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While installing crown molding undoubtedly brings added character to any room during a home remodel, preparing it and making it look seamless can prove to be quite a challenge depending on the method you use.

In addition to taking precise measurements, creating the appropriate cuts requires nearly perfect accuracy and a lot of patience if you're tackling a traditional crown molding project. If you aren't used to using the necessary tools for cutting traditional wood crown molding, the idea may be intimidating. Luckily, you do have some other choices if you aren't sure how to cut and install crown molding.  Foam crown molding can make cutting and installing the molding a breeze.

You have three options when it comes to cutting the crown molding. They each require some tools and a bit of DIY knowledge, but some methods are much simpler than others. You could:

  • Buy a foam crown molding kit with clip-on connectors and corners
  • Use traditional corner pieces and blocks for corners
  • Install it the old fashioned way with a miter saw and coping saw

Below, we'll explain the steps of these three methods. In the end, you'll see which way to cut crown molding is best for your skills and project. You'll also find helpful tips on how to measure, cut and install crown molding no matter which method you choose.

The Easiest Way to Cut Foam Crown Molding

The easiest way to cut molding is by using a DIY crown molding kit that has clip-on corner pieces. In our kits, we provide connector blocks and corner pieces, creating a more straightforward installation process overall.

the easiest way to cut crown molding

You'll find that the entire installation process with our patented snap-on crown molding system is a breeze, especially when it's time to cut your crown molding pieces. With traditional crown molding, you have to miter the edges of your material. Our kits have connector blocks and corner pieces so you don't need to miter anything in rooms with corners of 90 degrees. The cuts for joints also don't have to be perfectly straight since our Moulding Mates™ will cover the imperfections.

easiest way to cut crown molding graphic

The process gets even simpler when you see what you need. You may already have the tools you need to complete one of our Focal Point crown molding projects. If you don't, rest assured that they are useful tools that are easy to acquire, including:

  • A flat work surface
  • A handsaw, power saw or utility knife
  • A straight edge board or carpenters square
  • A screw gun

With these simple and possibly household tools, you can follow the steps below to install your Focal Point crown molding kit.

1. Measure the Molding

Measure the molding for the length you need along your wall. If you're using Moulding Mates™ connectors, measure from the corner to the center of the wall. You'll want a similar measurement for a piece of our crown molding.

Take the same measurement to the crown molding you plan to cut. Use a straight edge to draw a straight line on the molding where you need to trim.

2. Cut the Molding

When you cut the molding with a saw, you can clamp it onto your work surface so it doesn't slide around as you cut. Securing the piece of crown molding ensures you get a precise cut and reduces the risk of injury. Don't clamp too tightly, though, since you don't want to damage the intricate details of your crown molding.

You have a few options when it comes to choosing a method to cut our Focal Point crown molding.

03 options when choosing a method to cut

Because of its polyurethane construction, you could:

  1. Use a handsaw: This tool makes for one of the easiest cuts. Draw a straight line where you measured then carefully cut the crown molding.
  2. Use a type of power saw: Jigsaws, table saws or circular saws will make even quicker work of cutting the crown molding, but they are not necessary to get the job done. If you have a power saw on hand and you're familiar with using it, feel free to cut crown molding with it.
  3. Use a utility knife: Some customers have noted that another easy method of cutting the crown molding is to score it. They simply take a utility knife and make a shallow cut along their measurement. You don't have to cut too deep into the molding. As long as you get through the first layer, it should be sufficiently scored. Then, put the score over a flat edge, like on a table, and break the molding along the score. Hold the longer side of crown molding on the table or surface, close to the scored area. Push down on the other side of the score until the molding snaps apart.

Our customers often use any of the methods above to achieve precise cuts. Choose whatever you're most experienced or comfortable with to complete this task.  See below your options for cutting our crown molding.

3. Hang the Molding

Since each Focal Point kit comes with corner pieces, you don't need to worry about making any miter cuts. We also design our crown molding kits to make precise cuts unnecessary. Each corner and connector will cover between 2 and 4 inches of the molding, allowing a generous margin of error.

The molding does need to have enough spacing at the corners and connectors to snap the pieces over them, though. Connectors require about a half-inch gap to snap into place, and the corners require a gap, but this will vary based on the style of molding you have. This gap allows the corner clip to grab onto the corner piece. If the clip is covered, the system can't work.

For the clip system to work, we recommend cutting to full length and then shortening the molding as needed. Giving yourself something to work with helps eliminate the error of cutting the molding too short and then not having enough to complete your project.

