Is there any particular place on the crown molding where I should position a nail (middle, inside creases, top, bottom, multiple locations)?


What is important when nailing crown molding is hitting a solid background. This can be plates for small crowns or studs. What I prefer to do is add a profile (triangle) piece of scrap wood, such as mitered plywood or ripped 2X4 stock into the corner and nail it into the plates and studs. No problem if you miss or have to use a lot of nails to find a good solid backer because it will be covered by the crown. Now when you go to nail the crown, you will have a good nailer everywhere. I usually use nails along the top edge down 1/2 inch from edge and same along the bottom edge. This helps close any gaps along the ceiling and wall. You can go back after and fill any gaps with painters caulk and touch up to match the crown (if painted) or the wall/ceiling colors respectively.

  • I think the question is more about where on the crown molding the nail should go in, rather than what the backing material is. I've heard "put the nail in the deepest part as it helps hide the nail hole" but that may just be for jobs where you aren't going to fill in the nail holes. – Alex Feinman Feb 12 '13 at 19:36
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    @AlexFeinman - I have routinely avoided nailing molding that is destined for painting on the inside corners or grooves. If you do try to fill the holes in these spots it is a very hard job to get a nice smooth sanding job afterwards. So I nail on a smooth face part of the molding, set the nails and then fill with spackle. The follow up touch up sanding is easy and leaves a perfect surface after the paint job. – Michael Karas Feb 13 '13 at 2:19
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    Additional hint: If painted, fill nail holes with light weight spackle. This type of spackle is easily applied with your finger tips and can be smoothed with a damp cloth within 20 minutes. No sanding required if you smooth it before it cures completely. Paintable in an hour. – shirlock homes Feb 13 '13 at 11:17
  • Nailing a base is an excellent idea. For filling holes I use caulk, easy enough to do when caulking the molding and any misbehaving angles. – gebuh Aug 27 '13 at 2:23

I always put the nail on a part that is accessible by sandpaper and a finger. Otherwise it will be hard to fill and sand.

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