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Coving Answered

My home was built in the early 50's and we are about to decorate the lounge area, I fancy having coving around the top of the wall, but have heard its quite hard to do.

Any tips and tricks that could help me out please? Because I like to have sweet home furniture. Thanks.


Thanks guys. You all got a brilliant mind. I really appreciated it. Thanks a lot.

Check out sites like finehomebuilding.com(search crown molding) or get their magazine/books on that topic that is commonly covered. I don't know if you are going for an architectually correct restoration or addition but you have your choice or molding profiles and whether or not it will be painted or stained. If it is painted, you can "fix" up any gaps with caulk. The trick is to set up support blocks on your power miter saw to cut the proper compound angles so you are cutting the trim "as it lays on the wall". The blocks help simplify this process of measuring and calculating the angles. I would recommend setting up an elevated work platform (2x10 between ladders/buckets/sawhorses) and getting or renting a power air/electric brad nailer. If you are glueing up the trim, it helps to pin it in place with a few brads. Hammering is still fine but doing this with finish nails or brads is tough work overhead and you will end up with more dents to fill up. A small bottle of instant crazy glue for wood might help you put together the corner pieces if they need a little help staying in place. You'll also need a coping saw/jig saw/sandpaper/level/chalkline(laserleveline). Or you can go the lazy/cheap way and do "faux" crown molding with cheaper trim that is used for baseboard or door stops and put that up which lays flatter on the wall but gives a similar effect. Layer on the molding for fancier trim. Those are simple miter corners and cuts. Good Luck.

The hardest part is working with your arms above your head. Use extruded moulding, it's the easiest to work with, to make it look good, your miters have to be perfect, use a T-bevel and protractor to measure every corner, no corner is 90 degrees. If you need to terminate the moulding at a point instead of wrapping all the way around, you need to cut the free end as if you were going around an outside corner and cut a small piece to fit, don't just cut the end off square.

Most DIY stores in the UK sell lengths of pre-molded plaster coving, which is simply glued in place (there are several suitable glues, which are sold in the same stores. They also sell internal and external corner joints to save you having to cut the coving at odd angles.