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

3 Answers 3


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. Feb 12, 2013 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, 2013 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. Feb 13, 2013 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, 2013 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.


Gents using a triangular backer is a great idea but unnecessary... It is a very light molding per foot, simply tacking it to the sheetrock is more than adequate. By the by, due to thermal expansion issues, even in newer homes that have not settled it is a mistake to nail your modeling to the ceiling. Most of these crown moldings are only intended to be nailed to the wall (yes there are profile exceptions) check your profile. If it has a single broad flat area where it contacts the wall, that is where it should be nailed only! I've seen numerous homes where someone nailed to the ceiling and wall and it pulled on the wall or ceiling and caused cracking. If you do the backers you won't need to worry about those issues, your project just takes much longer especially if your are measuring the actual angle that your wall/s and ceiling make where they meet in the corner. Rarely do I see corners that are within an eighth of an inch. As far as a smooth finish goes for nail holes, use paint able caulk, then dip your finger(or caulk finishing profile) in water and run it over the spot. Nice, smooth, perfection!!! That's the way to finish without sanding!

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