Archive for the ‘molding’ Category

Random Ramblings


Posted by Rebecca, February 21st, 2013

It’s another one of those days where my brain is on overdrive and I just dump the things I’m thinking about here. Ready? Here goes!

1. We made a trip to Ikea on Monday (thank god for 3 day weekends!). It was only the second time we’ve gone since Easton was born, so it was nice be back in the land of Expedits.


While there we restocked our frame collection for another gallery wall and bought some ledges for book storage in the playroom. We grabbed quite a few of these new (at least to me, it’s been a few months) glossy gray Ribba frames.

Picture 3(via Ikea)

I’ve made it my own resolution to hang these things ASAP so they don’t sit around driving me nuts. But…

2. It’s Pinterest Challenge time again, so I have an excuse to be unfocused! Probably for the first time since these things started, I know exactly what I want to make… a play tent for Easton. Wish me luck as I buy dowels and sheets this weekend…


(from Twirl via Pinterest)

3. We’ve been behind on posting Easton’s monthly laundry basket pictures, but we have them hanging around on a memory card. I’ll get them all caught up on one post soon.

months 1 thru 4_x500

Yeah he doesn’t even fit laying in that basket anymore and he’s, um, almost 9 months now. Whoops.

4. We recently lowered Easton’s crib to the middle setting. Just as I was going to tweak the no sew crib skirt I made to fall flat with his crib, I woke up to this at 2am yesterday.


The face says it all, he’s not a morning person either. Luckily, I didn’t take a picture of my face at that moment. My hair was sticking up way more than his 🙂

We lowered the crib fully yesterday and now I have to decide how to work the crib skirt for the small amount of space left. Seriously, the nursery feels like it will never be “complete”. Every time I plan to take room reveal pictures, something happens, like I ram a vacuum into a piece of molding…


I’m such a jerk.

5. Speaking of my baby growing up, his first birthday isn’t too far away (3 months! only 3 months!! :() so all of that planning is stashed in the back of my head. I don’t want to do a set theme, but I’ve been playing with his Zany Zoo beads and I think I’ve settled on a color scheme…


Aqua, orange, lime green and royal blue/navy (whichever I can find more easily). My only expectation is that it be fun and fit for a one year old. I’m not trying to win any Pinterest party planning awards here. A happy baby and some full bellies works for me!

Considering all of these are on my to-do list, I’m obviously not doing a very good job at my New Year’s resolution to streamline my life. Good thing my current resolution is to get more sleep, though my miniature boss is in charge of that one.

Crowning the New Office

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Posted by Rebecca, July 26th, 2012

Yesterday, my mom came over to watch Easton so that I could help Mike install the crown molding in our new office. If you recall from our adventures in installing crown in the nursery, I figured out the angles while Mike provided the muscle. We figured this second installation would be cake, though we had to work around the new built-in bookcases.

We picked up 12 foot pieces of molding so that we had less seams to caulk. We started simple with the 3 walls that didn’t have bookcases.

Seemed simple enough, though the wall was longer than 12 feet, so a seam was inevitable.

You can read all about the details of how we made our cuts in this previous post. Though we realized we must really be horrible at installing crown because it was impossible to match up the corners of these long 12 foot runs. The chances of our ceiling being level from end to end are slim to none. The pieces have some flexibility to them, but it’s still hard to get everything matched up to a point where gaps are caulkable. Therefore, we once again ended up breaking some of the longer pieces down to match up the corners perfectly. I think we’d rather build 5 more bookcases than have to install crown again, but at least this shorter wall was easier…

If you notice we didn’t nail the ends right away so that we could move the pieces to match the corners. We learned this trick the hard way last time 🙂

So that was the easy part, next was adding the crown to the top of the built-in. We thought it through a little (okay, not really too much) and decided to start with a straight run of molding across the top first.