4. Clip on the Corners and Connectors

Clip on your corners and connectors, and you're done! We offer inside corners and outside corners along with connectors, perfect for a home remodel of any shape room with different 90-degree angles.

You may choose to caulk any gaps between your crown molding and the wall or ceiling or between the molding and connector pieces. With the Focal Point crown molding kit, you likely won't see any gaps that need to be filled since the system can cover and adapt to inconsistencies with the wall, ceiling or corners.

Using Corner Blocks To Eliminate Complex Crown Molding Angles

This way is the next easiest. It's a bit more challenging than using our Quick Clips™ corners because the measurements do not allow for any margin of error. Your pieces must be cut to the exact length needed to fit tight to the connector blocks and corner blocks for a seamless look.

You can either use traditional crown molding corner pieces or ones we offer at Focal Point. Either way, you'll want to follow the steps below to get that professional finish to your trim.

corner blocks

1. Measure the Room

Take accurate measurements throughout your room, and be sure to note inner and outer corners. Measure twice for the best results and write down every measurement. When you're using traditional crown molding corner pieces or our Corner Blocks, precise measurements are necessary. You don't get a margin of error with these corner pieces.

04 precise measurements are necessary

2. Install Corner Pieces and Connectors

If you're using Focal Point Corner Blocks and Connectors, screw them to the wall using the tabs on the sides. They should be tight to the ceiling for a flawless look and to properly line up with the rest of the trim. The crown molding connectors usually go in the middle of walls that require two pieces of crown molding.

Corner blocks from Focal Point can work with foam moldings offered by other vendors as well. There are also other types of corner blocks available on the market, such as ones made of wood. Regardless of the option you choose, corner pieces and connectors eliminate the need for miter cuts and coping the trim for a snug fit. Crown molding corners are available online, or you can also find numerous style options at stores such as Home Depot or Lowe's.

3. Measure and Cut the Molding

Measure the space between the corner block and the connector then measure a piece of trim. This measurement should be within 1/16 of an inch, so it is critical to measure accurately. If you're worried about making a precise cut, make your cut a bit past the measured line. You can then trim down any excess depending on the material you're using. It's better to have your molding a hair too long at first than too short!

The material of your trim also determines how you should cut the crown molding. Remember to work safely and use the appropriate tools for the job.

4. Install the Molding

If you're using Focal Point molding, we recommended using Quick Clips™ to install the trim. If you're using another material, follow the manufacturer's installation guide, for which you may need anything from screws to adhesive. If you're looking for advice on installing the corner blocks, youtube is a great resource for finding how-to videos!

No matter what material or style of trim you use, you should not have any major gaps between the connectors or corners and the crown molding.

05 should not have any major gaps

5. Caulk Any Gaps

To complete your installation and give your crown molding a professional finish, fill in the gaps. With traditional corner blocks, you may notice gaps between your crown molding pieces and the blocks. To minimize the appearance of these gaps and give your trim a flush look, you should:

  • Apply a bead of caulk along the seam
  • Smooth it into the gap with your finger
  • Clean excess off walls and the molding with a damp cloth
  • Touch up the caulk with the appropriate matching paint color

Cutting crown molding to install it with corner blocks is a bit more challenging than using our Focal Point crown molding kit with Quick Clips™, but it is a more straightforward process than the final option for cutting crown molding.

Steps for Mitering Crown Molding

For a smooth look all the way around your trim that doesn't require corner pieces or connectors, the job gets a bit more complex. Mitering and coping do give a clean look to your trim, but it is a job for experienced DIYers. These processes are usually reserved for professionals, but if you have experience with mitering and coping, and you can afford to fix any mistakes, you could always try to cut your crown molding this way.

mitering and coping banner with miter saw

You can use the mitering and coping steps below for our Focal Point crown molding if you prefer a smooth finish, but this is also the method you need for other styles of trim. When you're working with foam, along with other options such as woods or plaster you may prefer not taking any shortcuts when you're making your cuts. You need to use high-quality equipment that produces reliable, consistent and clean cuts, all while maintaining strict measurements the whole way through. You may not have all the tools you need already, so be sure you have:

  • An adjustable protractor
  • A compound miter saw
  • A coping saw
  • A nail gun

Work carefully with these tools, especially if you aren't familiar with them. Read their manuals and research how-to guides or watch helpful videos on YouTube to avoid injury or damaging your tools or crown molding. From there, the steps you should take include the following.

mitering crown molding

Check out this video of Tom Silva from This Old House installing foam crown molding using Focal Point's Quick Clips system and explaining how to use a miter saw for the inside and outside corner angles!

