Monday, February 11, 2013

home improvement: crown molding

It was a big home improvement weekend in our house, guys. Crown molding went up downstairs!

The project is 90 percent finished -- all we need to do is paint it. But I couldn't wait to write about this project.

I knew that the house would look better with crown molding, but I didn't realize how much better until it was on the walls. The room looks tied together and finished, and I love it so, so much.

My dad has put up crown molding in pretty much every room in his house, so he's an expert, and he said he'd come down to help with the project. The thing about putting up crown molding is that the molding and supplies aren't that expensive -- we paid less than $100 for all of the materials -- but the labor can be the expensive part. So we're lucky to have an expert in the family who was willing to help us out.

When Tony and I were in Ohio for Christmas, I went to the local hardware store with my dad, and I picked out the molding I wanted. Our ceilings are 9 feet downstairs, so I wanted large molding. I went with the 5 1/4-inch size. I decided against solid wood and went with MDF particleboard. MDF is straighter than solid wood and easier to work with. You need solid wood for baseboards and other trim that could get banged up, but nothing is going to damage molding on the ceiling.

Here's a shot from Saturday morning, as the pieces started to go up!

Tony and my dad used a nail gun with an air compressor to attach the molding. A row of nails in the drywall and a row of nails in the ceiling.

(Victor, by the way, was not impressed with the presence of the air compressor. It would rev up randomly and loudly, which means Victor spent much of Saturday under our bed. Here he is on Sunday afternoon, still looking unimpressed with the whole project, haha.)

(And here he is sitting on the spiral staircase, keeping an eye on Tony as he does some finishing touches - wiping down the spackling. The cat loves this staircase, by the way. He gets a birdseye view of the entire house. Also, when he's laying on the steps, he refuses to move out of the way for a person walking up the steps. It's kind of funny.)

Anyway, enough about the cat. Here's a picture of Tony being manly with the compound miter saw.

Here's an in-progress shot. You can see the slight variances in the ceiling height. Ceilings in houses (especially old houses) aren't exactly even. See the shadow between the molding and the ceiling where the molding doesn't quite reach the ceiling?

At this point, my mom and I left to go shopping. Because putting up crown molding is really a two-man job, and there were two extra people in the small space.

So I'm not sure what Tony and my dad did over the next few hours, but this is what our patio table looked like when my mom and I came back Saturday afternoon:

And this is how the inside of the house was looking:

Here's a before photo:

The gap between the ceiling and the molding disappeared. My dad used a tube of caulking to fill in those gaps.

And Tony filled all of the nail holes with lightweight spackling.

Here's a before shot of part of the room:

And some after pictures:



And as a bonus, there was just enough molding left over to put it up in the half bath downstairs. So now the entire first floor is done. Which leaves us with just two bedrooms, the full bath and the upstairs hallway that are un-crown molded. Maybe down the line.

Oh and here's what one of the walls in the bathroom looks like right now. Someone is planning a makeover! I'm leaning toward the grays ... but that's a project for another day.


  1. Looks great! Btw, I made the deep dish pizza that you made for us when we stayed with you! It came out so tasty!

  2. looks wonderful! The molding really did make a difference!

  3. Nice job. Have you ever tried foam crown moldings by Creative Crown they are huge labor savers. They are easy to cut in my miter saw with their flat back design. They install with painters caulk and I have no nail holes to fill.

  4. Then he pierced holes (with a special tool) in the hose and installed a smaller hose with a valve and sprinkler head every few feet along the deck. shower column panel