03:19PM | 09/14/07
Member Since: 09/13/07
1 lifetime posts
I'm new around here, but I was hoping for some help on a moulding mess. We're doing 4.5" wide crown moulding in a 1920's Chicago apartment with plaster walls and ungodly hard ceilings (not sure the material but it feels like concrete). All was going well enough until we got to a corner that rises to 5/8" higher than the rest of the ceiling, starting about 2' from the corner. I've been all over everything with a carpenter's square, it's definitely the ceiling and not a warped piece of moulding.

This gap is too big to fill with joint compound, and scribing and sanding won't work because of the position. I've considered laying a thin piece of wood over the gap to cover it and just shaping that to fit, but I'd have to do this on the next wall as well to make the corner work. The only other thing I think might work is putting some long screws in and just forcing the piece to meet the ceiling, but 5/8" in 2' is a lot, and replacing the piece if it splits after everything is caulked and painted would not be fun. This is all going to be painted white and in a less than noticeable spot in the room, so a little kludgyness is OK.

Any ideas? I'm kind of at my wits' end.

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06:42PM | 09/14/07
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
In my experience, 5/8" discrepancy may seem like a lot - but it will still look like a million after you have it up. The viewer makes allowance/adjustment for a 1920s building, and forgives the difference. There is no perfect house, and as houses get older, they tend to settle - yet they still take on a greatness that can't be duplicated in today's cookie-cutter world. I say, embrace it! - fill the gap - or bend the crown - or split the diff - but enjoy!...good luck!


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


05:03PM | 09/26/07
Member Since: 12/27/02
545 lifetime posts
Build up the corner w/compound and feather it into the room. You also can put a 1/4" to 0" over 14" or so filler in and paint it.

I ran into these many times in the older homes in the center of a run often where a wall has been removed and even in new subdivisions under beam loads on 2nd and 3rd story homes where they go up faster then the loads can settle.

Alter Eagle Construction & Design | Construction & Design | | Decks, California outdoor living | | Molding and finishing | | Crown tutorial


01:23AM | 08/05/13
There are three ways to fix this issue, they all depend on the budget the customer is willing to spend.
One would be to install crown molding, leave gaps,and after it's installed and it's secured to the wall/ceiling, you cal shim it and fill gaps with a low expansion insulation foam (carefully or it gets messy). Then sand smooth exposed foam, caulk,paint or bondo excess if needed. Just make sure you foam in small increments to wait for expansion or you will over do it and push molding out and have a lot of excess sticky foam oozing out to clean up and it's a headache to remove.

another way would be to find the biggest or widest gap. Let's say it's 1". Then attach (glue and or tack nail) a 1" strip piece of left over wood to crown molding. Then place on the wall and scribe it. This is what I would do if using a stained crown rather than a paint

I used to skim coat but then when at least I would look, my eye was always drawn to the ceiling. Not to mention, sometimes you wind up skimming the entire ceiling.

I've done all three options and all three have worked but to me personally, if painting, the foam option seemed to be the best. I look at it this way, I would much rather have a wavy ceiling than have a wavy crown molding. Especially when in stalling a detailed crown or build up crown.


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