Greengate Ranch Remodel
Remodeling a Daylight Ranch in Oregon

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Home Theater #35 - Finishing the Crown Molding

I really hate seeing seams in crown molding - after spending the time and money to install it, I want to look almost flawless. Here are the details on my effort...

First, I cut the ends of the molding at 45 degrees (same as a miter cut) to join them. This helps align the two pieces, since one lays on top of the other, and provides a large glue surface. I glues the end together and nail through one piece into the other.

Once the molding is in place, I rub wood filler into and small gaps. If the walls or ceiling are not straight, the molding won't typically fit exactly right, and the gaps can get larger. I had a couple cases of this in the theater, so I needed to do some sanding to smooth things out.

To sand the moldings, I created the profile block shown here:

Side view

Here is how I did it:

- I took a shorter piece of molding, set it face up on a piece of news paper, and laid plastic wrap on it.

- Mixed up some Fix-It-All (same consistency as sheetrock mud) and put a on 3/4" layer, letting it run a bit over the sides. This stuff dries fast, doesn't shrink, and is pretty hard. Click on the image at the right for more info.

- I took a small piece of scrap plywood and pressed it down onto the Fix-It-All. This forced it solidly into the profile of the molding, and formed the support for the sanding block.

- I let the block harden for about an hour

- I broke the excess off and trimmed the block square on my table saw.

- I wrapped 100 grit sandpaper around this to sand the molding.

I may try to make a couple more of these with cement mortar, which would be really hard. I have read that some people use Bondo as well.

Here is a picture of a joint in the crown molding, after I sanded it. The best way to do this was to tip the block slightly up and sand the upper profile, then tip it down and do the lower one. I used the square edge of the block to sand the flats.

This photo shows the same molding with one coat of paint on it - the seam has virtually disappeared. I applied this coat as a "primer". Once the final coat goes on, it should be virtually impossible to see the seam. I sanded about 75 feet of crown, with a number of seams, and they all worked well.

I made a couple of blocks in case the first one broke (one is none), but it worked fine with no signs of wear. I am going to coat the surfaces with poly to help harden them further.


TJLoop85 said...

Very nice!

It's great to see that you took the time to install the crown molding properly. It looks great and your hard work really paid off.


lindseyk said...

that is genius! you should patent that!!

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