First off, I started by googling the difference between “molding” and “moulding.” Turns out, moulding is the British spelling of the word. I think the spelling is more fun, so I’m going to stick with it. 🙂
I am nearly finished with the first bedroom in the ski chalet. All of the gross and ugly stuff has been taken down and it’s time to improve and add the details that will make it super cute and cozy. (I also needed a break from the DEstruction and wanted to do some CONstruction).
I wanted to add some crown moulding around the ceilings for an elegant detail. I’ll start by saying that anyone can do crown moulding, but it’s not an easy project (mostly, it’s mentally challenging…).
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This is the room before trim and crown moulding:
Tools that I used:
- Compound miter saw- compound means that you can change the angle horizontally (miter) and vertically (bevel). This allows you to get the exact angles that the corners require. I have the Ryobi Compound Miter Saw which I love! For a closer look, check it out by clicking here. The stand is sold separately (here), but I highly recommend it.
- Crown moulding-several styles and sizes available at your home improvement store
- Some way to find exact angles-I have this little digital gadget that reads angles to the 10th of a degree (probably more exact than I can be). For an affordable tool similar to mine, click here.
- Tape Measure
- Cheat sheet for correct angles (a lot of available options on the internet)
- Finish nailer-mine is run by a compressor, so you may need that as well
- Finish nails
- A sanding block for any imperfections (hopefully not many!)
- Wood filler for the nail holes
- Caulking for the cracks
I started by measuring the angles of the corners of the room. It seems obvious that a room with 4 corners would have 90 degree corners, but even being off one degree can affect how your crown moulding will line up. I figured with a house that’s 98 years old, it wouldn’t be exact, but I’m pleasantly surprised. 🙂 If your angles aren’t exactly 90 degrees, this is where your cheat sheet comes into play. It will tell you exactly how to adjust your miter saw to cut the angles so they will match up in the corner.
The photo is a little dark, but the degrees says 90.1.
According to my cheat sheet, for a 90 degree angle, I need to set my miter adjustment to 31.62 degrees. As you can see, this angle is marked on my miter saw. This is the horizontal swivel on the saw.
I also need to adjust the bevel to 33.86. This is the vertical adjustment and it is also marked on my saw.
Once the saw is set up, it looks like this:
Here comes the hard part (at least for me). Haha. Trying to figure out which way to cut the boards. I will be completely honest… this took me a few tries to get the angles going the right direction. Once I got it figured out, all the corners went pretty quickly.
I was doing this by myself, so I cut my corners into pretty short sections since I had to hold both mouldings in the right place, put one down, pick up the finish nailer, and secure them. This made it easier to hold it in place. I then was able to measure and fill the open sections with moulding and the seams don’t show very much (plus I’ll disguise them with caulking or wood filler later).
Since the holding and nailing were hard by myself, also holding a camera wasn’t really feasible. A good friend (and my personal editor) sketched a photo of the process. She wasn’t there, but the photo is spot on! Great imagination Beka!
After all the crown moulding was up, I filled the nail holes with wood filler and sanded that off before touching up with paint. I had caulking prepared in case my corners didn’t line up quite right. That stuff is magical at hiding imperfections. However, I didn’t end up needing the caulking this time! (My next room has more complex angles, so I’ll keep it on standby for that one!!)
This little bit of trim and moulding has added so much to this little room. I had plans to paint the whole thing white, JoAnna Gaines style, but I’m really liking how the bright white trim looks against the natural wood.
What do you think? Paint it white or leave it natural? I’d love to hear what you think!
As I work my way to the dining room, it has a bay window, so I’ll update this post with more pictures and the hints on the difficult angles. Stay tuned!
Cost to do it myself:
Crown Moulding: The kind I bought was about $2.13/sq foot and my room was about 44 feet around, so I spent approximately $93 for the room. I bought the white crown moulding so I didn’t have to paint the whole thing.
Finish Nails: Less than $10
Wood Filler: $9.07. I like this kind that goes on purple, but dries a light beige color. It’s nice to know if it’s dry at a glance without having to touch it or guestimate. It works well with my ADD as I jump from project to project. 🙂
Touch up paint: I buy the pure white paint right off the shelf at Lowes or Home Depot and it matches all the white trim perfectly. I don’t even have to worry about color matching. Usually about $12-15 for a quart.
If you don’t have tools, here is about what they will run you:
Digital Angle Finder: $18.99
Finish nailer: Varies depending on the brand, but you could probably expect anywhere from $80-$175. Rental stores also carry these and that may be an option if you don’t think it’s something you’ll use in the future.
Air Compressor: $116. This small one is all you need to run a finish nailer or any of your smaller tools.
Compound Miter Saw: This also varies by brand, but will run anywhere from $120-ish to several hundred dollars. I use this saw ALL THE TIME.
Cost to have it done professionally:
I didn’t get a quote, but Angie’s list reports that an average cost to have a professional install crown moulding is $4 to $8 per square foot. Using that math, for 44 feet of crown moulding, I would have paid $176-$352!!
Would I do it again?
I am so stubborn and determined to be able to do these things by myself, that after I am finished with a project, I have to look back and ask myself, “Was it worth it? Did I enjoy it? Did I save enough money to make the frustrations worth it?” So, looking back at this project, I would say yes!! There were times that it made me question my intelligence (ugh…math), but overall the project was not that time consuming or physically difficult. The effect and elegance that it adds to the room also tip the scale to the ‘worth it’ side! I have other rooms that I would like to add crown moulding to, and I will do it by myself again!!
Here is my little scale that I have created for my personal project reflection: 🙂
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