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How-To Build Up Crown Moulding

Guest carpentry expert and author, Gary Katz, shows you how using Windsor One "Classical Colonial" four piece crown moulding featured at Dolan's.

(Above) Windsor One "Classical Colonial" moulding also shown in the instruction photos below.


1. To ensure a professional job, careful layout is a prerequisite. Begin by marking or snapping a chalk line on the ceiling around the perimeter of the room, 5 1/2 inches out from the wall. Mark a second line on the walls, 3 1/4 in. down from the ceiling. Unlike other crown moulding designs, this four-piece cornice will absorb irregularities between corner and mid-wall measurements. Most inconsistencies in reveal lines will not be apparent.

2. Install continuous 3/4 in. backing on both the walls and the ceiling. The wall backing can be any width of material, as it fastens directly to the studs. The ceiling backing should be wide enough to almost reach the wall, so that fasteners will penetrate through the drywall to the framing backing on walls that are parallel to the ceiling joists. Apply panel adhesive wherever framing backing is lacking.

3. The Soffit (S4SSE) must be installed carefully or the job will not progress professionally. First, hang mid-span soffit supports from the ceiling backing approximately 4 ft. on center and in all corners. Cut the supports 2-1/2 in. long (if the ceiling backing is 3/4 in. stock); toe nail or screw the supports to the ceiling backing. Continuous backing may also be installed. Cut and miter all outside and inside Soffit corners. Biscuit all miters to ensure a tight-fitting and flush joint. Fasten the Soffit to the wall backing and to mid-span supports.

4. Fasten the Fascia (Crown #2) to the ceiling backing. The Fascia cove must point down and towards the wall. The bottom of the Soffit should be flush with the top shoulder of the Fascia cove. Inside and outside corners must be mitered. Nail through the Fascia into the Soffit, and into the ceiling and mid-support backing.

5. Cut and install the ground (Crown #3). Profiles can be mitered or coped. In general, depending on climate, it’s easiest to miter and glue your corners. If you live in a region with a relatively humid climate, you may be more inclined to cope your joints.

6. Scribe or snap a chalk line 1 1/4 in. up from the bottom of the Fascia. Fasten the crown molding as close as possible to that line. The 1 1/4-in. wide reveal will absorb most inconsistencies in the ceiling.

Windsor One products are available at Dolan's in the Bay Area.

Photography and instructions provided by Gary Katz. You will find more tips and techniques at the Gary Katz web site. Another good resource is Gary's new e-magazine, This is Carpentry.

Click to see more Windsor One molding in the Dolan's product section of this web site.

Visit any of Dolan's five Bay Area locations for more information.