Posted on: 27.10.2022 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

Every homeowner probably has a love-hate relationship with crown molding. The decorative trim along the ceiling is both functional and aesthetically appealing, but getting the installation right can be quite cumbersome due to the precise measurements required for a perfect fit. Luckily, there are a handful of strategies for measuring, cutting, and hanging crown molding with minimal effort to achieve a beautiful interior decor.

This article primarily covers measuring and cutting crown molding, with some tips for installation at your home, as well as some recommended tools and sources. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about DIY molding in no time!

An Introduction to Crown Molding

Before you begin, it’s important to understand what crown molding is and what purpose it serves. All houses have trim, moldings that run along baseboards, windows, and doors. Crown molding specifically is the interior trim around the ceiling of the house that is used to cover exposed seams between the walls and the ceiling that are joined together.

Often made of plaster, crown molding can feature a variety of intricate patterns that draw attention and enhance the design of your home. However, it is sometimes also made of wood or composite material, depending on the preferences of the homeowner. Each material has its pros and cons that should be considered before installing your own.

Cutting Crown Molding

Unfortunately, installing crown molding is not as simple as a trip to the store. While it does need to be purchased, it also needs to be cut correctly to fit into your space and seamlessly fit into the corners of your room. This can be a confusing process. Different corners have different angles, right and left can be swapped, and often you’ll need to rotate the molding before cutting.

This next section covers the various methods for cutting crown molding and answers some frequently asked questions, starting with the most important: Many online guides to installing crown molding use specific terminology for the various cuts and joints used. Before you can begin, you need to be able to understand and recognize what each term means. Otherwise, you’ll spend more time researching what a miter cut is instead of actually performing one!

Below is a handy list of various terms used in the world of crown molding to help you become a pro in no time.


A joint is an area where the various sections of crown molding come together. There are a few different types of joints you need to know.

  • Butt Joint

A butt joint is a flat cut used to connect the molding directly to the wall. Hollowed out molding fits over a butt joint to create an outward seam.

  • Miter Joint

A miter joint is used when two pieces of molding are cut to form a corner. The pieces are typically cut at complementary 45-degree angles to fit seamlessly together.

  • Scarf Joint

A scarf joint is used when the area you’re installing the molding on is too long for a single piece of trim. To make this joint, one piece is cut at a 45-degree angle inward and the other at a 45-degree angle outward, so the two can overlap for a seamless look.

  • Coped Joint

A coped joint is used to achieve a perfect finish for an inside corner of a room. Since wall corners don’t always have a perfect 90-degree angle, it can be difficult to ensure your pieces fit together properly. To make this joint, create a butt joint on one of the trim pieces. Then, measure the other piece at the butt joint and cut it for a perfect fit.


Now that you know what joints are which, you need to understand the different cuts. Cuts make joints, and joints make beautiful, decorative crown molding for your home.

  • Miter Cut

Simply put, a miter cut is a cut on the face of the trim. When a miter cut is used, the top of the molding is cut at an angled angle, but rotated in the width direction, the width of the cut is straight.

  • Bevel Cut

A bevel cut is the opposite of a miter cut, where instead, the edge of the molding is cut.

Finding the Right Angle

Crown molding bridges the wall and ceiling at an angle, leaving little space underneath. When preparing to cut pieces, you need to know which angle to use, as each angle requires a different approach to cutting. According to Sawdust Girl, there are “three common crown molding angles and about 100 different ways to cut it.” It’s important not to rush, as it can easily become confusing when it comes time to cut. Let’s start with the basics: Which angle is right for your home.

The spring angle, as it’s called, is the angle between the crown molding and the wall. As mentioned earlier, there are three common angles:

  • 38°
  • 45°
  • 52°

Each angle requires a different arrangement of settings on the tools you use, but 38° is the most common angle you’ll see. It’s so common that most miter saws already have a preset for the cuts. Additionally, the crown molding available at many home improvement stores is likely to have a spring angle of 38°, so we recommend it to any beginner due to ease and simplicity.

The Different Corners

There are two different types of corners: an inside corner and an outside corner. An inside corner occurs when two walls meet at a 90-degree angle. An outside corner occurs when two protruding walls come together to form an angle of 270 degrees. It’s much easier to use diagrams to keep the differences clear; Googling an example is a great way to understand what is what.

Each type of corner has both a right and left part. Here’s where it gets a little confusing: Your left inside corner will match your right outside corner, and vice versa. Don’t be discouraged if your inside corners don’t look like they should match: they’re not supposed to!

PRO TIP: Create and label crown molding templates! Practicing your cuts will make it easier to make them in the future, and labeling your templates with felt tip pen with the right and left miter angles along with the corner will help with future confusions.

Tips for Cutting Crown Molding

Actually cutting crown molding can be a challenge, even with templates and knowledge of the different joints and angles used. You need to know how to use a compound miter saw, which is not covered in this article. A great guide to learning the anatomy of your compound miter saw is this one on Saws Reviewed.

Understanding the parts and jargon associated with a compound miter saw is crucial for troubleshooting and online tutorials. It’s quite a bit to digest at once, so be sure to take enough time to do your research before embarking on your project.

Can Crown Molding Be Cut Flat?

When working with crown molding, you’re dealing with two-dimensional cuts since the molding doesn’t lay flush against the wall but rather connects at an angle. Therefore, it’s difficult to imagine cutting it without trying to balance the piece with one hand and cut with the other.

