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Cutting Crown Corners Anyone?

crown corner samples used as a guide while cutting molding

The first time I tried to install crown moldings I quickly gave up. That was crazy! 😞

The following day I tried to be more patient, but anyways the entire day was dedicated to learning and experimenting. Boy oh boy, I damaged a big amount of crown pieces.

Working with a miter box and a regular saw was not easy.  Those corners somehow didn't match properly, and the worst were those inner corners. You quickly become to doubt your own sanity.

I fail miserably those two first times I tried to install crown molding. A good reminder of one of those lost battles is the crown 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'd been having will disappear with this baby.  

Ha, they didn't!

miter saw

Making straight cuts was a breeze.

The outside corners were OK.

Inside corners were still a nightmare! 😠

One of the hardest parts was trying to hold the long pieces of molding in place when I didn't have help.


Yes, the perfect solution to most of my troubles 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 stopper (you can change its position depending on the material you're using).

miter saw jig used 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

This jig was my crown corner lifesaver. However, a few times I got confused about how I should place the molding in it, and that's why I created a set of sample cuts to have at hand as a quick guide.

As you can see in the picture below, I made two sets.

The top set is for outside corners and the lower set is for inside-mitered corners.

crown corner samples used as a guide while cutting molding

Using these samples as a quick reference before making the real cuts was priceless!

Having all the necessary elements to do a smooth job, these 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 the 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 cope a molding or shape 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 profile:

crown molding instructions

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

coped corners -crown molding

Then, you need to use a coping saw to cut all 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 is 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 of a deal anymore.  I already installed it in my daughter's bedroom, the kitchen cabinets, and up the fireplace, but there are still lots more rooms in my house that would benefit from this great way to give architectural interest to any space.

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

For more molding/trim projects check these out:


How to install traditional window trim


a simple bookcase is revamped with crown molding


board and batten in living room wall


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

  2. 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 :)


  3. 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

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

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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! :)

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

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


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

  11. 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!

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

    Linking back from "My uncommon slice of suburbia"

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



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

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

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

  19. 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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