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The laundry room crown is done! And much like any project that has ever intimidated me, it actually wasn’t as bad as I’d made it out to be in my head (to those of you who made that exact comment on my last update about this room, I’ll say it: you were right).
Let’s backtrack for a sec: when I bought the crown for the laundry room, I deliberately chose a small version of less than 2 inches in height. Mostly because when I first thought about installing it, I wasn’t 100% sure if I would go all the way around the room, or just put one piece up on the wall that has an added tile backsplash.
All I really needed was to hide some of the edges that were less than perfect (if you recall, this was a project where I used up some leftover tile from the kitchen to make the laundry room look a little more dressed up, but the leftover pieces were usually oops pieces that would otherwise have been discarded, so there were jagged edges at the top and sides).
And then I stopped smoking crack, and realized it needed to go around the entire room. But having never installed crown before, I wasn’t very confident that my corners would be very good. In fact, my lack of confidence is part of what’s kept me from installing it before. Procrastinating, procrastinating, and ooh look! Teen Mom is on Hulu?
But, I finally tried it. And you know what? My corners are shit. Except for that one on the outside corner. That one I’m actually pretty pleased with.
I could call this a sad trombone moment for all of my lousy corner-making, but honestly? It doesn’t matter in the slightest. I’m dealing with a house that has seen better days, and that means making things work. There is no such thing as a perfectly level ceiling, or a perfect 90-degree corner in this house. So expecting things to work out perfectly is a futile dream to begin with, and there’s never a need to set myself up with impossible expectations when I can instead be proud of overcoming a lot of frustrating obstacles. I finally installed crown! And it kind of looks okay! And also? Caulk and spackle, my friends.
It turns lousy corners into almost pristine ones. My friend Sandra (who is an expert on crown) has a great tutorial proving that hers don’t always look awesome right away either. And once I’ve added some paint, no one will notice at all. But I wanted to share a few of these in-progress shots with you so that you can see all of the patching and work before it gets covered up. I figure if you look at this and see all of the flubs, you can be that much more confident when you consider this project yourself (and know that it turns out just fine).
And if someone ever visits and notices these mistakes enough to make a comment, I’ll just deny them beer. Because not offering one to a house guest may be rude, but someone who points out the imperfect corners on your ceiling’s crown molding (in your laundry room, no less) is an asshole.
There’s a ceiling stain in the corner from the primary bathroom leak last winter, which now looks even worse after having to take down one of the pieces after first installing it upside down, but with a little primer and paint, everything should look 1000x better. (In fact, that stain is still there after priming & painting it once before, so I guess it all works out in the end since I’ll need to prime that area all over again to seal it better.) And if you ignore it altogether, you can also see the way the added trim along each side cleans up the edge nicely in the corner:
How to use a nail set
Also: I wanted to share a tool with you that I don’t think I’ve pointed out before: the tool I’m using in the below pic is a nail set (or rather, this is a 3-piece set of nail sets… ha). Its purpose is for driving in nails that didn’t quite sink in all the way when using a nail gun (a tool that I LOVE using).
If you pick one of these up at your local Home Depot/Lowe’s, it usually comes in a set of 3, which are simply different sizes for the same purpose (and color-coded to find the one you need faster). As you can see in the below pic, each of the ends have dimples of varying sizes to catch the nail head (that way, it doesn’t slip mid-whack of the hammer). It’s not an expensive tool, so I highly recommend adding it to your arsenal if you plan on doing molding projects (here’s a similar set through Amazon affiliates). It beats hammering at your trim or trying to paint protruding nails!
I only had two hands when I was using this tool, so you might need to use a little imagination (or you can also check out Sandra’s little tutorial on it in case it’s not clear). But, basically, you just rest the tip of the nail set on the protruding nail, and hammer it further into the molding. Some nails sink right away with just a couple of taps with the hammer, and some are a little more stubborn. Don’t be afraid to try another size if the nail just isn’t cooperating. If you’re only trying to sink in tiny brad nails, the larger nail set might also put a slight indentation in the molding as well. But then all you need to do is fill it in and paint over, so it’s easiest on your time if you just go around while doing your caulk & spackle thing and just add this to that process. Super easy.
That’s it for now. Tonight, I’ll be working on shelves, and by Friday, I should have some other small house updates to share. How was your weekend? What’s on your list to tackle this week?
Yippee! Bet you’re glad to have that wee job ticked off, it looks so much better with trim all around :)
That nail set is genius – do you reckon it would work on floor moulding too? ew moulding?! i just realised that word is kind of gross. sounds like the floor is in the process of becoming mouldy…not really what you want.
Looking forward to the house updates :)
Yes, you can use a nail set for any project that might need some help when using a nail gun and the nail doesn’t sink quite right. If you click on Sandra’s tutorial that I mentioned above, she’s using it on her baseboard!
Per usual, hilarious :) I love that you make these projects seem so accessible. I’m hoping to buy a fixer for my first house, and both my parents and my in-laws are like “Are you stupid?” but you totally give me the feeling that with blogs and google, I can SO figure it out!
I’m rooting for you. Youtube & blog tutorials all the way!
I need that tool!! I have some protruding nails on some trim we replaced and I didn’t know what to do with them! Perfect!! Thanks so much. Also – I think your crown molding looks awesome.
I understand there is a new tool from Kreg that makes crown MUCH easier to do.
If it’s the same one I’ve checked out before, it’s been around for a couple of years. All it does is set the correct angle of the molding against a traditional miter saw (which is still helpful, but not really worth the $ of the tool for me). I found that it wasn’t that hard to just hold the molding at the correct angle, so it was your typical learning curve of getting measurements wrong or just dealing with the changes that the wall has had over the last 30 years (uneven ceiling, etc.).
Haha you should worry about your less than perfect corners…we have 64 stairs in our large villa and they have marble covering, however, when we measured to get the mirrors in marble (for those of you who dont know what mirrors are on stairs, its the back bits) each and every stair in the house was a different size, not one of the stairs is the same size as the next! You are doing a great job!
This is a hell of a job for a DIY crown! That stuff can be so tricky. Calk & spackle was a good way to go for a quick fix. You definitely have a knack for making it look easy :) Nail sets are SO handy, especially for smaller jobs where we don’t want to be lugging around a nail gun or climb with one. Love seeing this progress, awesome job!
I didn’t even notice the “imperfections” until you pointed them out – and as you said, this is the laundry room. It’s a great room to practice and improve those skills! And I think it looks great already. Can’t wait to see the finished product!
I had no idea that tool existed until I hired a handyman to do my baseboards and he showed it to me. It’s so simple and so genius. The baseboards look flawless now! Great job on the molding!