How to Cut Crown Molding

If you’ve been engaged in the art of carpentry at all, or looking forward to it, crown molding is going to be key for you! If you know what crown molding is, then you’ll know how they can shine up a place and rack up the price for it as well. How? Well we’ll get into that later, but first let’s learn how to cut crown molding!

Crown Molding

First, we’re going to delve into the basics of crown molding, and how you make your cuts using a miter saw! It’s important to remember that even knowing all the information by heart won’t make you a professional at it immediately. However, it will save you the laborious task of figuring it all out for yourself!

The Basics

We’ll break it down into steps for you to clearly understand the processes going on here!

  • It’s best to remember that a miter saw is the best tool to use for making crown molding. If you have a standard miter saw, you’ll need to make sure you have your wood placed exactly the right way, to ensure you get the best cut.


  • If you’re well versed with using your miter saw, you’ll know about the ‘locks’ your saw has on specific angles. For any basic cut you make, say at 45 degrees, you’ll feel a slight jolt once your saw reaches that specific angle. Make sure you have every angle at the right mark to get your work done accurately!


  • You’ll want to practice making your crown molding on a miter saw because of how optimized it gets later on. Remember to use the flat edges to keep your piece of wood safely perched up on the base of the saw. What flat edges? The molding will always have flat edges where they meet the wall. This diminishes your need for a compound miter saw, as you’ll forsake the idea of needing bevel cuts as they’ll be mirrored when making the crown molding.


  • If you’re ever disorientated, make sure to remember that the decorative part of the crown molding goes on the bottom side, and you should make sure that side rests against the fence.


  • As such, you’ll end up having the top (in contact with ceiling) against the horizontal base of the saw’s fence, and the bottom (in contact with the wall) against the vertical base of the fence.


  • When you’re making an inside cut, you’ll have to move your saw to the opposite side of the cut you’re trying to make. For instance, if you’re making an inside cut for the left side of the wall, pivot your saw to the right side at 45 degrees, and vice versa for the right side of the wall!
  • When you’re making an outside cut? Yes, that’s right, you’ll do the same! Swing the blade to the left at 45 degrees, and proceed to keep the right side, and vice versa!

Compound Method

If you’ve acquired a compound miter saw, and you’re wondering about the versatile opportunities you can have in regards to using that, then you’ll definitely want to take a look into this video for the compound method it helps you with. Especially helpful for beginners!

Different types of Crown Moldings

Whether you’re using a standard miter saw or a compound miter saw, you need to enhance your knowledge about the various types of crown mold cuts you can engage in!

Scarf Joint For Crown Molding


In the instance one of the pieces of crown molding you’ve cut runs too long for the wall, you’ll need to fix it with a scarf joint. How does that work? Well, we’ll break this down too!

  • You’ll need to fix up two more pieces that end up fitting together, that help fix the situation.

  • You’ll need to pivot your saw to 45 degrees to the right and proceed to make a miter cut through the piece. When making this cut, make sure to have your piece upside down! Once you’ve made the cut, dispose of the piece to the left.

  • You’ll have to mirror your action from before and do the same miter cut at 45 degrees to the left! Make sure again that the piece is upside down, and that you dispose of the right side of the piece this time.

  • This step needs to be done twice with both the new pieces you’ve created. You’ll need to make a cut near the end of the molding. Before this, you’ll need to brace the flat bottom of the molding against the saw’s fence and the flat top against the base of the saw.

  • Following these steps accurately with a crown molding scarf joint, will help you fix the problems with pieces longer than the wall.

Square Cut for Crown Molding

This cut helps you create a butt joint. The butt joint is created in order to help your crown molding fit in precisely against your wall and ceiling. How do you go about it then?

  • Unlike the scarf joint you don’t need to make miter cuts for the square cut, rather you’ll need to make cross cuts. 

  • Place yourself properly against the wall and ceiling and make sure to get the right measurement.

  • Make sure to have your miter angle at 0 degrees to get a good cross cut, and do it at the measurements you’ve made and transfer it to the molding.

Corner Blocks In Crown Molding

If it’s too much of a hassle for you, and you don’t want to cut crown molding for the corners of your house, we don’t blame you! Rather, we’re gonna allow you to find and install corner blocks instead.These are pre-made blocks that fit into the corner gaps. Let’s talk about how you install them!

  • These are pretty easy and can be done swiftly! Place in the blocks on the corners of your wall, and then measure the remaining distance!

  • After that, head on over to your saw table and cut crown moldings with your miter cuts to match the length left.

  • Corner blocks can help you save a lot of time and avoid the annoyance of figuring out the tight miter angle in each and every corner!

However, if you’re not interested in spending money on corner blocks, then we’ve got the best way for you to learn how to make corner blocks!

Outside Corners

Inside corners and outside corners are the basics when it comes to making a crown molding. However, inside corners are usually taken care of within rooms with four corners. However, if some rooms possess more needs, then you’ll have to focus on outside corners more!

  • When accounting for the length of a piece needed, with outside corners you’ll have to start from the outside edge. From there you move along the wall to get the justified length and then mark it down on your molding.

  • Place the crown molding under the saw, ready to make your cut. You’ll need to make sure your saw is pointed away from the side you measured at 45 degrees.

  • Once everything is placed, make your miter cut.

  • Once done, do the same process over again for the joining wall. Remember that once you’ve done one process when making cut crown moldings, most of the processes need to be mirrored to ensure you finish the job.

  • Place both of the pieces, and they should both be linking up perfectly. Once done, nail  them down to receive your great outside corner!

When you cut crown moldings, you’ll need to make sure you’re always doing the processes accurately, otherwise you’ll have to restart over and over again. This is especially important when making a miter cut for your inside corners and outside corners.

Coped Joint for Your Inside Corner

Just as we have talked about your outside corner needing help sometimes, the same goes for an inside corner in your house. This is done by the coped joint. It rarely happens that corners meet at a 90 degree wall angle, and look polished at first. However, the coped joint helps you take care of that problem!

  • This process requires you to have a coping saw.

  • You’ll need to make a 45 degree miter cut on your desired coping piece, and then mark a line with a pencil for your coping saw to follow.

  • Make sure to keep the molding steady on your saw table, and also make sure you angle the saw away from the face of the crown mold.

  • Be patient with the cut and make sure you keep your hand steady and the angle throughout the cut. After finishing, dust off the coped piece with some sandpaper to smooth out any edges.

The Takeaway

We hope you’ve been able to familiarize yourself to an inside corner and an outside corner and how a miter cut is exponentially important when it comes to crown molding! While it may be very complex, if you keep trying your hand at crown molding, there’s no doubt you’ll get there sooner or later.

Not to mention you immediately bolster the look and price of your house with any introduction of crown molding in it! So make sure every angle and inside corner is correctly placed, but maintain proper safety when doing all your work! Protection for your eyes, ears and nose are paramount, before you delve into any work!

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