Simple Alternatives to crown molding 

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alternatives to crown molding

Crown molding was originally used to hide the ugly gaps formed where different materials met. However, they’re currently used for various reasons including aesthetic purposes. Also, they’re used to uplift your home interior to a more elegant and upscale touch. As a result, they make your home more valuable and give it an impressive touch. 

Although there are many sizes and styles of crown molding, installing them requires a lot of time and effort. More importantly, they’re quite costly to install, especially considering the current prices of labor and crown molding material. For that, most homeowners are constantly looking for affordable alternatives to crown molding alternatives that will make their homes look classy without breaking the bank. 

Luckily, I’ve found out some incredible, budget-friendly crown molding alternatives that will make your house look amazing. Here they are! 

Affordable Crown Molding Alternatives 

  • Peel and Stick Crown Molding 

The peel & stick method is a great alternative, especially if you want to use materials that resemble actual crown molding. It looks almost the same as crown molding but comes at a significantly reduced price. 

Another interesting thing about peel & stick molding is that it’s made up of plastic and features an adhesive backside. This makes it easy to use since you only need to peel off the self-adhering tape and stick it to the wall. However, you also need to measure the wall and cut the molding’s length accordingly before you install it on your wall.

 Even better, you don’t need any special tools to cut and install this type of crown molding alternative. Instead, you can easily cut it with a pair of scissors before you press it onto the wall. Besides, some of its ends come pre-cut, thus eliminating the need for using a miter saw to cut the corners. Afterward, you can paint the crown molding, making it relatively easy to match and blend with the rest of your house. 

On the downside, peel & stick crown molding isn’t that sturdy as it may be made from cheap materials. Plus, the adhesive used to attach it to the wall tends to lose its adhesive properties over time. To prevent that problem from occurring, add a stronger adhesive to its backing. More importantly, look for a peel & stick crown molding that is made of a durable material like polyurethane. 

  • MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)

MDF is another popular crown molding alternative. The material is made from soft and hardwood residues, which are then processed with resin binders and wax to produce relatively strong panels. 

Another benefit of Medium Density Fiberboards is that they’re much lighter and cheaper than traditional wood crown molding. This makes them easier and faster to install by reducing the time you spend installing them. In addition, MDF is very customizable since you can paint or stain it with your preferred color. Plus, it’s available in various designs and styles to match your home décor. More notably, it’s versatile, making it suitable for various tasks. So, apart from being used as a crown molding alternative, you can use MDF to make different types of furniture such as closets, tables as well as kitchen cabinets. 

One of the major drawbacks of MDF crown molding though is that it’s easier to scratch compared to traditional wooden crown molding. Moreover, it’s more complicated to install than other crown molding alternatives since it’s attached the same way as wood crown molding. 

  • Wallpaper border 

Although the wallpaper border doesn’t exactly look like crown molding, it’s a simple and hassle-free alternative to crown molding. Besides, it brings some attention and detail to the upper borders of your room. Yet it’s much more affordable in terms of labor and material cost than crown molding. 

Even better, you can use a wallpaper border either on a painted wall or any wall that has existing wallpaper on it. However, make sure you select a wallpaper that matches the color of your walls to achieve a better aesthetic appeal and create a cohesive look. 

Moving on, the wallpaper border is made up of very lightweight material, making it easy to work with. Therefore, you can easily install it on your own without having to ask another person to help you. In addition, the material is available in various finishes, giving you several options to choose from. 

  • Polyurethane molding 

Similar to the peel and stick option, polyurethane molding is a relatively affordable crown molding alternative. Yet it offers the same visual quality as the original trim. Moreover, it closely resembles wood and comes in various design options. Plus, it’s easy to install since it quickly clips on the wall once you cut it to the desired length. Even better, it allows you to either paint your room before or after installation. Lastly, fix the polyurethane strip to the clip attachment and you’re good to go! 

  • Simple trim 

Installing a simple trim around the perimeter of your rooms is a great crown molding alternative if you’re on a budget or if you prefer a simple look. Also, it’s a great option if you’re not very creative or don’t have much time on your hands since its installation doesn’t require a lot of time or work. Besides, you can just paint the trim to match your ceiling or walls after installation. Alternatively, you can paint it with an accent color to make this simple decorative trim stand out! 

  • Paint 

If you still can’t afford any of the crown molding alternatives above, you can simply paint over the accent strip at the top of your room. In fact, this is the easiest way to transform your home, without having to install crown molding. However, you need to ensure that you create a very clean line where your wall and ceiling meet. 


Adding crown molding to your house is a great way to revamp your space and dramatically change the appearance of any room. However, considering how costly traditional solid wood molding can be, you may be forced to look for an alternative option to finish your room. Thankfully, as you can see, there are many affordable alternatives to crown molding you can use to transform any space in your home. Best of all, they’re readily available in most local hardware stores and online. 

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