Cornice Molding Installation Cornice Molding Installation

What You'll Need
Electric saw with a miter box attachment
Angle finder
Miter bond
Finishing Nails
Nail Gun
Elastomeric caulk
Putty knife
Extra fine sandpaper

Cornice molding is a decorative trim that adds an elegant touch to walls. Cornice molding comes in many different widths and designs. When choosing where to install cornice molding, remember that it is commonly chosen for rooms with high ceilings. Installing cornice molding on short walls can make the room appear even smaller. Follow these instructions for installing cornice molding as wall and window trim.

Step 1 - Take Accurate Measurements

To cut back on waste, measure the walls, ceilings and/or windows before purchasing the cornice molding. Common lengths are 12 and 8 foot. Decide which sizes to buy based on the measurements you have taken. Measure carefully and remeasure, making sure both measurements come within 1/16th of an inch.

Many corners are not a perfect 90 degrees, so measuring the corners should be done with an angle finder. This will help you cut accurate angles at the corners where the cornice molding meets.

Step 2 - Purchase Cornice Molding

Buy about 10 percent more molding than you measured for to account for waste that will occur when cutting corners and joint pieces. Leave the molding in the room for a couple days before installing. This allows the molding to adjust to humidity and temperature that might slightly alter the size.

Step 3 - Cut Cornice Molding

Cut pieces using the measurements you have taken above. Don't cut the angles for corners yet, just cut in a straight line.

Step 4 - Make Angle Patterns

Before cutting the corners, make patterns from cardboard or paper for each corner based on the measurements found with the angle finder. Use the patterns as a guide when cutting. Practice first on scraps of cornice molding. These practice cuts can be used to make sure you've taken the right measurements. If the two practice cuts for a corner don't fit, remeasure with the angle finder. If the practice cuts fit, you are ready to ankle the cut on the cornice molding.

Step 5 - Cut the Correct Angles

Using the miter attachment, make the necessary corner cuts. Adjust the blade and the tilt for the correct angle before making each cut. A successful cut will depend on accurate measurement and the way you position the molding in the miter box.

Step 6 - Nail and Glue Molding

Start installing behind a door or at a corner. Press each strip to the wall before nailing it in place, making sure it fits neatly. Use enough force so that the nails sink about 1/2 inch into the molding.  Fill in the nail holes with elastomeric caulk, smoothing over with a putty knife or a finger. After the caulk has dried, smooth out by sanding very lightly with extra fine sandpaper. Glue at the corners with miter bond for added strength.

With the right tools and accurate measurements, installation of cornice molding can be done smoothly and efficiently.

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