When we did the paneled wall in the nursery, we topped it with a straight cut of crown and coped the side pieces into it. We thought we could go with the some method. We called it a quits since I had a baby to feed and we got all of the long pieces done. All that was left to do were these smaller pieces around the bookcases…

But yeah, that didn’t work. First, we need to put that top piece at more of an angle. We tried to install it so that we could avoid making cuts around 2 vents that are on the ceiling.

After that, we have to figure out how to make an inside corner and an outside corner in an incredibly small piece of molding. We’re not sure that coping was the right choice, since that piece is so small to begin with. Mike tried solving it for a bit today, but the little hamster that runs on the wheel in his head got tired and he came downstairs. I think I saw some smoke coming out of his ears from all of that thinking…

If we can ever figure this out, all we have to do then is caulk and paint the built-ins and trim! Then we will finally be able to start moving in to our new workspace… and Easton will have his playroom 🙂

Wish us luck for a speedy recovery solution!

Learning to Cope


Posted by Rebecca, February 27th, 2012

No, this isn’t a sappy post about how I’m juggling priorities or the upper body pain I’ve been suffering from. Though I could use one of those….the further my body gets away from my keyboard at work the more the more my neck, shoulders and arms hurt. You hear about the lower back and hip pain during pregnancy (which knock on wood, I’ve been perfectly fine with) but no one warns you about the ergonomic difficulties you will face. Like how this week suddenly when I walk out of doors in our house I hit my belly… those few extra centimeters each week make a difference! Longer arms are the solution….

Anyway, this post is about the last two pieces of crown molding that we put up this weekend using the good old coping method. Last we left you with one straight piece running along our paneled wall, which needed two coped angled pieces to make the corners.

We started by cutting end of a piece at the 33.85 bevel and 31.65 miter that we explained in this post. Which left us with this (this is for the left side of the paneled wall when you’re looking at it, so a left inside corner)….

Then, as most tutorials tell you to do, we traced the line of the molding so we knew where to cope, like so….

Then Mike took off the back chunk of wood at this sort of angle (you just want the front face of the molding to show, if that makes sense)…

I was supposed to be the coper, as I like doing tedious things by hand, but after the first piece I realized that it was going to take way more strength than I could muster so I passed the torch to Mike. I had the very important job of sitting on the piece of molding while it was on the bench to act as a human clamp. I excelled at this.

After that’s all chopped off, it looks something like this…

Then we put it up and it was all done! Almost. First time we put this piece up we realized it was a smidge too short. Which actually worked out well because the ceiling was very uneven and the corner piece was not meeting up with the 8 foot piece next to it. So we decided to cut the corner piece down to a smaller piece to be able to gradually adjust for the crooked ceiling…

Then we cut the next piece and worked some nail gun magic to get everything lined up.

We did most of the room like this where it was necessary. There may be more seams, but it’s less caulk magic to work and less of a risk of having a bulging piece screaming for help in the end. We did the same thing on the other side after we coped that piece (though the ceiling wasn’t crooked over there)…

Then we were officially done! Though coping wasn’t extremely difficult, after using both coping and non-coping methods, it’s way more convenient to just cut both sides of a corner at an angle and avoid coping. Next time we tackle a room we will do all of our corners the non-coping way.

It’s nearly impossible to get a full room shot in this small room, but I did clean out all of the extra stuff in there to make it easier 🙂

We also added the quarter round molding to the baseboards this weekend, which took no time but makes such a difference…

I also completely emptied out the baby’s closet in anticipation of painting it an accent color and adding an organization system like we mentioned here.

We have also decided to remove the doors and go with… curtains! We toyed with double doors that open outwards, french doors or curtains and decided that some chevron curtains would look best (though I can’t reveal what color we decided to go with!) Hopefully we can get the wire rack removed, closet walls spackled and everything caulked/filled this week so we can paint the this upcoming weekend!

From Top to Bottom


Posted by Rebecca, February 23rd, 2012

Today while I was at work, Mike put up the baseboards in the nursery 🙂 We used 5 1/4 inch primed MDF for the baseboards, the same molding we have throughout our house (we previously had a much smaller baseboard with the carpet in this room). Mike said the whole room took him about an hour to do and was a piece of cake.

