Painting Crown Molding | Painting Crown Molding – molding

Painting Crown Molding

Easy step by step painting guide to getting fabulous results when painting crown molding!

From preparing for painting through to a finished room ready to live in, this guide will take you step by step on the path to beautifully painted crown molding! You will want to invite your neighbors over to brag…

Step 1- Choose and Buy the Paint: If you are trying to match the existing paint, carefully remove a sample of baseboard from a coat closet and take it to the paint store. Buy enough paint (and primer if applicable) to cover all the molding with two coats and still leave plenty left over for touch up.

Step 2- Area Preparation: First, when painting crown molding, you will need to find an out of the way place for painting in. This place must fit the following criteria…

  • have sufficient square footage to accommodate all of the crown molding laid out flat and allow room for you to safely reach every inch of every stick. (painting crown molding is difficult if you can’t reach it)

  • is totally dry. Do Not let your painted crown molding sit outside over night where it is vulnerable to dew or fog.

  • is safe from air born dust, dirt, leaves etc.

    Cover the entire floor space with painters plastic and lay out the crown molding in rows. For easy painting of your crown molding, it is best to group the rows in three to five sticks depending on your arm length. Also it is much easier to paint if they are raised up off the ground. I use buckets and 2x4s to do this.

    Step 3- Primer: If you crown molding is white already then it is primered and you can skip that step. If not you will need to apply a coat of primer to seal the molding. No need to go very thick with it, one coat will do. Once dry, sand the primer coat lightly.

    Painting Crown Molding

    Step 4- First Coat of Paint: Using a good 3 inch or wider paintbrush, generously apply the paint to one stick at a time. It is important to work fast. Load up the brush and go down the entire length, just really slopping it on. Once you get to the other end, go back, carefully painting the entire length. You must work fast so the paint doesn’t dry while you are brushing, or you will end up with unsightly brush strokes. If done correctly, the paint will smooth out on its own and the paint will appear to have been sprayed on! Repeat the process with each stick.

    Step 5- Spackling joints: Once your crown molding is installed, you need to make all outside corners and splices look good if they need a little love. I used to use Bondo for this, because you can control hardening time and it dries very hard, but it really is toxic disgusting stuff. Sometimes it is the only way to save a really messed up outside corner (yeah, even a pro does it) so it is always in my crown moldiing bag of tricks, but if your joints are pretty good you can use spackle.

    The absolute best stuff for spackling purposes is a product called Drydex. Before painting your crown molding, you want all joints to be perfectly blended and this stuff is a awesome for that. Unlike spackle, it is thick and gooey. It spreads on like room temperature Skippy peanut butter! The other great thing about it though is this: It goes on pink and dries white. Simply wait till it is white and it ready to sand and paint. Make sure you use a painters sanding block for the best results.

    Step 6- Caulking: Try this: Get a roll of quality 1 inch masking tape. (3M is best) Take a 2 foot piece and apply it to the wall just below the bottom edge of the crown molding. Using a tube of bright white caulking, make a solid bead right over the tape at the juncture of the wall and the crown molding. Carefully wipe the bead with your finger. Now before the caulking is dry, peel off the tape. If done correctly, your crown molding painting job will have the appearance from the ground of being a perfectly cut in. Painting the edges in unnecessary. Repeat throughout the room.

    Step 7- Second Coat of Paint: Your almost done! This is the last step to painting crown molding! Once you have caulked all areas and sanded any spackled joints your crown molding is ready for painting. The idea is the same as for the first coat. Apply as thick as you can without getting runs and work fast. No cutting in is needed as your new caulking technique took care of that!

    That’s It! In an hour or so the paint will be dry! See? Painting crown molding is easy!


    To see painting crown molding in a video click here.

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