Remodeling Tips and Reviews

Installing ceiling Trim Tips and Tricks

Installing ceiling Trim Tips and Tricks

Sep 20, 2012

As a remodeler one of my favorite projects is installing crown molding. Its a fast way to give a room a nice face lift and dress it up without spending big bucks or breaking the bank. A basic room with 4 walls and corners can be installed in a couple of hours with 2 guys and a ladder, even faster if they are pros. This article will cover installing crown with a compound saw using the designated stop angles for standard crown molding of 52 degrees which is what most common crown molding these days. What is 52 degree crown you ask? This is the angle crown comes off the wall to go to the ceiling. If you think of the side profile of the crown forming a triangle with the wall and ceiling, that is the angle at the lower side of the crown.

Here are the basic steps I go through before I install the crown molding trim.

  • measure the room and buy at least 10% more than you need. If the room is 12×12 then buy 16′ long sticks. You want to have enough to make some extra pieces and set up correctly
  • Using saw horses, clean up , fill holes with putty, prime and paint the trim prior to install. This makes it easier to finish and less likely to look messy on the walls.

Once these 2 items are done, I am ready to set up my compound saw and cut the crown. Almost all saws available today are clearly marked and usually have convient stops to to cut crown molding flat. You should also consider purchasing 1 or 2 roller stands to hold the crown while you are cutting. These will sit out 10-12 feet away from your saw, level with the base of the saw cutting surface.

Setting up the compound Saw

Properly setting up the saw is the most important part of getting the corner cuts done right and insuring a nice finish.  The correct angle for the miter cut ( one the vertical axis is 31.62 degrees. The Bevel which is the horizontal axis and moves the head of the saw left to right is 33.85. These usually will be clearly marked and notched for easy set up. Once they are set up it is time to lay out the crown and cut it. If you are cutting all inside corners, then you only have to set the miter up and rotate left and right as you flip the trim long side. I usually will cut all of the left inside cuts at once and then cut all the right inside cuts at the other end at once. This saves me time and confusion when I am cutting the boards to the right length.


Left Side:

  1. Lay top of moulding (decorative edge) against the fence.
  2. Bevel set at 33.85 degrees.
  3. Miter right at 31.62 degrees.
  4. Save left end of cut.

Right Side:

  1. Lay bottom of moulding against the fence.
  2. Bevel set at 33.85 degrees.
  3. Miter left at 31.62 degrees.
  4. Save left end of cut

Once this is done, Installing the crown is easy with 2 people and ladders. You may have to deal with rolling walls or ceilings, which may require a little planing on the crown. Take your time and work each corner. I usually also cut 2 foot long sample pieces representing the left and right sides that I use to make sure the crown is snug in the corner, you don’t want to install it slightly off the 52 degree angle and end up with an open seam at the bottom or top. Once all 4 corners are in place it is time to caulk, putty the holes and paint.