MDF Crown Molding Installation

What You'll Need
MDF crown molding
Miter saw
Tape measure
Nail gun or hammer
Paint or stain
Paint brush
Angle finder

Installing MDF crown molding can allow you to save a significant amount of money on your crown molding project. It is typically quite a bit less expensive than solid wood crown molding. The installation process is not complicated but it will take some work to see the job through. Here are the basics of how to install MDF crown molding successfully.

Step 1: Measure the Area

The first thing that you need to do is determine how much MDF crown molding you will need. Take your tape measure and measure the spaces that will be covered. Take the individual dimensions and add them together. This will give you the linear footage that you need to buy. You should also consider buying a little extra so that you will have enough after cuts.

Step 2: Mark the Cuts

Once you have purchased the MDF crown molding, you can mark the cuts in the appropriate location. Use the angle finder to determine the angle of each cut. Then use your tape measure to measure out the appropriate dimension for your cut. Make a mark on the back of the molding where you need to make a cut and write the angle that needs to be cut.

Step 3: Make the Cut

After you have marked where you need to cut, it is time to make the cuts. Using a miter saw for this job will be best. While you can use a miter box and a handsaw, this will not be as productive. MDF can be very fragile and you want to make sure that you make a good solid cut. Otherwise, you could break the crown molding. Hold the crown molding firmly under the saw and make a quick and precise cut in the proper angle.

Step 4: Sand the Edges

Once you have made the cuts on the MDF crown molding, you need to sand down the edges. Use sandpaper and rub the edges gently. This will help you get a smooth surface so that the two edges of the crown molding can meet up perfectly. Otherwise, when you install the crown molding, it may not fit together well.

Step 5: Paint or Stain

Once you have cut the crown molding, you should go ahead and paint or stain it before you install it. While you can paint it once it is on the wall, this will usually lead to problems. It is easiest just to go ahead and paint it now. 

Step 6: Install the MDF

After the crown molding has dried, it is time to install it on the wall. Hold it up against the wall and use a finish nailer to nail it in place. You can also use a hammer although this will be more difficult and require some help.

Step 7: Finishing Up

Where the crown molding meets, you will want to cover the edges with some putty. Then paint or stain over it to give it a finished appearance.