How do **YOU** hang 5 1/4" crown moulding?

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Forum topic by noone posted 05-09-2012 01:54 PM 8829 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View noone's profile


583 posts in 2300 days

05-09-2012 01:54 PM

Can I use a 2” 18 gauge brad nailer to hang 5 1/4” crown if I use a 2 x nailer behind it?

Or do you guy use a 2 1/2” 16 gauge finish nailer on it and don’t worry about the nailer?

How do you hang your 5 1/4” sized crown?

12 replies so far

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3340 days

#1 posted 05-09-2012 02:40 PM

Noone- last time I hung some crown, not my favorite task in home DIY, I cut a scrap piece and positioned it to determine the size nailer strip that would need to go behind it.

That way I was able to measure the length of fastener that would work. At that time I did not have my 18ga. nailer only a 15 ga. so I used the length fastener I needed. The 15 did leave quite a bigger hole than I would have liked and I believe I used 1.5 inch fastener, but it has been awhile since my last crown ceiling work.

View doughan's profile


96 posts in 2618 days

#2 posted 05-09-2012 07:16 PM

An 18 gauge nailer is fine….find the studs and don’t bother with the nailer strip unless you like to do extra work for nothing.
I have installed approximately 10 miles of crown in my life and only once when someone insisted did i use a nailer strip.
If you have areas that won’t suck up to the wall push it tight and put two nails in the same hole angle left and right.Especially with paint grade mdf moulding…..the caulk and paint will add extra holding power.

Here is a hint for the corners.
Make marks on your chop saw ….cut to those marks and only cut on 45 ,221/2 etc .Cut the crown with the bottom on the vertical fence on the saw and the top on the table of the saw.if need be rent a twelve inch miter saw.Cutting it with a compound miter saw laying flat on the table is a royal pain in the ass.You have two angles to adjust everytime you cut left and right….it works if you are accurate or if the saw has locking positive stops at the right place….but not all crown will even work with those positive stops.If the miter is open on the top use a block to “roll” the crown further up the wall.If you leave the last three feet loose in the inside corner until you adjust them it will make it easier still
and last but definately not least… extremely accurate with the length of each piece….if you cut them too long and the long point of the miter diggs into the drywall at all you will neve get a good miter.In fact if it is paint grade leave the inside miter 1/32 to 1/24th ( no my tape doesn’t have 24ths….it half way to a 16th)short and cut feather wedges to help bring the miter together.
you will never see the caulked gap being ever so slightly larger behind the moulding in the corners.
resist the urge to cut the miter to fit lines you have drawn on the walls…..the walls aren’t 90 and it will just drive you crazy.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3675 days

#3 posted 05-09-2012 07:43 PM

18 ga nails may crumble if they hit steel in the wall. 15 ga nails don’t
crumble nearly so easy. I never use 16 ga. so I can’t comment.

The main things to look at is if your nail can penetrate the wall (some
plaster is really hard) and if your nail is long enough to get perhaps
3/4” of penetration into the wall. Crown isn’t especially heavy in
general. Sometimes you have to bend the crown a bit to conform
to the wall and a longer nail helps hold it tight.

So, 18 ga. can be fine but sometimes a beafier nailer is good to
have on hand. The 18 ga nailers also don’t do the angled
collation you find in the bigger nailers.

View noone's profile


583 posts in 2300 days

#4 posted 05-09-2012 08:28 PM

Well, I have 2 things going on here.

1. I am trying to fit crown to a top of a built in I have made on one end of the room and the top rails are about an inch from the ceiling. So I have a nice base to nail the bottom of the crown to, but not so much for the top of the crown on this built in, since the ceiling rafters are spaced 24” across. So I have already added a nailer for one piece of the crown so far which seems to work well to get the 2” 16 gauge nails something to grab onto at the top and at the same time to help me roll the crown up to the top of the uneven ceiling. Am I on the right track here or am I making this harder than it needs to be?

