Shaker Molding That Shines
Installing the Molding
Measuring wall-to-wall, I cut my new crown molding to size. I only needed to miter two corners of the screen porch because the other ends “dead-ended”, or “butted”, into the house wall. The molding only runs along the outside walls and over the screen panels.
Tip—When working alone and measuring long distances, insert a nail close to the opposite wall and hook your tape onto it.
To double-check the corner miters, I first cut scrap pieces of molding with 45-deg. angles and tested it prior to cutting and installing my longer boards. I use this test piece to check the accuracy of the miter and make any necessary adjustments. (Not all wall corners are a perfect 90 degrees.) If the heel of the miter is open, I re-cut the scrap molding to 44, 43 or 42 degrees, finding the best fit to close the gap.
The same method applies if the scrap molding miter point is open but the heel touches. In this situation, I cut my scrap piece at 46, 47 or 48 degrees to close the gap.
Once I have the scrap pieces fitting tight, I cut my molding to those angles. I use the “upside down and backwards method” to cut my crown molding on a miter saw. The next molding to be installed has two miters. The left-hand miter receives the same angle as the scrap molding. I then dry-fit the opposite corner with scrap pieces and cut that miter as well.
I used Gorilla wood glue to secure the miters and nailed off the molding every 12 inches along the bottom edge.
It’s a good practice to cut the molding at the exact length or 1/16-in. longer. I like to cut the molding slightly longer so I can bow out the molding in the middle. I like to get the ends in place and then snap the molding in for a super tight fit.
I set the molding ends in place and then release tension on the bow and allow the board to tension inward. If done right, slight hand pressure will hold the crown to the wall and the finish nails will fasten it in place. Doing this keeps the miters pressed tightly together and allows for the glue to do its job.
Open Molding or Support Blocks?
On this project I determined that the molding only needed to be 2 inches wide to accomplish what I needed and to be in proportion with my screen panel trim. Using such a small molding meant that I could fasten it along the bottom edge and I did not need inside support or nailing blocks.
On previous projects I have used much larger moldings, which necessitated that I provide support behind the molding. For those projects, I made custom mounting blocks with holes drilled in them to allow the rope lighting to pass through. Without the holes, the rope lighting would have had to bend over the mounting blocks and then have been visible from below.