katie vs. crown molding: round 1

Last night we decided to start putting up the crown molding. We have some (very limited) experience with this, so we should have known what we were getting into. After some quick google searching (how did people get things done before google??) we decided to follow the directions on the This Old House website. Seemed simple enough. Step one was to install the first piece with both ends cut square. We cut the crown molding (we had already stained/polyed earlier in the week) and started nailing it up... The directions said something about finding studs and joists to attach to, but since our joists are running parallel to the crown molding, and this is a drywall over plaster over brick wall, we just starting shooting in nails and hoping that they would catch something. At this point we were still having good luck, almost every nail seemed to catch and the first piece crown molding is secure.

I think we did a good job of matching the stain, I'm not crazy about the scale of the molding with the other woodwork, but it was the best we could find/afford and we didn't have a whole lot of room to work with above the transom.
Step two: cut the end of the next piece at a 45* angle, upside down, angled as it would be on the wall... also easy. Then came the coping... The directions were to follow the profile of the molding and cut it back at a 5* angle from the surface.... ok... Attempt one was a failure. Mike started it, I tried to save/finish it, in the end it looked like we had just hacked the end off at a random angle with a chain saw. Hmm... not the finished look we were going for. This is when we remembered that all of our other crown molding experiences were with white woodwork, meaning we could just get it close enough and then fill in all gaps with caulk and paint. So we tried again. I was getting a little angry. I don't like not being able to do things. I decided that Mike was (obviously!) the problem with the first attempt and I would do the second attempt on my own.
Mike was not the problem.
Attempt number two did start out a little better, I was able to get the front with a nice finished edge. But the 2 pieces would not join together nicely. I was getting even more frustrated and angry. I vaguely remember Mike muttering something about needing to go do the dishes and quickly exited the room.
At one point I found myself yelling at the crown molding "I can make tiny little scale models of entire buildings, I will not let you defeat me!" to which the piece of pine decided to show me by starting to look even worse than the first attempt and Mike came back upstairs to remind me that we have 4 more corners that will need to be coped and I shouldn't be such an angry perfectionist. So I gave up for the evening and went to bed.
Katie: 0, Molding: 1

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2 Responses to katie vs. crown molding: round 1

Mom and Dad said...

Talk to your Grandpa H. He's very good at this.

BunnyMendelbaum said...

I HATE crown molding. I had the exact same experience as you, right down to the yelling at it. I thought, have a college degree! I'm VERY good at math, WHY WHY can't I get this right? Honestly, I never got good at it. I just got close and then filled in the rest with glazing compound and matched the profile with my finger. :)


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