How To: Installing Custom Square Molding

Crown molding isn't always traditional. This project creates a sleek, contemporary detail for any modern-style room.


Materials and Tools:

carpenter's glue
air compressor
pneumatic nail gun
table saw
block plane
miter saw
one gallon MAB white ceiling paint
tape measure
100 linear feet of 6x1 poplar
100 linear feet of 3x1 poplar




1. Measure the ceiling around the room. The 6x1 poplar will attach directly to the ceiling, and the 3x1 will be attached flush below it.
2. Measure and cut the 6x1 poplar with a table saw to fit in each section of the room. Try to cut out any knots; we want to have a nice clean finish.
3. When you reach the corner pieces, use a miter saw to cut the wood at a 45-degree angle so the pieces fit together.
4. Mark on the back of the wood which section the wood goes in for easier installation.



5. Repeat steps 2-4 with your 3x1 poplar.
6. Using a block plane, take a slight edge off all the corners at 45 degrees (also called arising).
7. Paint the 6x1 and 3x1 sections of poplar on the top and sides and let dry. Leave the underside (with the locations marked) unpainted.
8. Run a strip of carpenter's glue along the unpainted side of the first 6x1 and attach it to the ceiling, making sure it's flush against the wall.



9. Use the nail gun to attach the 6x1 directly into the ceiling beams. The nails will be spaced about every 16 inches.
10. Continue this process with the 6x1 around the room. Be sure that the corners fit tightly.



11. Starting at the first section again, apply a strip of wood glue on the unpainted side to the 3x1 poplar and attach it to the 6x1. Again, make sure it is flush with the wall.
12. Nail the 3x1 poplar to the 6x1. Be sure there are no gaps between the two pieces of wood.
13. Patch any nail holes in the new molding and then repaint.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Hanging Crown Molding

Simple, one-piece crown molding adds dimension and style to any room.

How to Install Fluted Molding

Fluted molding is used to add elegance to a traditional-style master bedroom.

Double-Layer Crown Molding

Wood trim highlights a vaulted ceiling with double skylights.

How To Create A Faux-Tiered Ceiling

Paint techniques and molding are used to give the illusion of a tiered or vaulted ceiling.

How to Update a Ceiling with Wainscoting

Enhance a builder-grade ceiling by creating a cottage look with wainscoting.

How to Install Crown Molding

Install crown molding to add visual interest and value to your home.

How to Install Panel Molding

Add dimension to your walls with this easy alternative to wainscoting.

How to Mount Crown Molding to a Tray Ceiling

For a true crowning touch, add some rope lighting by following these step-by-step instructions.

How to Create Ceiling Circles

Wooden medallions are used to conceal an uneven ceiling and add a modern touch to a traditional home.

How to Install a Tin and Beam Ceiling

An old ceiling is restored with new beams and tin tiles.

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.