2. The built in’s crown will flow throughout the rest of the bedroom. I am wondering if it would be best to have a 2 1/2” finish nail that would have the chance of penetrating the occasional stud. I believe the crown I have is 3/4” thick, then you have the drywall which is another 1/2”, plus add in the airspace behind the crown and those 2” brads don’t reach too far into the drywall. I guess I can try the opposing nail routine.

Wondering if I need 2 1/2” finish nails or if that is overkill…...

I guess i’m really hoping I can return the $200 16 gauge finish nailer I just bought also, since I already have the 18 gauge 2” brad nailer.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3675 days

#5 posted 05-09-2012 09:04 PM

For one job I am sure you can figure out a way to do it
with the 18 ga. nailer. There’s nothing wrong with using
an old-school finish nail here and there… they install with
this old-fashioned tool called a hammer. You might have
to hunt around at antique stores to find one but you’ll
find it most useful.


View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 3018 days

#6 posted 05-09-2012 09:16 PM

I did 5 1/4” MDF crown in two rooms in my house and used a 15 gauge finish nailer with 2” nails. That was probably way overkill but it’s what I had at the time and it worked well enough. The only problem with using the larger nails is hiding the nail holes.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3095 days

#7 posted 05-09-2012 10:26 PM

Back when I did quite a bit of crown, I ALWAYS put up a nailer. With a nailer, you can shoot a nail (or brad) where you need it rather than hoping there’s something besides drywall behind it.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View mark4345's profile


71 posts in 2450 days

#8 posted 05-09-2012 10:47 PM

pretty much what dougon said is exactly right. but instead of mitering corners especially in a house which you will never find one at 90 degrees because of the drywall mud in the corners…cope your corners.

Also you shoudnt be nailing into the middle of the crown where the airspace is. 2” long nails are plenty, you shoudl be nailing along the bottom where the flat part of the crown actually touches the wall, and likewise where it meets the ceiling.

if your trusses/ceiling joists are 24 centers, as dougon said already, shoot one nail angling to the left, and shoot a second angling to the right in the same hole. This creates a V with the nails preventing them from pulling out of the drywall…if you really wanted to get crazy you could put some glue on it first. Leave the last at least 3 feet not nailed into corners until you get both pieces up that make your corner, this allows you to play with the corner to line it up properly, and good cope joints make this really easy.

If this is to be painted caulk it to the ceiling and walls then paint..looks great. If it is stained and you are really looking to get it tight to the ceiling sometimes a nailer is required, i usually use trim screws to suck up the places where the ceiling has high spots. Or most often once the crown is in fix the spots on the ceiling that arent tight with drywall mud, this way your crown stays straight, and doesnt follow a wavy ceiling. But thats really only for stained wood crown, painted stuff that is hard to notice if it follows the ceilings.

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 3780 days

#9 posted 05-09-2012 10:48 PM

I always use a nailer strip. Drywall can only be as flat as the studs that it is screwed off to. I have installed crown over some really “jacked up” sheetrock. Nailer strips can help eliminate almost all the little gaps by allowing you to nail where ever you need to. Nailing crown 16” on center is amateurish at best. Nailer strips are a must for stain grade crown. Paint grade crown can be caulked to hide defects…... good for amateurs.

I use a 16 gauge nailer for no reason other than it is my favorate all around nailer for trim.

View doughan's profile


96 posts in 2618 days

#10 posted 05-10-2012 03:24 AM

ship wreck….amateurish at best????
nailing crown to every anomaly in the framing with a nailer strip will make your crown follow the crappy framing and drywall work….when is the last time you had a dry waller straight edge a wall?
crown isn’t a piece of furniture or cabinet…you have to deal with what thr previous trades left behind

View 489tad's profile


3370 posts in 3038 days

#11 posted 05-10-2012 01:17 PM

I’ve been doing crown in my house, DIY’er. On the walls were the ceiling joists run parallel to the wall how do you nail the top of the crown to the ceiling?

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Peteybadboy's profile


300 posts in 1977 days

#12 posted 09-01-2015 11:09 AM

What would you recommend for 5 1/4 mdf crown. Also will 18g brads sink into “metal” framing?

-- Petey

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