How to Repair Crown Molding

Cut a replacement piece to match and no one's the wiser.

Decorative Ceiling Trim

Decorative Ceiling Trim

Damaged crown molding hanging over your head? Fix it with these step-by-step instructions:

Materials and Tools:

compound miter saw
carpenter's pencil
coping saw
utility knife
crown-molding scraps
cordless drill
wood rasp
tape measure
wood clamps
safety glasses
crown molding
finishing nails
nail set
putty stick
paintable caulk


1. Begin with the most difficult cut, the one where the new molding fits against the existing trim. Corners will have to be cut at two angles, and you'll need to adjust the bevel and table cuts on the miter saw. Wearing safety glasses, cut the first angle with the miter saw.
2. Highlight the profile of the molding with a pencil and use the coping saw to cut away the back.
3. Trim the cut with a utility knife and file it smooth with a wood rasp.
4. Set the miter saw to make 45-degree cuts and cut a couple of test strips from scrap molding pieces and test-fit them in a corner.
5. Drill pilot holes in the molding, and attach it with finishing nails. 
6. Sink nail heads with nail set and cover up with a putty stick. Cover gaps in the molding with paintable caulk.

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