Ever since we redid the dining room, and ripped out the dark stained oak quarter round “crown molding,” the top of the dining room has looked a little naked. Not that we missed the quarter round, but chair rail and baseboard molding with no crown looked a little bottom heavy. So this weekend we installed new 2-5/8″ crown molding not only in the dining room, but also in the adjoining living room.
In any event, I always thought it was sort of funny when real estate listings included “crown molding” in the same list of bullet points as… central air, dishwasher, attached garage, wood burning fireplace, that sort of thing. It’s just a piece of oak, pine, composite, or whatever, right?
I think I get it now.
The first order of business was getting them home.
We bought 16 foot lengths, so that only two of the walls would need joints (the long living room walls are 18′ and change). They rode home plastic wrapped together in a bundle and strapped to the Forester roof racks, overhanging the car on both ends. More than the usual amount of luck was involved in getting them home in one piece.
Instead of doing mitered corners, one end of each piece was coped and filed to lay against the piece that would be behind it. This is clearly above and beyond what I’d have been able to do, but we had woodworking assistance in for the weekend (thanks dad!) and with that, (almost) all things are possible.
Blue painter’s tape marked the studs to place the nails:
We also used Liquid Nails on the edge along the walls, so that we’d be sure that the house could someday fall down, but the rectangles of crown molding would remain.
Much to their chagrin, Chip & Guinness weren’t invited to the crown molding installation party.
Next up came the caulking: Sherwin Williams’ Sher-Max for the lifetime guarantee. Cracking caulk on molding is no fun later.
From a distance, it looks pretty great! Up close too, although the need for paint over the primer becomes a little more obvious:
Then it was onward to repeat in the living room. There were a few challenges there that made it more difficult than the dining room. The walls weren’t quite as true, opposite ends of the room were 2″ off of being symmetrical, and with 18′ walls, we had two joints to do. The wall over the bay window was a little bowed, too, so everything took a few more hands.By Sunday morning, it all came together, and we had all 8 walls done. Once they’re painted, the joints should fade away quite nicely.
The biscuit joiner may or may not have been overkill, but that joint is going no place.
Next up, and firmly planted in the back 75% of the weekend, was painting. Whew, finally! First with ceiling white over the caulk and upper edge of the molding and ceiling, then our trim color of choice, SW Alabaster in semi-gloss, over the trim (and down the wall a little). I’ll touch up the Sea Salt color once the trim is done.
There are more layers of painting here than I really planned on, but this way we know that no caulk will peek out between edges of paint. We’ll (I’ll) continue painting throughout the week.
We also cut some of the trim pieces for the future crown molding in the foyer. Guinness isn’t entirely sure about this prospect:
But with a chair rail to go with it in the foyer and up the stairs, it’ll look great.
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