Picking up Nickels

Friday, March 25, 2011

Crown moulding project complete

On a "home improvement high" after our panel moulding project, Mrs. Frugalson decided that she wanted to install crown moulding in pretty much all of our first floor and in the center hallway on our second floor.

Although this project (aka "The trail of tears") involved an large amount of labor, I think the end result was pretty good:

Once again, Mrs. Frugalson's inspiration came from Sarah at the Thrifty Decor Chick blog, although I would recommend checking out this video from Tom Silva of This Old House for a nice overview of the types of cuts required if you are considering a crown moulding project of your own. Be warned though, Tom is such a skilled carpenter that he makes putting up crown moulding look far simpler than it really is. There is a lot of measuring, cutting, fitting, and dealing with crooked moulding/walls/ceilings that can be a bit time-consuming and challenging to work through.

Materials-wise, this project was pretty basic:

  • (20) 12' pieces of pre-primed crown moulding from Lowes ($330.44 out of pocket (oop) after 10% off coupon)
  • (4) 8' pieces of pre-primed crown moulding from Lowes ($44.08 out of pocket (oop) after 10% off coupon)
  • Behr Ultra Pure White paint, paint brushes, nails, wood putty, painters caulk, sandpaper, etc. were "in stock" from prior projects.

Total cost: $374.52 out of pocket.

On to the tools list. Once again, this project can be done with a hammer, nails, hand saw, and miter box. However, you will get a much better result with far less work with power tools.

Here are the tools used:

Finally, helpful resources for this project:

  • How to Cut Crown Moulding (This Old House video)
  • How to Put In Crown Molding (This Old House How-To article)
  • How to cut crown molding inside corners (youtube)
  • How to cut a crown molding outside corner (youtube)
  • How to cut crown molding square dead ends (youtube)
  • Check ebay for Lowes/Home Depot coupons to reduce the cost of your tools and materials. I picked up a few Lowes 10% coupons for about a buck each that I used to save some money on this project.
  • Try to do as much painting as possible before installing any moulding. Trust me, it is much easier to neatly paint bare walls and uncut moulding. :)
  • Mark all wall studs before installing moulding and be weary of plumbing waste and supply lines hiding in the walls.
  • Have extra pieces of moulding on hand. You are only one misfire or mental mistake away from not having enough material on hand to complete your project.
  • Recruit a helper for when you position, level, and fasten moulding. It will make getting a good result much easier.
Time-wise, I'd estimate that this project took about three full weekends for me to complete due to my inexperience with crown moulding. Mrs. Frugalson already has a new chair rail/panel moulding project in mind though, so I'm going to have to free up my weekends for that project some time soon. :)



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