Dining room crown molding
Comments 9

Final design considerations for my crown molding

I’m glad the scraping is over. In this photo, all the popcorn texture has been removed, making me very happy.

There isn’t much to report on the ceiling project, or at least not much to report that is exciting in any way. I spent the first part of the week recovering from moderate back problems related to scraping the ceiling last weekend. I got back to work on the ceiling Wednesday and decided to break the remaining popcorn removal into smaller sections tackling one section before work and the next after work. By Friday morning I had all the scraping and most of the sanding and clean-up accomplished.

Let me say this about the mess that was created: I have never tackled a project in my home that made a bigger mess than removing this popcorn textured ceiling. And I have tackled some significant in-door projects (see some of them here and here). As my wife and I watched TV in our family room last night, I said, “Can you believe what it would be like to take down the popcorn in here?” She says, “I can’t wait.” I replied, “But we live in this room – the mess would be a major problem.” I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Work this weekend
I had to do some touch up sanding on the ceiling yesterday and then I applied a primer coat of paint. I had intended to put a finish coat of paint on today, but I decided to postpone the paint to the end of the project. I still have a few minor blemishes I need to fix, so no need to paint the ceiling right now.

With painting completed for the time being, I was able to move into final planning for the project. I have been thinking of reducing the crown molding height from five inches to four. At four inches, the crown will still be taller than the typical crown from the home center, and the new height will be easier for me to find router bit profiles that work.

Dimensions – note the height of the individual boards that will make up the crown. The lower two are roughly 7/8″ thick and the upper two are basically 1 1/8″ thick – easier to find router profiles for this height, but still a non-standard thickness.

I also visited Lowes today to finalize the material I will use. I have been thinking about poplar; a good paint grade lumber and what I will definitely use for the molding, but I am considering birch plywood for the beams. The only problem is an eight foot long sheet of plywood won’t span my 11’6” x 9’10” room. I would have to piece plywood together to cover both the length and width of the room – a real issue. So, I did not finalize the material – give me your thoughts if you have a solution to this. I know I can get 12 foot material, but that can get a little expensive.

Thanks for listening to me think out loud for this post. I should get down to some actual woodworking this week.

This entry was posted in: Dining room crown molding


During the week, I sell flooring products for The Dixie Group. Weekends, you'll find me in my basement workshop making furniture.


  1. Glad to hear the popcorn removal is finished. While it's not Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore quality, the Valspar ceiling paint at Lowe's is great. It's actually the only non-Benjamin Moore paint I would consider using. As it's flat white ceiling paint, it's hard to go wrong in the formulation. The great thing about the Valspar is that it goes on purple and dries flat white so you can easily tell where the current coat ends.

    Good luck with the crown.


  2. Thanks for the tip Dyami. I'll check it out. Like you I normally buy from SW or Ben Moore. The idea of being able to easily see white finish coat when you use a white primer is a good one.

  3. For the faux beams I would consider using MDF. It is available from lumberyards as 1×6 stock, and probably 1×8 also. It comes in 12 or 16 foot lengths so no unwanted seams. It paints up nicely since it is so smooth, and you will be covering the edges with trim from what I have seen. I'd suggest attaching them with construction adhesive and finishing nails into the joists. This could save you the trouble of ripping down a bunch of plywood.

  4. Aaron – I have just been in my car for a time and as I drove I was mulling over in my mind what I would do. I was thinking 10' 1×6 and 1×10's in poplar due to it's light weight – these would run left to right. I'll only need two 12' beams which run front to back. I have not ruled out MDF which is a good alternative to birch plywood, but it is heavy and so dusty to work with – I'll give it some thought.

    Due to work and travel, I likely won't buy any material until Wednesday.

  5. What a mess Jeff. Did you just use a puddy knife to scrape it off? That does not look fun AT ALL! Good job.

    Have a look for some finger-jointed material as well. Out here I've used Radiata Pine. It's priced pretty well. I've used it for paint grade stuff a few times and had good luck. Other wise I'm with Aaron, MDF would be great for this application.

    5″ to 4″ on the crown is also a lot easier to line up. It's amazing what the extra 1″ does. Maybe it's just me, but I HATE installing large crown. Wonky ceilings, 88 degree walls, and too many trips up and down that latter give me migraines. I am a baby though. 🙂

    Good Luck, you will make it amazing as always.

  6. Jason – yours is the second reference to Radiata Pine I have seen this week. I have not heard that term before. At my Home Depot they carry two kinds of pine – one call “white wood” which I call trash pine, and then they have a premium pine that is free largely of knots and defects. I'll look for it.

    Since you and Aaron are emphasizing MDF, I'll give that more consideration. And yes, the ladder work will continue for some time.

  7. BTW, I did use a putty knife – a two inch plastic one. A tip I can pass on is that the plastic ones tend to dull after all that scraping. Luckily I had also bought a three inch one as well and after switching to it, the popcorn came off a lot easier.

  8. The MDF for painted molding is ok but what about the weight?

    In my previous life I used to do home renovation on the side to flesh out my income. I would often get calls to redo celing texture. Wasn't one of my favovrite things to do.

  9. David – I will likely use wood for the actual crown. Today, I looked at some MDF for the beam work I plan to do, and that is a possibility.

    My latest thinking is this: I will be using lap joints to join the beams and I don't like the idea of cutting through all that medium density stuff. I am still leaning towards a less dense wood and hope to finalize this tomorrow and actually purchase some wood (yea!).

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