Fortunately, sliding compound miter saws have great features that allow you to cut crown molding flat against your table or workspace. You can do this by adjusting your bevel angle. Remember how a bevel cut cuts through the edge of the piece? This is the angle that will ultimately allow your pieces to seamlessly connect to each other and to the wall.

Crown molding can be cut flat, but you’ll need to know what spring angle you’re working with and how to set the bevel aspect of your blade for the correct tilt.

Using Corner Blocks Instead of Joints

One thing that may be easier than cutting and creating corner joints is using corner blocks. With a corner block, the joints are secured on both sides using a scarf joint instead of being joined together to form a corner, which can indeed be challenging. Miter and coped joints require practice, and you may find that corner blocks are a simpler solution.

A Guide to Installing Crown Molding

Now that you understand the different cuts, joints, and angles required for crown molding installation, you can start. You’ll need at least your crown molding and a compound miter saw, but you may find that other tools like clamps are helpful.

Here’s a complete guide for installing your own crown molding at home:

  1. Preparation

Before you even start cutting, prepare your space and gather the necessary materials. Use a damp cloth or dusting tool to remove dust from the installation area. Having an extra pair of hands is also very useful, so check if a friend can assist you with your crown molding project.

  1. Start with the corner cuts

These are the most challenging cuts. Start by determining your spring angle and adjusting the settings on your miter saw accordingly. If you already created templates, use them! Start making the cuts and be sure to set them aside in labeled stacks so you don’t mix them up.

PRO TIP: If you notice small gaps between your corner joints – whether you’re using a miter or coped joint – fill the area with some caulk for a seamless finish.

  1. Measure your space

Now that you’ve cut the corners, you need to proceed with the main part of the molding. First, measure your distance and make small pencil marks where the cut starts and ends.

  1. Measure your cut and cut

Once you have your measurements, start cutting your trim. You’ll want to make a mix of 90-degree and 45-degree angle cuts on the ends of your pieces. Again, be sure to set aside these cut pieces so they don’t get mixed up. Labels are your friends here!

  1. Deal with the joints

Next, you’ll need to deal with the ends of the molding so that they can form a seamless connection. Do this carefully! After all, you don’t want to cut the wrong piece and ruin the look of your trim.

  1. Double-check the fit

Make sure all the pieces you cut fit together and fit the ceiling as they should. You don’t want to go halfway through the installation only to realize the measurements don’t line up. It seems like a simple step, but it will save you a headache down the line.

  1. Install on the wall!

Once all the cuts and measurements have been made and double-checked, it’s time to install the molding. Here, having a helper can be useful. Have your friend hold the molding to the wall while you nail the pieces into the backer. Fill any small gaps in the joints with caulk.

  1. A beautiful finish

Once everything is installed, use a wood finish or paint of your choice to tie the moldings together perfectly. Before you know it, you’ll have a professionally looking installation that you could’ve done right at home!

Mounting Crown Molding on a Sloped Ceiling

In case, if your ceiling tends to have one, you’ll quickly find that the above guide doesn’t work for you. Adding crown molding to your sloped ceiling is no easy task as the new angles come with a lot of additional considerations that don’t apply to a regular installation. Don’t get too discouraged! It can indeed be done with a little extra effort and knowledge of the tools you’re using.

Below are the various steps outlined for correctly measuring and cutting crown molding for a sloped or angled ceiling:

  1. Determine the angle of your ceiling slope.

This is the most important step, finding the angle between the wall and ceiling. In a room with no slope, it’s typically a 90-degree angle. However, if there is a slope, the angle is typically greater. Once you determine the obtuse angle, subtract 90 degrees from that to find the slope of the ceiling.

  1. Adjust your saw settings.

This requires an understanding of the saw you’re using, but make sure to adjust the settings to accommodate the new angles and cuts.

  1. Make the cuts!

Installing crown molding on a sloped ceiling requires a combination of horizontal and vertical cuts connected by triangular pieces of molding where the wall molding meets the ceiling molding.

  1. Check for perfect fit and attach

Once you’ve made your cuts, double-check to make sure they fit the ceiling as they should. If everything is okay, start with the installation!

Purchasing Crown Molding and Other Tools

To successfully install crown molding at home, you’ll need to not only purchase the molding but also any additional tools you may need, such as caulk, nails, paint, and potentially clamps. You can use what you have lying around, but you’ll want to know where to buy the items you’re looking for before you start shopping.

Crown molding can be bought at any home improvement store near you, such as Home Depot or Lowe’s. You can also call your local hardware store as they might carry what you’re looking for. An in-store employee can assist you in finding the proper fit and color for you, as well as answer any questions you may have about installation.

Miter saws are also sold at major hardware stores but can also be purchased on Amazon. We recommend the in-person purchase so you can become familiar with the different settings and ask the employees questions to determine which saw is right for you, but Amazon has many saw options for different budgets and is worth a visit.

Finally, you can buy caulk, nails, paint, and other smaller pieces at your local hardware store or even at major retailers like Walmart and Target. Do your research before shopping to determine which pieces are right for your project so you don’t end up with nails in the wrong size or a paint color that doesn’t quite match as it should.

Final Thoughts

Installing crown molding may seem intimidating, but it’s entirely doable with a little effort and research. In addition to this article, there are countless online resources, including videos and demonstrations, that can help guide you through each step of the way to achieving a professionally finished look for your home. DIY home improvement projects are a great

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