We still have yet to finish the last two long pieces of crown (they they will be insanely easy to do) because Mike needs my help with those. We had childbirth class last night (eek), so we didn’t get a chance to do it. But thanks to this new fancy light we installed in the nursery, we can work in there at night and I can come home and snap these pictures to share…

Works for now! Anyway, now you can see the paneled wall coming together with the crown and baseboards integrated.

In hindsight, I probably would have added a smaller board at the top of the paneled wall rather than the additional 4 inches we put at the top and bottom. The crown is only about 4 5/8″ while the baseboard is 5 1/4″ I believe, so the amount of paneled wall showing at the top and bottom is not symmetrical. Though the bottom will have furniture in front of it so it’s no biggie.

And the piece over there on the left of the picture has a piece of quarter round sitting up against it just to give you an idea of what the molding will look like once we add it.

Here’s another shot of the two moldings by the closet…

Mike also filled all of the nail holes, sanded and caulked the paneled wall. All that’s left now is to prime the raw wood boards!

Normally this is where I would zoom out and give you a full room shot, but we currently have an island of boxes hanging out in the middle of the room…

There’s a stroller, our Jonathan Adler giraffe sconces and a box of other baby stuff hanging out and acting as a table for our caulk and whatnot. I don’t want to unload anything else into the closet because we’re planning on giving that a makeover as well.

We’re hoping to choose paint colors this weekend and get going on that in the next week. Weeeeee! Wee wee weeeeee! Just call me a pig on a zipline…

How to Install Crown Molding


Posted by Rebecca, February 21st, 2012

Mike gave you an idea of our adventures in learning how to install crown molding yesterday, but I’m going to share the deets on what you SHOULD do. AKA, what we didn’t do first time around and how we learned along the way…

We left you with our paneled wall looking like this…

The plan was to add 4+ inch crown molding to the top that would extend all the way around the room, hence the additional 4 inch board up there. We actually struggled at first to find crown that was larger than 3 5/8″. We knew it existed because… we have it all over our house! We just wanted to match the crown we currently have and finally found it at Home Depot, in primed pine. I was okay with using MDF for the moldings because a) I wanted them to match the other moldings in the house, not because they touch or anything but because I liked them and wanted some consistency and b) there is so little molding in the room and the baby won’t be sleeping directly near it (like a crib or the paneling behind it). But, the 4 5/8″ inch crown was only available in pine at the time (we later found it in MDF), so it was a good excuse to use the solid wood stuff 🙂 But we did cheap out with some MDF baseboards.

We started off simple…. we added a straight cut of crown to the top of the paneled wall…

We did the seam the same way we did our chair rail pieces– just a 45 degree cut at each end. Worked like a charm

To get the corners, we referred to this video from This Old House. In the video, they use straight cuts like ours above then an angled cut, which they cope, on just one side. To make their cuts, they angle the molding on the saw as if it was sitting against the wall and ceiling and make a 45 degree cut, like this….

(via This Old House)

Seems simple right? Well, we ran into a problem off the bat.

Our 4 5/8″ crown was too tall to fit under the blade of our Ryobi 10″ compound miter saw. We cursed this saw for a good hour as we took a lunch break. During our break, we figured our next plan of attack was to a) see if there was a way to make these cuts using the saw we have and b) if not, buy a $12 miter box and do it by hand. I asked Mike if we had the instruction manual to our saw and sure enough, there was a section on how to cut crown molding. Whew!

The funny thing is (there will be a lot of funny things in this story), for months Mike has been telling me that the bottom of our saw is not adjustable, despite these numbers marked on it…

The conversation went something like this:

Me- “If it doesn’t move then why are there angles marked on it?”

