I purchased a house that has about 200LF of crown molding that's painted white with a pink undertone. It's installed in a living room with 8' - 12' ceiling (cathedral). I would be ok with the crown molding but for the pink undertone (I would not install new crown molding). I see two options - either repaint or remove the molding. I plan to paint the walls and there are various nail pops on the ceiling that require repair, so I'll be touching up the ceiling, as well. I'm seeking advice from the painters out there on which option is less work and makes the most sense. There is detail on the molding that will prohibit the use of any electric sander. Any advice would be appreciated.

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    Usually molding has two uses. To make the room look a bit nicer and to hide any imperfections between two surfaces. If the paint is in good condition, sanding might not be needed. A very good cleaning/removal of all dirt/oil/dust is needed for any paint job.
    – crip659
    Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 20:48
  • I hadn't thought that was practical. Can I clean and paint over semi gloss without priming first? If so, this would be the easiest and least costly. Thank you!
    – Kathi M
    Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 21:14
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    Even a cursory scuff with 120 grit will be sufficient. And pulling the crown down opens you up to waaay more potential work. Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 21:33
  • Thank you, Aloysius.
    – Kathi M
    Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 22:58

1 Answer 1


Paint or remove is somewhat of an aesthetic choice, but off the top of my head, here’s what’s involved in either plan.

Paint — scuff the crown lightly with 120 grit paper. Wipe it clean. Spackle any obvious issues (nail holes, dents). Caulk any bad joins. Prime once. Finish paint once or twice, depending on preference.

Remove — cut the caulk lines on the walls and ceiling. Pull down the crown and dispose of it. Scrape the caulk line so that it doesn’t stick out from the paint. (You’ll probably chip off layers of paint when doing this; that’s okay.) Get out the all purpose joint compound to patch nail holes and caulk line (wall and ceiling — hope they aren’t textured). This will take a few passes, depending. Sand. Maybe touch up mud. Hopefully your corners were taped and mudded nicely; otherwise those will need some mud. Texture if you have to, prime, paint wall and ceiling.

Depending on lighting, with the other spot patches, you might find you want to paint the whole ceiling.

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    Thank you for such details. You've helped me decide that I will paint rather than remove. Thank you so much!
    – Kathi M
    Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 23:58
  • if you take out the moulding you possibly need to fill the corners where the wall meets the ceiling - there could be 1" gap there or more. that will be hard to fix with just tape an mud.
    – Jasen
    Commented Dec 25, 2023 at 9:18
  • Gaps are possible, but since the normal method of drywall installation is to butt the wall sheets up to the ceiling (in part to support the ceiling sheets, in part to get something to screw to), I'd really just expect a rough tape job as a worst case. Having said that, there are plenty of hack jobs out there, so anything's possible. Commented Dec 25, 2023 at 15:37

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