(Family Features) If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to dress up a room in your home, crown molding can be a simple way to add elegance and class with minimal investment.
Crown molding is most commonly applied as a decorative trim where the walls meet the ceiling. It is often painted the same color as the baseboards, door frames and other woodwork, but can be colored to match the ceiling or a different shade to create extra drama.
Though the corner angles may be especially daunting for do-it-yourself types, installing crown molding is a project you can tackle without the assistance of a professional. However, it is a good idea to ask for help along the way, as all the measuring, marking and holding up pieces for nailing can be a bit much for one person.
This step-by-step guide can show you how to create a striking design element in your home:
- Measure the perimeter of your room, remembering to take into account any insets or bump-outs that add additional inches. Be sure to pad your total when purchasing materials to allow for a mistake (or two).
- Prime and paint the molding, front and back, and allow it to dry completely.
- Mark the studs near the ceiling on all walls so you can securely attach the molding.
- Measure from the ceiling down the depth of the molding and mark this point. Using a level, establish a baseline for the length of each wall.
- Use a miter saw or coping saw to trim angles for corner pieces. Remember the molding as it lays on the saw table is the inverse of its fit to the wall, so you may want to make a few practice cuts to be sure you’re trimming angles properly. A good rule of thumb: For outside corners, the top edge is longer; for inside corners, the longer edge is on the bottom.
- Attach molding using a nail gun, making sure to hit as many studs as possible for secure attachment.
- On the sections that fit in corners, nail the center of the molding first, leaving the corner end loose. Use a wood shim or screwdriver behind the bottom edge of the molding to make adjustments and eliminate gaps before securing the corners.
- Where you join two pieces for a long stretch of wall, be sure the seam falls over a stud, so you can nail both ends firmly in place. For the most polished look, fit the ends of these pieces together with complementary 45-degree angles.
- If your nails aren’t fully sunk, use a nail set to press them deeper. Use wood putty to cover nail holes.
- Caulk all seams using a thin stream and use a finger dipped in water to smooth away excess.
- Touch up paint, especially over putty spots and seams.
Find more tips for upgrading your home at eLivingtoday.com.
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