What is the best and cheapest way to increase the value of your home?
Our homes are our life’s biggest investment and we certainly want to protect that investment if we can make it grow, however with the price of real estate today there is often not a lot of money left on the table after paying the mortgage and taxes. So what can a person do if there simply not a lot left to beautify and update the look of their home without taking on a remodel?
Paint, window treatments and mouldings such as baseboards, wainscoting, panel mouldings, door and window casing and crown moulding are the easiest way to achieve a new look for your room. The trend years ago was to use little or no mouldings, small baseboards and casings and you rarely seen crown mouldings, only in the very high end homes. Crown mouldings in particular bridges the walls and ceiling together for a dramatic architectural accent. It’s easier than you think!
There are a variety of not only moulding profiles to choose from but also material types to choose. Depending on your style and budget your choice will determine the right material for you. Crown mouldings are made of plaster, solid wood, finger joint pine, polyurethane and medium density fiberboard (MDF). The most popular is MDF for the price and selection. All of these types of mouldings can be found at Burton Mouldings Ltd.
Let’s talk about what you need for tools and the 5 steps to transform your home.
- Electric compound miter saw or miter box with a hand saw and it never hurts to have a coping saw on hand.
- Tape measure.
- Stud finder.
- Pneumatic finish nailer with compressor (this can be rented at your local tool rental shop). You will be happy you rented this as there are a lot of nails used.
- Wood glue for the inside/outside corners and joints.
- Chalking gun with white latex chalking if you are painting your moulding. If you are staining your mouldings it is not recommended to use chalking, just color matched wood filler.
- Non shrinking wood filler for the nail holes.
How To Do It:
Step 1. After setting up a bench or a safe ladder to stand on, measure the first wall you want to start on. I always suggest measuring about 3″ down from the inside corner as it tapers in a bit at the top inside corner because of the drywall mud. Don’t run ahead and measure every wall and precut all the pieces. You may think this will save time, and maybe it will, however the inside/outside miters can end up with large gaps or you piece will be too long and you will have to trim it again any way.
Step 2. Mouldings should be nailed into studs. Locate the studs in the wall (stud finder needed) that you just measured and mark the stud locations with your pencil or painters tape if you don’t intend to repaint the entire wall. Mark it low enough on the wall so you can see them after the crown goes into place.
Step 3. You have the measurement of your first piece! Now set your miter saw on a 45 degree angle. If you are looking straight at the wall and you are ready to cut inside miter on the right, then swing the handle of your saw to the right and vs. versa, left to left. This is where it is often a challenge; compound miters play with the brain. Ha! It looks like the right angle and it should fit but it doesn’t. Frustration!! I have been installing crown mouldings for over 30 yrs and I have tried cutting crown mouldings every way possible and the easiest way I have found is to put the moulding in the saw the same way it is placed on the ceiling.
Let me explain:
Crown mouldings have a top and bottom detail, so determine which is which and once you have done this set your miter saw to the right or to the left determining what side of the moulding you are cutting for your inside/outside corner. This is done! Place the moulding in the saw with the bottom up in your hand and the top of the moulding into the fence at a 45 degree angle as if it was up on the wall and ceiling. Your pencil marked measurement should be visible on the bottom edge of your crown. Now on the 45 degree angle simply and slowly cut down through it, repeat on the other end with the opposite angle. This works on both inside and outside corners.
Step 4. Attaching the mouldings may seem easy and it is! A couple of things that may help you to have great inside/outside mitered corners though. The first thing you may want to do is start nailing the top and bottom of the crown moulding from one corner or the other, however it is best to place the crown moulding up in place and after it is seated correctly on the wall at the proper 45 degree angle, start nailing from the middle of the moulding working into the corners trying to get as many nails as you can into studs, this will keep them secured the best. Make sure you DO NOT nail all the way into the corner. Stop about 2 feet from the corner; this will make the next piece fit like a pro. OK! Now measure and cut the next piece the same way, and it is always wise to dry (test) fit the piece first. This means before you glue it. So your piece is ready to go! Now glue your mitered end and set your moulding in place. You will now see how easy your miters go together as you did not nail to the end of your first piece. You can now adjust your two pieces up and down and in and out until you have the perfect inside miter. This works for your outside miters as well. After you have the first piece installed you can now nail all your pieces from the ends as you will be lining up all your inside/outside miters as you progress around the room. Remember leave the last 2 feet or so of your working piece un-nailed until you glue and set the next piece. If you need to make a joint on a wall that is longer than your material, I have found it easiest just to make a straight cut glue and place a small piece of wood behind the moulding and nail it then glue the cut piece on the end, butt them together and nail through the backer piece and top and bottom of the crown moulding. The reason for this is that in my experience, there is no such thing as a perfect 90 degree corner, so have the crown moulding free on the ends to be able to adjust the miter will not only save you incredible frustration but also give you a professional looking job.
Step 5. Filling and finishing your crown mouldings, use the appropriate caulking for the material you have chosen to fill the top and bottom of the crown mouldings and always use suitable non shrinking sandable wood filler on the nail holes. Do not use the chalking to fill your nail holes, it is un-sandable and the nail holes will be seen after the painting is finished.
You’re Done!! Sit back now with your favorite beverage and enjoy your new room.
Keep in mind when choosing the right mouldings for you home keep a consistent scale on your moulding sizes. More often than not, people will install a large impressive crown moulding then skimp on the baseboards and window and door casings. Moulding sizes should be balanced throughout the room.
You can download our moulding profile brochure right to your smart phone or device here from our website and take it with you to your new project for visual help.
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