1. Measure the Inside Corners

If you want your moulding to look smooth the entire way around, you need to pay special attention to the corners. Most inside angles of rooms measure to 90 degrees, but yours may be a shade or two off, so don't assume the angles. To complete this vital first step:

  • Hold an adjustable protractor parallel to the floor and ceiling
  • Measure and note the correct angle of each inside corner
  • Divide the angle by two
  • Use the result for the angle of each cut for every corner

You must measure accurately and note every angle. Without the correct angles, you won't get a professional look along your trim. Be sure of your calculations and measurements before you cut your crown molding so everything fits perfectly later.

2. Set Your Miter Saw and Cut The Molding

Take half of the inside corner's angle and set your compound miter saw to that degree. Place the crown molding you're cutting for the corner onto the bed of your miter saw. Carefully drop the blade to make the cut, and make sure you don't turn the saw or the piece of molding as you do so. One wrong move and you can go from having a precise cut to wasting a piece of your trim.

Once you cut one piece of crown molding for the corner, change the miter saw's degree for the other side of molding. Follow the same steps above, being sure not to turn the saw or molding as you cut.

Smooth your cut edges with 100-grit sandpaper to help the pieces sit flush. See if the two pieces of crown molding fit together correctly after cutting and sanding.

Alternatively, you could square-cut the first molding piece and then push it tightly into the corner. You can then miter-cut the second piece at 45 degrees. Highlight the leading of the moulding with a pencil, then cut along it with a coping saw. You can then use 100-grit sandpaper to smooth the cut edge, which helps with forming a tighter joint. This method is a bit more complex, but it could give a more professional look to your crown molding. If you've used a coping saw, it could be worth the effort, but if you're new to DIY projects, it's not the best choice.

When you cut, be sure to orient the crown molding in the proper position every time. Treat the bed of the saw as the ceiling and the fence as the wall, and line up your crown molding accordingly. You don't want to cut a crown molding angle when it's upside-down.

3. Measure and Cut the Outside Corners

Double-check that the outside corners of your walls measure to 90 degrees. Once you've ensured the degree of this angle, it's time to cut.

08 measure and cut the outside corners

To create an outside corner, you need to set your miter saw at 45 degrees to the left and then cut the first length. To form the second mating piece, rotate the saw 45 degrees to the right, then cut again.

Sand any rough edges to ensure a smooth finish, but be sure to do so evenly. If you sand too much or too little on one spot of the edge, you risk throwing off the crown molding angles. You won't have a smooth corner if you do so.

4. Make Scarf Joints

As you install crown molding, you'll probably come across a stretch of wall that one piece won't fill. That stretch is known as a long run. To fill the whole space with crown molding from corner to corner, you'll need what is called a scarf joint.

To make a scarf joint, take a length of molding and secure it on the miter saw bed in the proper position. Set it at the angle that it will be installed for a precise cut. Make sure it's on the miter table upside down during this process, as doing so will ensure that it sits right when installed. Set your miter blade at 45 degrees, and make the necessary cuts to form the joint. Do the same to another length of molding, and check that the two pieces match up flush.

Every joint in this crown molding process requires its own step to ensure precise cuts and accuracy. While it is understandable to want a smooth trim all the way around your room, connectors and corners can add a polished look and textural interest to your room. Consider one of the previous two options to get a stunning crown molding without the hassle.

09 connectors and corners

Cut out the Hassle With Our Easy Crown Molding

The daunting steps of using a miter saw and coping saw often cause DIY enthusiasts to shy away from traditional crown molding installations. Results might not reflect the tremendous work put in, and you might want something with a better chance of producing great results. That's why Focal Point Products has created crown molding kits that maintain visual appeal while significantly reducing the difficulty of installation. Our polyurethane foam moldings are easy to cut, handle and install in a single afternoon with tools you likely have on hand already.

10 cta

Moldings can be cut with a handsaw, no heavy tools required. Installation is a snap with our patented Quick Clips™, which create the perfect angle between the ceiling and the wall.

To complete installation, cover the gaps left between moldings with our patented Molding Mates™, which allow for up to a 4-inch margin of error. These connectors snap right onto the clips, creating the seamless system you need.

Buy your kit online today! With a simple prep and installation, you'll see stunning results in no time!

To complete installation cover the gaps left between moldings with our patented Molding Mates, which allow for up to a 4" margin of error. These connectors snap right onto the clips, creating the seamless system you're looking for.

Contact us today with any questions, or buy your kit online now!

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how to cut crown molding infographic