An Arduously Won Crown

It’s crown moulding time! Hooray!

Not that we expected this to be a picnic, because we didn’t. I love rooms that aren’t square – and this room has a bay window, and a turret, AND now a built-in wardrobe. We couldn’t possibly make installing crown moulding any harder.

So, of course, we started with the “easy” walls, which was any wall that wasn’t curved. It went pretty well – no big issues.


And it looks really lovely!


Or, it looked really lovely, until I realized that the ceiling – which I thought was white – was really more of an ivory. Ugh. So, this late in the game, I decided to paint the ceiling. With a brush. Which sounds like a horrible idea, and it is. But, since the ceilings are textured and the walls are black – it would have been equally awful to roll the ceiling and risk paint splatters. I’ve just been doing a little at a time – I make myself paint for 10 minutes and stop. So, it’s going to take a while, but that’s okay. By taking multiple breaks, I haven’t gotten sore shoulders from working overhead, which is good. I’m about an hour and half into painting the ceiling, and I’m maybe 25% done? It’s time consuming, but it’s worth it. It looks so fresh and clean! It’s mildly amusing, since I dislike white ceilings as a rule, and this is one of the rare times in my life that I PURPOSELY wanted to keep a white ceiling, and now I get to paint it!


I’ve had some people ask me about the ceiling. It’s not original, and it’s not a wallpaper, and it’s not a tin. It’s a pressed ceiling, made of a foam / plastic. It’s not a bad choice when trying to do a faux tin ceiling, but the textured is somewhere between a real tin, and an anaglypta. I probably wouldn’t choose to install this myself, but this is installed well, and there was no reason to put it in a landfill when it’s still doing a pretty good job. The “Crown” around the room when we bought the house was a quarter round. We initially planned to take that down, but it was installed under the ceiling. So taking it down would have damaged the ceiling. We made sure to find a crown that was wide enough to entirely cover that quarter round, so we could leave it in place. Some day in the future, someone’s going to wonder why the heck some previous owner did that – it was to save the ceiling, and keep more things out of landfills!


We chose to add corner blocks to the turret corner over, because going from a straight angle to a curved angle seemed crazy, so we opted to make something a bit easier.

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And then, we get to the turret. Which is curved. And crown moulding is not. There are a few options to handle this problem, and we went with ordering a flexible moulding from It was expensive, and involved a lot of geometry in measurements that Doug spent a ton of time working on. It showed up, and the only way I can describe it is  – it’s like working with a giant, heavy anaconda. Seriously – it’s this dense rubbery HEAVY thing. It weighed 50 pounds, easily, which made it so frustrating to work overhead with. Now, it’s a great product, and I’m glad it exists. The turret would have been a nightmare to deal with without it. But it was still SO HARD to do.

It came natural, so I hard to prime it and paint it, which I did with spray paint.


Check this out. I mean, it’s cool.

There’s probably a classier way to spread this out to paint it, but I went with “Lots of Boxes, Thanks, Amazon!” as my method.


And now, we install. Tip number one, if you’re doing this : it’s not a two person job. We did it, but we probably should’ve paused and called in reinforcements. It’s just so freaking heavy.


 Problem One : How do you measure it, and mark it to cut it, when it’s too heavy to be successfully held to the wall?


We stared at it for a LONG time trying to figure this out, after realizing that we couldn’t hold it up well enough to make the marks. My suggestion was to put up painters tape, cut it to size, and use the tape as a way to measure and mark the moulding off the wall. Seems like a legit idea, right? It’s what we went with – and it wasn’t perfect. At all. But it got us close.

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The radius of the curved moulding just made this really, really hard to be exact. That’s why caulk was invented, right? It will fix the little inaccuracies.


It just cut with a table saw, though we found out later that a utility knife did okay on it, as well.


Literally, taking these pictures, I had the phone in one hand, while my shoulders and the other hand were holding the weight of the anaconda moulding as Doug tried to nail it up. I was DETERMINED to document it, because it’s so weird. Hence the not-so-great photos. We used LOTS of nails, because it was so heavy that it almost came out of the wall the moment we got a section up. This is where a few extra pairs of hands would have been worth it.


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And, we finished. We still have to caulk and fill in nail holes, but it’s up. And it looks great, I think. It really is a great product to exist – this would have been so hard to do with kerfing or with a steam box for a piece this big. So I’m glad we did it, but it was one of the harder things we’ve ever done renovation wise. I’m glad it’s in (and over!).


    1. Maybe? I don’t know. It’s so heavy, that I don’t think it would have done anything. And once caulked (and once you’re looking at it 10 feet up from the floor), I’m doubtful we’ll even see it. But you could be right!

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