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cutting crown molding angles chart

How to Cut Crown Molding: Crown Molding Cutting Guide

Inserting caps along walls and ceilings in the form of crown molding can significantly reduce the aesthetic value of a home if it is not done correctly. While crown molding is designed to make your wall or ceiling stand out in a good way, it can also have the reverse effect. This is why it is very important to learn how to cut crown molding properly. Before learning about how to cut crown molding, it is a good idea to know what crown molding is, its purpose in your home, and what types of crown molding exist out there.

Indeed, if your wall or ceiling contains crown molding that is not cut properly, the results can be disastrous. An improperly cut crown molding will look very unappealing. And even worse than that, crown molding is very, very difficult to replace.

After that, some improper ways to cut crown molding will be explored. This will give you an idea of what not to do when cutting crown molding.

What is crown molding and what is its purpose?

Crown molding is a method of placing plaster or wooden trim where walls meet ceilings, but this method is also utilized in other areas as well. You can see crown molding on bookcases, shelves, cabinets, and even some staircases, especially in townhomes.

Crown molding is primarily used for aesthetic purposes, but it is also installed for purposes that extend beyond improving aesthetics. For example, bare wall corners are perfect places for spiders to build their webs. Proper crown molding along these corners will not contain the perfect angles that are necessary for spiders to build their webs.

This makes crown molding a little more functional than many let on. However, the function is more of a secondary purpose for crown molding than a primary purpose. The primary purpose for crown molding is to make the corners of walls and ceilings much more presentable than they were without crown molding.

If crown molding is cut and installed properly, it will make any given room of any given home so impressive that it could possibly raise the resale value of a home. If crown molding is not cut and installed properly, it will create a look that is less than impressive and not inviting in the slightest. Once the crown molding is installed, it will also take a great deal of effort and money to remove.

This is why it is necessary to learn how to cut crown molding perfectly. Before exploring the right ways to cut crown molding, it is useful to understand what kind of mistakes are made in crown molding and what exactly happens if you cut crown molding improperly.

Mistakes in crown molding cutting

The first thing you need to be aware of is that there are major differences between cutting and installing crown molding. Physically installing crown molding is actually not difficult: Installing crown molding is nothing more than nailing the crown onto wall studs along the bottom edge and into ceiling joists, which is actually not a difficult task. It is just time-consuming.

So if most mistakes in crown molding don’t involve installation, then what do most mistakes in crown molding revolve around? Before any kind of crown molding can be installed, it needs to be measured and cut. It can be very easy to make mistakes in these two aspects of cutting and installing crown molding if you are not careful.

Make one mistake in either the intellectual aspect of measuring or the physical aspect of putting the correct materials together, and the entire crown molding trim can go awry. The majority of improper crown molding cutting comes from those two sources: Either the wrong measurements are made or the wrong tools are used.

Common Mistake

One of the most common mistakes that many make when cutting crown molding is that they do not familiarize themselves with the area that they are placing the crown molding. Foolishly thinking that every room is the same will result in inaccurate measurements. Understand that every number matters when cutting crown molding, and if you are not perfectly accurate, it will be very difficult to proceed with the installation process.

Another common mistake that is made when cutting crown molding is not understanding that there are different measurements that need to be made when cutting for inside corners and outside corners.

While both of these appear the same, they require cutting different areas with different equipment. And if you do not appreciate the differences between inside and outside corners, the results will be disastrous.

Now that you have an understanding of what not to do when cutting crown molding, it is time to explore ways to cut crown molding that will not only save you time, but will also ensure that the crown molding can be installed easily.

Do you have the right equipment?

In order to cut crown molding perfectly and save time, you need the right equipment. If you have the right saws and stands, you will have a much easier time cutting crown molding.

No crown molding cutting task can be done without saws, but what kind of saws should you use to cut crown molding properly? One of the best kinds of saws that you can use to cut crown molding properly are power miter saws. Coming in either 10 inches or 12 inches, power miter saws will allow you to cut crown molding at much more accurate angles than other saws that you might have used to cut crown molding.

Do not forget to attach a dust collection bag or exhaust port for attaching a wet/dry vacuum to the saw, as you will encounter a lot of sawdust while cutting. Something else that you shouldn’t forget is safety goggles or glasses. This probably goes without saying, but safety goggles or safety glasses are necessary for any kind of undertaking that requires you to cut wooden objects. Cutting crown molding is no different.

Every saw uses a stand, and power miter saws are no exception to this. The best stand for a power miter saw is one that has extendable arms that will support different lengths of molding.

Cutting crown molding flat angle chart

cutting crown molding flat angle chart

How to physically cut crown molding properly

After measuring everything perfectly and having all the right equipment ready, you can now begin to cut the crown molding.

Make sure you cut this crown molding in a very open space. Remember that when you are cutting crown molding, you are only setting it up for installation. If you cut crown molding in a very open space, you will be able to separate what has already been cut and ready to install from what needs to be cut.

There are two ways to cut crown molding. In the first method, you lay the crown molding flat beneath the blade, making small miter and bevel cuts until you meet the measurements that you previously made when getting the crown molding ready for installation.

This method can take time, but it will allow you to be organized in your efforts to cut crown molding properly. Another method of cutting crown molding is to set the crown against the saw at the same angle that you want to install it at. This adds another necessary measurement, but it will save a lot of time.

It can be troublesome to hold the crown in place while cutting. Something you can do to hold the crown in place is clamp a cleat to the saw table. This will create a consistent way to hold it in place perfectly.


Cutting crown molding is one of the most complicated tasks that can be undertaken, and it can be very difficult to simplify.

Knowing exactly what crown molding is, what its purpose in a building is, as trivial as it sounds, will help understanding how to cut it properly.

Another thing that will help with cutting crown molding the right way is to understand the mistakes that are made when cutting crown molding. There are a lot of very simple mistakes in crown molding that can be avoided if you just knew about them.

Having the proper materials is also very useful when cutting crown molding. If you do not have the right materials, you will be prone to making more mistakes.

Physically cutting crown molding will require you to make perfect measurements as well as using the right tools and materials. Gather the information about the crown molding you need to cut, then use this guide to help you in the cutting process.