Can I use glue to Install Crown Molding? 

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Adding crown molding to your home is a great way to provide a finished look. In most cases, the molding is secured to the wall using finishing nails for a tight installation. This calls for suitable tools like a nail gun to ensure the success of your installation project.

So, what would happen then if you don’t have a nail gun or the right nails? Can you use glue to install the molding? 

Those are some of the things I’ll be looking at in this article. In addition, I’ll show you how to go about it as well as some tips and tricks you can follow! 

Let’s get into it! 

Nails Vs Glue; Which is the best option for crown molding installation? 

Nailing is often considered the best option for attaching crown molding to the walls and ceiling. However, there are times you can use glue/construction-grade adhesive to install the molding without nails. 

Interestingly, both glue and nails can be used together in certain situations. But in some circumstances, either nails or glue are used independently. Whether a glue or nail option offers the best medium for installing crown molding will depend on the crown molding weight, upper wall surface accessibility, and the installation surface. 

That said, here are some factors to help you choose the best method to use for your project; 

  • Use nails without adhesive for temporary installation to determine if the appearance of the molding is desired.  
  • Use adhesive to hold the molding instead of nails or to offer extra security for using thinner nails. Alternatively, always make sure you use the right size nails for your crown molding installation projects. 
  • Use nails to hold the glued molding in place for extra security or for drying. 
  • Finally, use material-specific adhesive when the installation process doesn’t allow for nails. 

Benefits of using glue to install crown molding 

Sometimes nailing crown molding can be intimidating since most walls are not usually flat. On the other hand, using an adhesive to install the molding offers the following benefits; 

  • Cuts down installation time 
  • Eliminates/ Reduces the need for fasteners 
  • Creates attractive and durable results 
  • Minimizes touch-ups 

How to install crown molding using an adhesive/ glue 

Whether you’re an experienced woodworker or a beginner, installing crown molding using glue is a relatively straightforward process. However, there are some essential tools you’ll need to make your project a success. This includes; 

  • Crown molding 
  • Measuring tape 
  • Caulk gun
  • Miter saw
  • Putty knife 
  • Construction adhesive 

Once you’ve gathered all the tools and materials you need, you can now proceed to the actual installation process! 

Step 1: Select the crown molding to install 

The 1st step is to choose the type of crown molding you intend to install. Lightweight wood is considered the best option when using glue to attach the molding. Remember to prime and paint it before you cut the molding. 

Step 2: Prepare the surfaces you’re working on 

Like any other DIY project, preparation is an important step when using glue to attach crown molding to the wall. So, make sure you clean and dry the surfaces you’ll be installing the molding on. Also, ensure that there is no loose paint on the surfaces. 

Step 3: Measure the area of the wall you’re installing crown molding 

Using the measuring tape, measure the area of the cabinet or wall you’ll be installing the molding. Once you’ve taken the measurement, transfer it to your molding. 

Step 4: Cut the molding at 45 deg 

Next, lay the crown molding flat on the bottom of your miter saw with the face side up. Cut the crown molding to the appropriate angle and lightly sand any rough edges with sandpaper. You’ll find this step to be extremely easy if you know how to use a miter saw to cut crown molding. However, if you don’t have a miter saw, you can simply use a handsaw. 

Note, when cutting crown molding, you should cut it at a 45 deg angle in the same direction as your cabinets/ walls. This will make sure that it fits snugly against the walls/ cabinets. To see how your molding will fit, dry-fit them before you apply glue. In addition, put them against the wall and butt the other cut molding pieces up to it to make sure that the fit and angles work.

Step 5: Apply construction adhesive 

Insert the adhesive cartridge into the caulk gun and use a blade to cut off ¼” of its plastic tip at a 45 deg angle. Puncture the inner seal of the cartridge and apply a ¼” bead of the adhesive to the length of the crown molding in a zigzag pattern. Let it sit for about 1 minute before you attach it to the wall. 

Step 6: Attach the molding to the wall 

After applying the adhesive evenly to your molding, place it up to the wall and firmly press it against the wall. Hold it tightly for about 1 – 3 minutes before you press it back in place. 

Step 7: Remove excess adhesive 

Once you’ve attached the molding, use a putty knife to remove the excess adhesive from the wall. Similarly, remove any adhesive that comes out from under the crown molding with the putty knife. 

Step 8: Let the adhesive dry 

Now, leave the adhesive to dry fully. This can take a few hours, although the duration will vary from one adhesive to another. 


By following the above steps, you’ll have successfully installed crown molding using an adhesive. Interestingly, this method doesn’t need a nail gun, although you can drive in some nails to secure the molding firm onto the wall. All in all, it’s possible to install crown molding using glue, and you only need some basic tools to do it! 

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