July 08, 2010

Easy Crown Molding Installation

We've been busy with another home improvement project in our casa.  Our home, as we bought it, is pretty cookie cutter and doesn't have many architectural details.  Sure furniture and decor can spice up any home, but I oh so love things like crown moulding, chair rails, paneling, and wainscoting.  So to fancy up our home and make it a little more interesting, we decided to install crown molding!  Our entryway, living room, and dining room got the royal treatment.

(Side note: is it "crown moulding" or "crown molding"? The dictionary says one way, Home Depot says the other way.  Who to believe?) 

Of course as we got started with the "molding," I forgot to take some good before photos, but I found these photos from when we first moved in.  I snapped these pictures as we were preparing to paint our living room and dining room, so you'll notice the old wall color and all of the missing furniture and decor:



This was our first time installing any type of molding, so we wanted something easy to install.  Of course, we also wanted something that would be easy on our wallets.  There are several types of materials and designs for crown molding.  Home Depot provides this guide to crown molding and  popular molding materials:

We considered these types of wood molding, but decided we wanted something less expensive and easier to install, so we actually chose molding made from polyurethane.  Polyurethane is a much lighter material that's easier to make cuts with and easier to install- as you'll see we didn't even need to use nails!  Polyurethane is also less expensive, so it was a win-win for us.  But best of all, once the morlding is on the walls you'll never be able to tell that it's not real wood.  If we had an old Victorian home, we might have chosen real wood for authenticity, but for a 10 year old townhouse polyurethane is perfect.

Polyurethane molding comes in a number of different designs.  We wanted something that would dress up our space, but not look overly formal so we picked a Dentil design.  We chose this Focal Point Polyurethane Dentil Crown Moulding, from Home Depot. At $2.12 a linear foot, the price was right too.

To install the molding, we first measured the width of the molding (4 1/8") and snapped a chalk line across our walls at this height from the ceiling.  This line became our guide for installing the molding so we can ensure the molding was completely lined up and level:



Since we weren't planning to repaint our walls, we used painters tape under the chalk line to protect our walls from getting scuffed :


Next, it was time to get the molding onto the walls.  As I mentioned, this project didn't require us to use a single nail, instead we used Liquid Nails!  The type of crown molding we chose actually comes with brackets that you screw onto the wall, and then you snap the molding into the brackets (the brackets are sold separately).  This method seems easy, but because our walls are not completely level in all places, we didn't want to end up with any gaps between the wall and the molding.  Since the polyurethane material is a little bendy, gluing it on with Liquid Nails ensured that the molding would be completely flush against the wall in all places.

We added Liquid Nails on the top and bottom of each piece of molding and then pressed it against the wall.  Above and below the molding, and between pieces, we used a silicone latex caulk to fill any gaps.


Luckily, as first time molders, my Dad was around to give us a hand and he brought his circular saw to make diagonal cuts to line up the molding in corners.




Once the molding was on the wall, we let it dry overnight.  The next day, we sanded down any spots that had too much caulk and then gave all of the molding a fresh coat of white paint.

Once the molding was painted, we touched up the wall paint in any spots that a got a bit of glue or dirt on them.


The entire process took about one weekend and about $250 for both rooms.  We are thrilled with the results and think the Dentil crown molding dresses up our entry, living room, and dining room and makes the rooms look more finished and adds a bit of interest.

To see the full before and after, mouse over the image below (doesn't work in readers, click through to the site to see):

We love the look of our new crown molding! What do you think? Do you have crown molding in your home?

This project is shared on Fireflies and JellybeansShabby Chic Cottage, Somewhat Simple, Tales from Bloggeritaville, Life as Lori, Remodelaholic, My Romantic Home, Between Naps on the Porch, Mad in Crafts, stop by and see the other great projects featured!


Megan Gunyan said...

It looks fabulous. I've never seen molding like that before! Where have I been?!? I love the helpful hints as well! Thank you!

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Vanessa said...

What a difference something so simple can make! Great job!

Quiltpiecer said...

Great post! Have been thinking of crown molding but dreaded the work. Liquid nails is the perfect answer! Thanks much for sharing!

Mad in Crafts said...

Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!