Mike- “I don’t know but it doesn’t move”

The instruction manual settled the score and the answer was… it moved! And that’s how you cut crown using this saw, with the molding laying flat. Mike “read” the manual and said we had to move the bottom measurement to 31.62 degrees, which is clearly marked on the saw…

So off we went, making cuts with that one simple adjustment. Which left us with this picture Mike showed you yesterday…

We thought this messed up corner was the result of our awful coping skills, but we realized that the molding touches at the bottom, but not the top. We decided to try a new method and can the coping, so for the next corner, we cut both sides at a 45 degree angle, rather than using one straight cut with one coped 45. We got this…

Definitely not right. Our pieces were meeting at the bottom, but not the top. We knew this had to be something with how the angle of our saw was set, but we didn’t know which angle was making it not meet… the miter (bottom of saw) or the bevel (angle of the blade)? So I decided to pick up the manual for the first time and I realized that Mike missed a very important part… Okay maybe he missed the entire crown molding section and just scanned for the 31.62 measurement because I found this…

Complete with detailed instructions that explained that while the miter was set to 31.62, the bevel should be set to 33.85 and NOT 45. That was our exact problem.

We had to move our blade from the 45 that it’s set on in the picture above, to the 33.9 measurement (and just a smidge less to make it 33.85).

In this handy dandy instruction manual, I also found this little table which I lovingly called the bible. It saved our lives.

Yes, it tells us exactly how to get every single cut we need, which we had to think through before hand. We always play the “save the left or right?”,  “molding upside down or right side up?” game when making cuts. This little table took out any guesswork and thought. We officially declared this saw that we were cursing hours before as the best saw in the whole world.

We left our other cuts, as Mike told you, assuming we would just caulk the heck out of them. We cut another corner and guess what? No match. The angles were much tighter, but still weren’t meeting as they should. Just by looking at them, we could tell that the angle was too obtuse and decided we needed to make an adjustment in the miter (bottom) measurement. Mike played with some scrap pieces, adjusting them to make them slightly smaller, but they still weren’t meeting. He asked me to go look at the saw and figure out what angle we should use (I was trying to stay out of the room with the obnoxiously loud saw to protect my poor baby’s undeveloped ears). One look at the saw and I immediately noticed something….

See where that 31.62 is? I knew it was where the red dotted line was, but I could almost guarantee that Mike was using the bolder line just above the 31.62 (which is 35). I was right. Granted, it is confusing and they should have put the 31.62 in red so that you would know that it corresponds to the red line.

That tiny little adjustment gave us this absolutely perfect corner…

We still hit some bumps with the next 3 or so corners since our ceiling isn’t completely even, but all of the gaps are very much caulkable and nothing like what we had before!

So let’s recap for anyone who has a similar saw that doesn’t allow you to stand up your molding to make cuts…

1. Set your bevel (saw blade) to 33.85

2. Set your miter table to 31.62 (either to the right or left, depending on your cut)

3. Lay molding flat (either upside down or right side up, once again depending on your cut)

4. Follow this chart for specifics!!

With these directions, we only had to rotate the miter (bottom) angle to the left or right and kept the blade set at the same 33.85 the entire time. I should also mention that the left and right in the chart above are the angles when you are looking at the corner.

We also decided to make small cuts for the corners and cut both sides of a corner at the same time. That way, we could wiggle both pieces simultaneously to get the best fit and not have to worry about whether the other end of a piece matches its corner. That is why this wall looks so choppy…

All we have left are the two long runs (about 8 feet each) that meet up with the paneled wall, which should take us no time. We planned to finsh them up tonight, but unfortunately Macky had his first seizure since starting his meds around 3pm today. He’s been a little clingy and jumpy, so we didn’t want to break out the compresser, nail gun and saw tonight. The vet told us not to worry and to just keep an eye on him for a change in behavior, so we wanted to be able to judge that as best we could by keeping his environment normal.

With the last two pieces come our second attempt at coping… yikes…Had we known at the beginning that we could angle that initial piece on the paneled wall we would have. We’ll add it to the list of lessons learned, but at least we broke the crown molding ice around here.

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