically for that purpose.

Crown moldings are often a decorative statement in their own right and are chosen specifically for their stylized appearance. Because of the typical size and shape of crown molding, as well as its stylized features, it is much more appropriate to place it at the top of the wall rather than in the middle of the wall where a chair rail would be. Since a chair rail is not intended to be a focal point in a room, using an ornate design would not be desirable.

Creative Applications for Crown Molding

While standard crown molding styles cannot be used as a chair rail molding style, there are many fun ways to incorporate molding into decorative accents in your home. Here are some great ideas for how crown molding can be used in various creative ways:

  • Floating Shelves – A few small pieces of scrap molding can be turned into 2-3 foot long “floating” shelves. They make great accents, and when placed at different heights, they can add visual interest and display collectibles, books, or even houseplants.
  • Create a Fireplace Mantel – Dress up a plain fireplace using simple instructions found on Pinterest. Give your room a new look, create a place to display photos of family and friends, and have a spot for hanging Christmas stockings. The instructions are simple, and the result is beautiful. This project can be completed in no time at all.
  • Create Visual Interest on Doors – It’s easy to give a front entry or a door between the kitchen and dining room, or any other room that could use some sprucing up, a completely new look. This look is easily achieved by using multiple large crown moldings.

Change it up by using a different style at the top of the entryway. While this project required a little more skill than some of the other molding projects, it’s still a relatively quick and easy way to make a big upgrade in your home.

  • Update Your Kitchen Cabinets – If you’re not ready to commit to a full kitchen renovation, you’ll still be amazed at how adding crown molding above kitchen cabinets, along with painting the doors and replacing the hardware, can completely modernize your kitchen. This project is slightly more time-consuming than the others, but it typically takes just a whole weekend!
  • Create Crown Molding Picture Frames – If you want to present a picture wall with a beautiful cohesive look of frames, crown molding is an easy way to make beautiful picture frames! They are versatile, pretty, and can be painted to match any decor. They take little time and no expertise! And best of all, they can accommodate any frame you can buy in the store.

Why People Use Crown Molding

The idea of decorating a room or using molding to divide a space or add visual interest actually goes back to the time of ancient Egypt! They used stone carvings to decorate building exteriors as part of their architectural design. These ideas were also adopted by early Greek and Roman societies. Those ancient versions of molding were chiseled out of stone.

Over the years, crown molding served both a functional and an aesthetic purpose. In Victorian-era homes, where ornate designs, furnishings, and wall coverings were the norm, houses traditionally also featured intricate moldings in every room. Often made from plaster, each piece was carefully crafted by hand. As such, it was often a sign of wealth.

From a functional standpoint, crown molding could hide a multitude of sins. Specifically in homes with plaster walls, crown molding was added to hide the crack where the ceiling meets the walls. It would conceal any uneven areas where the walls don’t perfectly meet the ceiling. As a house settles and shifts slightly over time, the molding concealed the separation between walls and ceilings.

Modern Crown Molding

As crown molding became increasingly popular, designers found new and different ways to create the molding. However, even today, some of the more ornate or intricate designs are still made from plaster. A mold is created to ensure that each section of the design is exactly the same, and the mold is used throughout the room to add the plaster crown molding.

Obviously, using a plaster mold is a very labor-intensive process and makes this type of crown molding quite costly for many households or families. Nowadays, you can find moldings made from many other materials, including wood, vinyl, polyurethane, or other composite materials that are lightweight and cost-effective.

With the different styles and materials available today to make molding, it is no longer a home decor trend reserved for the wealthy. At the same time, due to its history in ornate Victorian homes, it is often still seen as a more upscale or formal decorative style. However, nowadays there are so many options in style and price that they are easily accessible to the vast majority of homeowners.

Installing Crown Molding in Your Home

If you decide to add crown molding as a feature in your home, it is something that can be done without the help of professionals. Especially when using molded polyurethane and foam crown molding, which often comes with pre-cut corner pieces to simplify installation. Many styles today simply adhere with adhesive. Once they are adhered, simply paint right over them.

If you feel a little unsure about using a foam-style molding, fear not. The composite materials used for this type of molding are lightweight but still feel sturdy, are easy to install, and hold up really well. They won’t crack like traditional plaster and look beautiful once installed.

If you are a bit more handy in the DIY department, wood is also a good choice for molding. Just remember that you will need to cut the corner pieces at precise angles, usually using a miter saw. Luckily, many home improvement stores carry the equipment you can rent for a DIY project if you happen not to have the proper tools at home.

Reusing Your Crown Molding

There are many ways to use crown molding without turning it into an extruding chair rail. While you could possibly do that, it may look quite out of place. Instead, opt to spruce up another room or get creative. Either way, make sure to transform your molding into something else beautiful!

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