Cut Crown Moulding: Part 2 | Cut Crown Moulding: Part 2 – molding

Cut Crown Moulding: Part 2

how to install crown molding

A how to guide: learn step by step the easy way to cut crown moulding. Part 2

Ok, so you’ve done Step Number 1. You made some room, put breakables away, and made or bought a corner jig if you have bull nose cornered walls. If you have not done this go back to the previous page.

Let’s get started with Part 2 of Cut Crown Moulding!

Step Number 2: Choose your first wall and set a ladder at each end. Have your helper (that’s right “extra pair of hands”) hold the end of the tape measure in one hand and as far as can be reached with his or her other hand hold the tape against the wall.

You need to measure wall to wall and your measurement should be at least down to a sixteenth mark.When it is a little more or less than a sixteenth, I just write + or – at the end of the measurement.Note: When you measure for crown moulding make sure you are not measuring up at the corners. Drywall mud has likely been applied thicker there, so you need to hold the tape three or four inches down from the ceiling.

measuring for crown moldingWrite the measurement on the wall in pencil large enough to see from the ground, but small enough to be completely covered by the crown moulding. Repeat this process throughout the room left to right.

Now go back to the first crown moulding measurement and read it off of the wall and write it down on your notepad. Make sure to go from left to right. Use a separate line for each measurement.

Note: When writing the crown moulding measurements you can use a shorthand notation to indicate the type of cut or angle (i.e. cope, outside 45 short point, inside 22 1/2 long point, splice etc.)

This saves a lot of time when you actually cut crown moulding. You will find detailed descriptions of my own shorthand in my e-book Easy Crown Molding Installation.

Once that is done, you are ready to cut crown moulding!


Step Number 3: Take your notepad, pen or pencil and tape measure to your miter saw stand. Make sure you have a clear space 10 feet wide by 2 feet deep behind you. This is where you set your cut crown moulding pieces. If you need some help setting up an efficient saw station review the Saw Stand Setup page. It will save you a lot of anguish.

cutting crown molding Take your first crown moulding piece and put it on the saw leg or roller making sure it is upside down. Does your first piece go on a wall that has a square corner on the left side?

If yes, set the saw at a 45 degree angle and making sure the crown solidly against the saw fence and jig, cut the right side of the crown moulding piece.

Now hook the end of your tape measure on the long point of the crown moulding end you just cut and measure over and mark the other end of the crown moulding (the end your going to cut next).

For a really snug fit add 1/16″. Cut this end with an exactly opposite 45 degree angle. Congratulations! Your first piece of cut crown moulding!


Step Number 4: If the next piece is the same type as the last, just repeat the process. But…

  • If the next piece has an inside corner of less than 90 degrees go to Step Number 5A.
  • If the next piece has a of 90 degrees or more go to Step Number 5B.
  • If the next piece has a of 90 degrees or more go to Step Number 5C.
  • If the next piece has a bull nose outside corner less than 90 degrees go to Step Number 5D.


    Step Number 5A: OK. Now we’re going to make a crown template. So your next piece has an inside corner of less than 90 degrees. If it looks like the angle is about 45 degrees take a short piece of crown 12 inches or less and make a 22 1/2 degree cut on one end. Then make another that is a mirror image of it.

    Take these to the wall and try them out. Often this will be the angle that works. If it is right, line them up just perfect and make a small mark in pencil below the pieces to mark the center. If it isn’t just follow this process:

    When you put the crown template pieces up the bottom doesn’t touch? Take them back to the saw and cut them both at higher degree. Start with 23 degrees and test them. Move up incrementally in whole degrees making sure to cut both pieces each time.

    When you put the crown template pieces up the top doesn’t touch? Follow the same process as above, this time going in the opposite direction. Start with 21 degrees and test them. Move down incrementally in whole degrees making sure to cut both pieces each time.

    When they fit perfectly write the angle they are cut at on the back of each keep them close to the saw for future cuts.


    Step Number 5B: OK. So your next crown piece has a standard outside corner of 90 degrees or more. Measure the wall and cut this piece at a 45 degree angle.

    If the angle is greater than 90 degrees, use the method outlined above to find the correct setting. Your measurement becomes the distance from the long point of your inside corner to the short point of the outside corner.


    crown molding bullnose corner jigStep Number 5C: OK. So your next crown moulding piece has a bull nose outside corner of 90 degrees or more. Mark the outside corner in the two places indicated in by your bullnose corner jig. If you have not made one yet, you’ll find instructions to do so in the Easy Crown Molding Installation guide guide.

    Note: I highly recommend you learn to build one of these. It’s easy and cheap and if you cut crown moulding often, you’ll likely lose or break the one you buy…

    Measure the wall and cut this crown moulding piece at a 22 ½ + degree angle. Make the second cut crown moulding piece with a 22 ½ + degree angle on both sides, with the short point measuring at between 5/8” and ¾”.

    The measurement of this bull nose piece is almost always 11/16”, so cut it at that length and re-cut it if you need to.

    Now if the angle is greater than 90 degrees, use the method outlined above to find the correct setting. Your measurement on the first piece becomes the long point of your inside corner to the short point of the outside corner of the cut crown moulding.


    Step Number 5D: OK. So your next crown moulding piece has a bull nose outside corner of less than 90 degrees. Typically this is a wall angle of between 30 and 60 degrees. In most cases you will follow the steps outlined in 5A, but using an outside miter instead of an inside miter.

    Occasionally the wall angle is around 60 degrees or more and you may need a crown moulding bull nose piece for the outside corner. In that case you would need to follow the same logic but add a crown moulding bull nose piece cut at 11/16” and adjust the angles. You can find the crown moulding angle by using a protractor or angle finder.


    Step Number 6: Repeat the appropriate process above, but in reverse for your next crown piece. It is a good idea to check your first few pieces by test fitting before cutting a whole room of crown moulding. This is especially true if you are working with expensive hardwood.

    By the way, if you are working with hardwood crown moulding, cut your pieces in the order of longest to shortest or you may end up with a lot of unnecessary splices. This will be a slow process at first.

    Ready for the Install? Let’s handle it! Once you are in a groove, you can cut crown moulding pieces and bring 10 or more into the room to spread them where they go.

    Go to Attaching Crown Moulding

    Go back to Crown Moulding installation



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