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Without the right tools, crown molding installation can be a challenging task for anyone, including skilled carpenters. Besides, unlike other forms of trims like baseboards and door casing, its design is quite different. Specifically, it has 2 angled edges, one that attaches to the ceiling and another that touches the wall.
On top of that, you need to think about the inside and outside corners while cutting and installing these moldings.
To avoid all these challenges and make the installation process easier, it’s good to have all the necessary tools. Fortunately, in this blog post, I’ll take you through the different important tools you need for your crown molding installation projects.
Tools needed for crown molding installation
When installing crown molding, the first step is to measure the length of the walls in the room. This will help you determine the total length of moldings you’ll need for the project. Therefore, the first tool you need to have before undertaking this project is a measuring tool. After writing down all the measurements, add about 10-15% excess molding to account for fitting and cutting.
Note, when it comes to measuring for the cuts, don’t take your dimensions where the molding hits the ceiling. Instead, take your measurements where the molding comes into contact with the wall. Simply put, you should measure the ‘run’ or bottom edge of your molding.
A miter saw is one of the most important tools for cutting crown molding. You can use it to cut scarf joints as well as outside corners. A scarf joint connects 2 lengths of crown moldings, where one length doesn’t have enough length to cover the whole wall you’re working on. A good example is when you have 8-ft long moldings, while the wall you’re working on is about 12 ft. long.
One benefit of using a miter saw is that you can easily set it to the exact angle you need. Even better, it ensures a proper cut by allowing you to position the molding opposite to how you’ll install it or upside down. As a result, cutting the crown will become an extremely simple task for you.
Note, scarf joints are much easier to cut compared to outside corners. For that reason, it’s important to check the orientation of your molding before you cut an outside corner to ensure you get the right cut.
To accomplish that, start by setting the saw at a 45-degree angle and make your first cut. For the second piece, turn the machine 45 degrees in the other direction and make your cut. After that, join the pieces together at the right angles to check if they form a perfectly tight corner.
3. Coping Saw
Cutting inside corners is a bit trickier than cutting outside corners. However, with some practice and a good coping saw, the task will be relatively simple. When cutting crown molding for an insider corner, you’ll need 2 different types of cuts. That is; an inside miter and a butt cut. Either way, this will need a coping cut on the leading edge of your crown molding.
Luckily, as long as you have a coping saw, cutting the crown at an angle to allow the corners to meet is quite easy. However, you may also need to smooth the edges with sanding paper after cutting the molding piece.
Using a coping saw for inside corners involves having one piece of the molding cab running straight to the wall, without mitered cuts. While the other crown molding piece has a mitered insider cut, depending on the angle measured with a protractor. That way, the crown of the mitered cut will rest on top of the first piece perfectly. If the coping saw leaves any rigged behind, clean them up with a sanding wedge or file.
If you don’t have a coping saw, you can simply cut both inside pieces with a miter saw at a 45 deg angle, for 90-deg angles. However, coping provides a much tighter fit since the pieces rest on each other perfectly. Besides, homes rarely have perfect 90-deg corners. Therefore, cutting 2 pieces at 45 deg can easily leave gaps in the corners.
4. Adjustable Protractor
Investing in a 360-degree or angle-gauge protractor will come in handy when installing crown molding. And as I said earlier, it’s hard to come across corners that are perfectly 90 degrees in your home. Luckily, with a protractor, you can determine the exact angle formed by your walls in no time. As a result, making corner cuts needed to create a mitered joint will become much easier.
5. Nail gun
Using a hammer to nail the crown molding to the wall can easily dent your workpieces. Not to forget the risk of bruising your thumbnails that comes with erratic hammer blows. Well, with a good nail gun, you can easily avoid all these issues.
To start, the best nail gun for crown molding will ensure better nailing, even when working in narrow spaces. In addition, it will make tasks like nailing the crown to the wall and ceiling easier, helping you save valuable time. Best of all, if the nail gun has a fast refilling cylinder and magazine, you can punch multiple finishing nails in no time.
6. Caulk Gun
Crown molding installation usually leaves a large gap between the molding and the ceiling or wall. And one of the best ways to get rid of that gap is by filling it with a paintable caulk bead. The same case applies to any gap left between your inside or outside corners.
Unfortunately, applying a caulk bead in these gaps isn’t that easy, mainly because of the height of the moldings. That’s why you need a caulk gun to spread the caulk along the joints and gaps. If the gun leaves excess caulk, wipe it away with a damp cloth. Afterward, use your finger or caulk finishing tools to smooth it out. Next, let the sealant dry overnight before you paint the molding.
Understanding the basic tools of crown molding installation is equally important as learning how to cut & install the molding. Otherwise, you may have all the necessary materials and still end up with unpleasant results. Besides, these tools will make your upcoming project simple and ensure accurate crown installation. So, before you get started on your project, I’d highly recommend that you get yourself these tools.