Cutting Crown Corners Anyone?

corner of cabinet with crown molding

The first time I tried to install crown moldings I gave up! Cutting the corners drove me crazy for a full day.  Working with a miter box and a regular saw was not easy. A good reminder of that lost battle are the corners I had to install in the small powder room.

crown molding with added corners from hardware store

Before trying one more time I bought a miter saw, a cheap $99 miter saw I could afford, hoping that all the troubles I had before will disappear with this baby.  

They didn't!

miter saw

Making straight cuts was a breeze, outside corners were OK, inside corners were a nightmare! One of the hardest parts was trying to hold the long pieces of molding in place when I didn't have help.

The perfect solution was to build a jig or cradle to hold the molding in place. Three pieces of wood were put together, the vertical surface represents the wall, the horizontal surface represents the ceiling, and one extra movable (you can change its position depending on the material you're using) stopper.

jig to cut crown moldings

This cradle is attached to the saw's fence and it will aloud you to cut moldings upside down.

miter saw with jig to cut crown corners

Two extra supports to each side of the cradle are necessary to keep it in place.
crown molding how to using miter saw and jig

A set of outside and inside marked corner samples its good to have as a quick reference.

crown corner samples used as a guide while cutting molding

Having the elements to do a smooth job, this next pictures will show you how to cut those pesky corners. 


For outside corners marking the long point will give you the most accurate measurement. You trace the top edge of a scrap of crown onto the ceiling on both sides of the corner, the intersection of the two lines is your measuring point.
outside crown molding corners how to

Cutting an Outside Right Corner

miter saw for cutting crown

Cutting an Outside Left Corner

instructions on how to cut coped inside corners of crown molding

You'll end up with this:

outside crown molding diy


For inside corners I prefer to cope crown molding.  You can do miter cuts but they usually open after some time.

Cutting an Inside Left Corner to be coped.
miter saw and jig

Coping Inside Corners
You coped a molding or shaped it to match the profile of the one next to it.  In my case the piece of molding in the inside right corner is cut square and butts tight to the wall.  The inside left cut (above) is going to leave you with this:

crown molding instructions

That piece needs to be coped.  Begin by marking the edge of the cut with a pencil, which defines the profile.

coped corners -crown molding

Use a coping saw to cut along the profile line, back-cutting past 90 degrees, making sure the pieces of molding intersect along the profile line only.

Cutting in different directions its easier.  Using a rasp you can fine tune the cope at the end.

As I told you before, the right side of the inside corner is left square or butt.  The left side of the inside corner is coped to fit snugly alongside.
crown corners explained

Cutting crown moldings is not that big deal anymore.  I already installed it on my daughter's bedroom, the kitchen cabinets, and up the fireplace, but there are still lots of rooms in my house that would benefit of this great way to give architectural interest to any space.

I hope the pictures can help you on your next crown project.


Linked party at:
My uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Coastal Charm, A Stroll Thru LifeSavvy Southern Style, French Country Cottage, Common Ground,Thrifty Decor Chick, Between Naps on the PorchHOH,


Our Pinteresting Family said...

These are fantastic tips! I like how you wrote where each piece was going on the wood. Great idea. Pinning it now. :) Megan

Katie Goldsworthy said...

Holy smokes....looks like a big puzzle. lol I always stay up late cutting molding, then I make a bunch of wrong cuts because it's late and my brain isn't working well. lol

Looks great! Fantastic tips :)


NanaDiana said...

You are one smart little cookie to do that yourself. . What a great tutorial you have much help. I have a son that is good with it, too. xo Diana

Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...

we ahve done plenty of those ourselves...and I agree on those being a pain! great description!

Kim (TheMoney-Pit) said...

That is a great summary. I used to have a hard time, but once you do it over and over you can figure it out. I'm going to keep your cheat sheet on hand though! For sure.

Green Willow Pond said...

Great tutorial! I've not tackled crown molding yet, but I will definitely be referring back to this post. Thanks!

Maria Elena said...

Oh, yes! It is very hard! No matter how good your tools are! We have had our share of crown molding issues. Great tutorial! You are so brave! :)

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

Oh my hubby is going to love this! Thanks so much!!

Rhissanna said...

Thank you so much for this sensible tutorial. Hubby might get his room finished yet!

Dee @ A Lapin Life said...

Great tips. Crown molding is almost a lost art.
I love the look and it really dresses up the room.


Honey at 2805 said...

Great tips and beautiful inspiration! Thank you fro sharing your project at Potpourri Friday!

DIY Show Off said...

Great tips! It's not one of my favorite projects. I like doing mitered cuts except when it comes to crown molding, then all of a sudden, I'm lost. Thanks for sharing!

Vel Criste said...

Great tips- you really know how to work a saw!!! Thanks for sharing!

Linking back from "My uncommon slice of suburbia"

Linda @ it all started with paint said...

Oh I tried to follow along ... really I did ... but then my head started to hurt! Your crown looks fabulous, though!



Mindi@MyLove2Create said...

I pinned this for the future when I get brave enough to try my own...Thanks so much! I am your newest follower!

Guerrina said...

I haven't done crown yet, but will keep your directions handy. Thank you for explaining exactly what "coping" is. NOW I understand!

Anonymous said...

Just an fyi for those who have a small saw with a short fence or don't want to build a jig ... you can and actually SHOULD cut large crown moulding on the flat, which I find more accurate. The measurement are different though than when cutting against the fence: the miter is 31.6 degrees, and the bevel is set at 33.9 degrees. Then just adjust the miter left -31.6 or right 31.6 for the corners respectively. So easy and creates perfect fit joints.

Cristina Garay said...

Thanks Everybody!
Anonymous, thank you so much for that info! Yes, large crown moulding cannot be cut that way, with a small saw like the one I have. I'm going to save your measurements for when I need to use them on large crown. Thanks!

Addison Addy said...

Thanks for nice and useful post I am very impressed this blog

Patrick Huffman said...

I have a question, do you know how tall your crown was that you used in the kitchen? We are getting ready to do ours but can't decide between the biggest and next sized one we have. Thanks!

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