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13 Pro Tips for Crown Molding

1. Make sure that each length of your crown moldings you purchase has the exact same spring angle, width and thickness. Why? Building supply stores purchase their crown (and trim) from several manufactures, each using their own different fabrication standards/ tolerances.

2. Always check the square of your saw before you begin. For every degree your saw is out, you will get twice that error for each joint you cut.

3. It is much easier to cut your crown moldings laying flat (face up) using a compound miter saw. Also, for sloped ceilings, some cuts are not possible with a miter saw.

4. For added strength, use PL Premium in all joints.

5. To splice/join your crown or trim, 30° miter and 45° blade tilt work best.

6. Caulk all joints and the top and bottom of your crown and trim. Use a shrink-free spackling for nail holes. (Caulking nail holes will leave visible dimples.)

7. Use of a finishing nail gun will speed up installation, avoid hammer and nail punch dings.

8. Do not nail any closer than 6” to the joint for long pieces of crown or trim. For short pieces, you can glue the joint and/or use adhesive under the crown or trim.

9. The wall length measurement should be marked on the back bottom edge of the crown molding or trim. When cutting to the mark, it is best to make the first cut at least 1/2” into the waste side of the crown or trim, and then make small cuts until you reach your length mark.

10. Do not “chop cut” your crown or trim. Let the saw blade do the work. Ease the saw slowly through the material.

11. Use a carbide-tipped blade. A 24-toothed blade or higher will work. Keep in mind that both mating surfaces will be hidden when finished. It is not important to have a smooth cut surface, only that it is cut at the correct angle.

12. Make yourself a set of crown molding or trim templates. The templates can be used with either a miter saw or compound miter saw. With a single bevel compound miter saw, you have 16 positions for crown and 8 positions for trim. For a dual bevel compound miter saw, you have 32 positions for crown and 16 positions for trim. Avoid confusion, use your templates.

13. When working with crown molding that requires saw settings for spring angles, a free download of over 10,000 settings is available at