Adding crown installation moulding or trim baseboards along with chair railing is one of the best ways to enhance a rooms look.

Other wood trim that can be applyed is around windows and doors.

Below are instructions for applying decorative wood moulding to your rooms. If you don't wish to use corner inserts there are a number of web sites that can give you how to guidance for using a coping saw.

Start by typing the term "install crown moulding" or molding into your favorite search engine.


Here are some suggested tools you might need for the job at hand. You will need to decide on what works best for your particular project.

  • Cloth Rag
  • Framing Square
  • Hammer (or air mailer, nails and compressor)
  • Measuring Tape
  • Miter Box & Fine Tooth Saw (or electric miter saw)
  • Nail Set
  • Pencil
  • Sand Paper
  • Small Square
  • Utility Knife
  • Caulking & gun (or squeeze tube)
  • Coatings (stain, clear coat or paint)
  • Finishing Nails
  • Glue
  • Moulding (and corner inserts)
  • Nail Hole Putty (filler)
  • Painters Tape (masking paper if needed


No matter what your applying from trim to crown installation moulding, cutting corners can sometimes be difficult.

For the best results use flush cut wood lengths along with pre-made blocks and inside or outside corner pieces. Such inserts will eliminate the need to use a coping saw (inside corner) or cut a 45 degree (outside corner) and can be purchased for all types of moulding including around windows, doors, ceiling crown, chair rail, and base boards.

Whenever possible, buy moulding sections that are somewhat longer than the wall or door frames that you will be nailing to. Otherwise you'll need to overlap two pieces together then cut using a 45 degree splice (with a miter saw).

If you need to splice don't do so over an obvious place like a door or window. Remember to round up your measured lengths to the nearest inch or two so as to allow for waste when buying your wood.


  1. Prior to beginning, check both the inside and outside corners or around the doors and windows with a framing square. Also, if you intend to apply crown installation moulding, eyeball the ceiling for level.

    If the walls, windows, doors, or ceiling are excessively uneven it's probably best not to enhance flaws by using a moulding. On the other hand, when a surface or corner is out by an eighth of an inch or less then the gaps can be compensated for by using paint-able moulding and latex caulking.

  2. I like to use a paint sprayer (with a small orifice tip) for paint grade wood work. Coat the trim with two applications of high quality latex paint before nailing it up. If your using a grained wood like oak for your crown installation moulding or casing and trim, you should stain and clear coat it prior to application. Those who don't have access to a paint sprayer, can use a brush or roller that's designated for the product being applied.

    Be sure the roller is nappy enough to push the paint into the grooves or curves that the face of a piece of trim usually has. Also when spraying, brushing or rolling the coating being applied needs to be done in one continues stock. It should also cover the entire length of the crown installation moulding or trim in the same application. Not doing so will leave overlaps, or roller and brush marks. Putting the product on quickly and in small sections is fine but the last stroke must be applied in one direction and coat the entire length of your wood trim.

  3. Begin by apply corner pieces to the inside and outside of your walls, doors/windows, or ceilings for your crown installation moulding and trim. Use wood glue and finishing nails to affix the inserts. Try the best you can to insure everything is level on all sides. A small square and thin pieces of wood shim may be needed for leveling.

  4. Once the corner inserts are dry your crown installation moulding or trim can be cut to fit in between each glued on corner piece. Measure the length you'll need then cut it flush using the saw and center line of the miter box (or electric miter saw).

  5. Be sure the crown installation moulding and wood trim is level and lines up with each corner insert. Most moulding has a profile or pattern cut into it. The cut usually leaves grooves or lines in the wood. These lines are the best place for your nails to go. Nailing on a flat or curved surface makes it difficult to hide the hole with putty. Nailing in a groove when possible then using a small nail set to hammer the nail head below the wood surface works the best.

  6. Using nail putty, fill any holes, scratches or imperfections you see. It may also be easier to fill the cracks where your crown installation moulding or trim butts up against the glued corner pieces. Your filler should be smooth and level with the surface and needs to only fill the imperfection itself. Applying to much putty will be easily seen and look unprofessional.

Stain or natural colored filler can be used for clear coated wood. More than one application of putty may be needed so as not to use an excess amount. Less is best in this case.


A drip-less caulking gun or squeezable tube will work well for filling cracks around your trim.

Remember to keep pressing the release button if you decide not to use a drip-less gun, or you'll have a large mess to clean up.

Cut the end of the caulking tube at a 45 degree angle. When cutting the the tube keep in mind that smaller is better otherwise to much caulking will smear all over the walls. To little caulking on the other-hand won't fill the gaps leaving an uneven caulk line. By having a smaller hole it's easier to control the amount of caulk coming out of the tube.

Make the hole in your caulking tube by cutting thin slices from the tubes tip until you see no longer see caulking not plastic. With the tube in your caulking gun place the pointy tip you just sliced into the space where the crown installation moulding or trim lays flat against a wall or ceiling.

Slowly pull your trigger drawing your gun along the edge of your trim and wall surface. The speed you use when caulking depends on how fast the caulk comes out of the tube.

When caulking crown installation moulding and the caulk isn't sticking to the surface change the angle of your gun, slow down and try again.

Caulk the surface for a two or three foot stretch then use your finger to drag along the molding and wall surface over top of the caulk smoothing out the caulking. Wipe the excess that's on your finger onto an old cloth rag.

Quickly use a damp rag to remove excess caulking that can't be removed with your finger.

If your caulking isn't filling the entire gap or the caulk is not a long continues smooth line then the hole in the tube is likely to small or the caulking is dried out.

Fix the problem and finish caulking the room. To do so lay out a three foot bead quickly smoothing with your finger. Keep going until your painted moulding has no gaps, holes, or cracks.

Once everything is dry lightly sand the caulking and your filler with fine sand paper to remove burs, bumps or uneven areas. Caulking is difficult to sand so remember not to press on it to hard.

When caulking crown installation moulding to stipple or bumpy ceilings you may need a light touch and more than one application.

Stained and clear coated (varnished) hardwood moulding does not require caulking. In such cases your cuts will need to be precise and the trim will have to lay very flat against the wall.

With painted trim or woodwork gaps and holes can be fixed using caulking or nail hole filler.

Another thing to keep in mind that a continues bead of caulking along the length or a piece of moulding looks better than filling a gap here and there.

Missed spots or holes should be refilled only after the first application of caulk or filler is dry.


Once your crown installation moulding or trim project is nailed down and the gaps and holes are filled a couple coats of paint (small roller and brush) will be needed over the caulking or nail holes.

Your entire length of trim should be painted with a long continues strokes otherwise the woodwork will flash (be spotty).

Use painters tape and masking paper to protect the walls if needed.


Test your crown installation moulding and trim hanging process in a room such as a basement washroom. Doing so will help iron out problems that may occur before tackling your main areas.

Also when nailing up trim, having a helper makes the job faster and easier.

If you plan on painting your walls and ceilings it would work best to remove everything from the room, cover your floors, plastic off the windows, paint your ceiling, spray or brush the trim then use painters tape (on your woodwork) followed by cutting and rolling the walls.

Some trim, and crown installation moulding may not have a solid wood backing to nail into. If so use glue or a combination of both glue and nails.

Before starting any project ask your building supplier for assistance regarding the types of product or tools you'll need along with application advice.

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