How to Measure and Cut Crown Molding – Step by Step Guide

Crown molding increases the elegance of a room. We are referring to excellent appeal for your home, and as for those in real estate business, a simple addition of the crown molding adds value to your property.

Finesse installation of the crown molding makes the difference between an incredibly done job and a messy job. For finesse, you require being accurate with the measurements and the cuts. Accuracy does not come naturally, it requires learning and practicing to start getting it right as if it's second nature.

How to Measure and Cut Crown Molding

Before we get to the measuring and cutting, choosing the right type of crown molding is as important as the installation. Below is a brief guide on choosing the right crown molding.

We have wood, MDF, polyurethane, and polystyrene crown moldings. I choose to leave out the plaster molding as it does not involve measuring and cutting. Wood is usually a good choice but in a stable environment. Changes in humidity and temperature levels will cause the wood to warp.

Polyurethane and polystyrene are cheaper and lighter crown moldings. They have the excellent resilience to change in environmental conditions, but they damage easily. My best option would be MDF which is a wood product. It has excellent appeal, and changes in the environment result in a uniform change which is hard to detect. There you have it, let's get down to the measuring and cutting.

Measuring and Cutting Crown Molding

First off you will require measuring the walls to decide on the quantity of crown molding that you will need. You will need to account for bad cuts so buy a little more crown molding than you require.

Marking the Saw

To ensure consistency and accuracy, you require marking the table and fence of the miter saw with the measurements of the crown molding. You can as well also fasten a scrap piece onto the miter saw to ensure for consistent cutting.

First Section

Well, you will have to start at one of the corners. To ensure perfect alignment, take a scrap piece of crown molding and fit it to the corner, using a marker, mark along the bottom of the molding. Do the same for the other wall and ensure that the two lines intersect.

The next step is to measure the length of the wall and size up the molding according to the length of the wall and make marks at the bottom of the molding. The first piece is easy to cut as you will be making 90 degrees cut on both ends of the molding.

Second Section

For the second piece, you will require to cut at an angle of 45 degrees on one of the ends. Cutting at 45 degrees allow the second piece to match the contours of the first section. The first step into cutting the 45 degrees is setting the saw at an angle of 45 degrees. Then aligning the meter depending on the side you want to start with. For the left piece, you need to align the meter from left to right and vice versa.

As a rule of thumb, you should mark the bottom of the crown molding. You start cutting from the bottom as it is the shorter side for inner corners. Also, ensure that the ceiling side of the molding is the one lying on the saw`s deck, and the wall side is facing. Accuracy is the key to avoiding a misfit. It is possible to fix a long cut by shaving off the extra length, but a shortcut may render the molding useless.

Third and Fourth Section

Cutting the third piece will involve the same procedure as when cutting the second section. You cut one side straight at 90 degrees and the other side at 45 degrees.

Fourth piece

Cutting of the fourth piece depends on how you cut the first piece. If the first piece was at 90 degrees on both sides, then the last piece requires for 45 degrees on both ends. Alternatively, you could cut the first piece at 45 degrees on one side and 90 degrees on the other and cut all the other pieces the same way.


To fit the four pieces perfectly, you need to cope the joints to make for perfect joints. Coping involves scribing the shape of the end of one molding to the face of the other. Once you have done the scribing, the next step is to use the coping saw to cut off the extra pieces. Cut carefully to avoid damaging the ends.

Note: Apart from the inner and outside corners, we also have the scarf joints. This is a situation where the molding fails to match the length of the wall, and you need to join two moldings. To make a perfect joint, you should cut both moldings at 45 degrees, opposing. Then you should sand the ends to make for a perfect fit.

Tips to Remember

You have to cut in the right direction for inside and the outside corners. For inside corners, the bottom should be longer than the top so you should start cutting from the bottom. As for the outside corners, you should start cutting from the top.

 How to Measure and Cut Crown Molding - Conclusion

Crown molding adds incredible glamour to your house. I believe that you now have what it takes to measure and cut correctly. Being good to finish you crown molding installation, always fit the crown molding corners tightly into the corners of the wall. After fitting the crown molding I would assume that you have a perfectly fit crown molding finish, but usually, there will always be some gaps that need feeling using a caulk gun.

Crown molding allows you to finish more than just your ceiling and walls. You can use crown molding on counters and bookcases and counters as well. On other circumstances, I would wish you luck as you look to upgrade your room. With this guide you do not need luck, go fit that crown molding like a pro.

Alvin V.Stone

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