Whether you want an extremely ornate design or something simpler, there is an interior crown molding type perfect for your home situation. Crown molding is a decorative trim that lines the top of the wall where it meets the ceiling, but it can also be used outdoors. It adds a particular stylishness to the room, but some types of crown molding are much more modest than others.
The basic materials used for interior crown molding are wood, MDF, and polyurethane. Your wood selection consists of hemlock and pine. MDF is available in standard and a lightweight variety. Polyurethane, a high-density foam, is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. Styles range from simple, L-shaped designs with the ends joined by curved material, to complex patterns molded from polyurethane.
Interior Crown Molding
Crown molding is a suitable design feature in just about any room. In some households, it extends through every room in a consistent style, giving the interior design of the home stability. The particular style of crown molding you choose depends upon the ornateness of the other design features. A rustic, modestly-fashioned home coupled with crown molding featuring a baroque, flowery design would look out of place. Splendidly-furnished homes with extravagant features benefit from a crown molding style that matches it in showiness.
As for the material you choose, it will depend upon if you value authentic materials more than complex designs. Polyurethane crown molding can be made into any design that a foam mold can take, whereas real wood molding is somewhat limited due to the high cost of hand carving extremely ornate designs. It can be done, but it will be very expensive to hand carve molding out of wood. MDF is somewhere in the middle. It is machinable and has no knots, making it easy to work with.
Wood Crown Molding
Hemlock and pine crown molding is made by joining smaller pieces of wood into larger, usually 16-foot lengths. Wood is easily stained, and the fine grain is readily apparent with this type of crown molding. Shapes vary, from fancy clefs to L-shapes. Pine molding comes in both clear and knotty grades.
MDF Crown Molding
Available in standard and lightweight MDF, this type of crown molding has no surface grain, but it comes flat and stiff and extremely dense. It holds oil and water-based paints as well as any type of varnish, although stain does not work well with it due to it having no grain. Because it is easily machinable, it can be formed into somewhat complicated, ornate designs, giving you more options than wood. It is also available in a lightweight version which is less dense than standard MDF.
Polyurethane Crown Molding
Being high-density foam, polyurethane is very easily shaped, cut and installed. It is lighter than both wood and MDF products, and it will not expand or rot in the presence of moisture. Polyurethane has almost unlimited shapes it can take, from the simplest to the most complex and ornate. While it is perfect as an indoor crown molding, it can also be installed outdoors due to its resistance to the elements.