How To Add Crown Above Your Doorways…. For Dummies

Beefing up my door trim has taken me so long to figure out!  I’ve watched several tutorials, most of them saying exactly the same thing and making it sound so simple, yet when it came to actually making it happen above my doors, it simply was NOT coming out right.
(I’m talking about the crown at the top)
I was cutting the piece of crown at 45 degree angles like they all said, but when I placed it above the door, it was NOT right, it looked really long and wonky.
Now…
I’m not an idiot.
But this had me baffled!
After so much hassle and so many wrong cuts, I asked Rick for help and even he could not figure it out!  Which made me feel a little better.  The angles were not coming out right.
(To his credit, he has never done finish work, either, but he’s really good at math..I thought that might help??)
So you wanna know the trick? I was so frustrated but when I learned that it’s all in how you hold the crown while you are cutting…… the clouds departed, the sun came out, the angels were singing, and I was able to get back to work!!!
So here is my advice.
May it help someone else like it helped me! 🙂

 

I started with the existing trim that was already around my doors because I didn’t want to remove it.

 

For each door you will need:
1 3-4″ piece of mdf the same width as the door
1 piece of crown molding
1 piece of picture frame molding
nail gun
wood glue
painters tape
caulk

Here’s what I did.

Step 1:  Measure the width of the top of the doorway and cut the mdf to fit.  Nail into place.  ( I had some extra mdf leftover from my living room project HERE.  It was originally an 8X4′ sheet that the nice people at Lowe’s cut into 3 inch strips for me.)

Step 2:   Use that same measurement to cut the crown, BUT HERE IS THE SECRET that will make your life so much happier!!!  Instead of cutting your trim by laying it flat, or standing it up like other trim, flip it upside down placing it on your miter saw table at an angle against the fence.  Lean the flat portion of crown that will be nailed to the wall, flat against the fence of the miter saw.  Hold it securely in place then make the 45 degree cut.  (Cue heavenly choirs singing..)   Like this:

 

How is a girl supposed to know this?!?  
But now I can cut crown like nobody’s business!

Place the crown at the top of the mdf, making sure that it is level on both sides, and nail into place.

It will look like this:

 

Step 3:  Measure the mdf that is now nailed to the wall, from the front to the wall and cut an end piece of crown with that measurement.  Make sure you cut the one side at a 45 degree angle, and the other side at a 0 degree angle that will line up against the wall.  Again, making sure you flip the crown upside down, and double check that you are cutting the correct sides the correct way.   Glue, don’t nail.  Nailing such a small piece could cause it to split.  Hold with painters tape while it dries.

Step 4: Cut a piece of picture frame molding the same length as the mdf and crown using 45 degree angles also.  Measure and cut a return piece to fit to the wall, just like you did the crown.  Secure with wood glue and hold together with painters tape until it dries.

**IMPORTANT – When cutting tiny trim pieces like this one, it’s a good idea to back it with a larger piece of scrap to prevent the miter saw from ripping it to shreds.

 

Step 5:  Fill in all the nail holes and caulk around the edges to give it a nice finished look, and you’re ready to paint.  Stand back and admire your new found skills!

Easy peasy and what a difference it makes!

*See more of this finished space and how I used the same technique in my dining room HERE.

*Linking up HERE
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