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What Nails to Use for Crown Molding | Just 6 Steps Guide

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An ornamental crown molding surrounds the top of a wall and decorates doorways, windows, and fireplaces. This frame wraps around the edge to add character and style to a room.

Adding crown molding to a wall requires a different approach than nailing it. When people try to install crown molding themselves, one question comes up quite often: what nails to use for crown molding?

When installing crown molding, you should use finishing nails that measure 2 inches in length. When you want to complete the project, you will need a compressor and a finishing gun instead of a hammer. You will need to use a brad nailer with 1″ brad nails in the corners instead.

According to where your ceiling joists and wall studs are located within your walls and ceiling, nails will be inserted every 16 to 24 inches. This topic will be discussed in detail subsequently.

Crown molding: What it is and What it is Used for?

liquid nails

Crown molding is an ornamental wood trim used to cover the junction between a wall and ceiling. It is also used around doors, window trim, chair rail and fireplaces. They help give a room a finished look by hiding imperfections and filling in gaps.

Crown molding is typically made from wood, but it can also be made from plaster, plastic, or metal. It is available in a variety of styles, including:

This trim can increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers. It is a relatively inexpensive and straightforward way to improve the look of your home.

What Nails to Use for Crown Molding Attached to Walls?

brad nailer

For installing crown moldings that will be attached to walls, you should use finishing nails. These are the same types of nails used to attach baseboards and other interior trim.

The nails for crown molding should be 2 inches in length. This will ensure that they are long enough to penetrate the wall studs in your wall and hold the molding securely in place.

You will also need a compressor and a finishing gun. These tools are used to drive the nails into the wall. Alternatively, a hammer can also be used; however, it is less effective, time-consuming, and potentially dangerous.

You will need to use a brad nailer with 1″ brad nails in the outside corners. This type of nail is shorter than a finishing nail and will not protrude from the back of the molding.

The nails for crown molding should be inserted at intervals of 16 to 24 inches, according to where your ceiling joists and studs are located within your walls and ceilings. This will ensure that the molding is securely attached to the wall.

Why Should Nail Crown Molding?

brad nail gun

Crown molding should be nailed in place for several reasons. First, nails for the crown are more secure than screws. They will not loosen over time, and they will not come loose if the molding is bumped or knocked.

Second, nails are less likely to damage the molding than screws. When you screw into wood, there is a risk of splitting or cracking the molding. This is not a concern with nails.

Third, finish nails for crown moldings are more accessible to remove than screws. If you ever need to take down the molding, it will be much easier if it has been nailed in place. 

Overall, nails are the best option for attaching crown moulding to walls. They are more secure and less likely to damage the molding.

Installing Crown Molding – Step By Step Guide

finishing gun

Installing crown molding is a relatively simple process that can be completed in a few hours. This task can be achieved by most people with a moderate level of DIY experience.

You will need the following items to complete this task:

If you have never installed crown molding before, you may want to practice on a piece of scrap wood before starting on the actual molding. This will help you get a feel for the process and avoid making any mistakes.

The following is a step-by-step procedure for crown moulding installation:

Step 01: Prepare Your Crown Moulding

Start by measuring the length of your crown molding. Cut the molding to size using a miter saw. If you do not have a miter saw, you can have the molding cut to size at your local hardware store.

Step 02: Install Your Baseboards

If you do not already have baseboards installed, now is the time to do so. Baseboards will provide a solid surface for the crown molding to be attached to.

Step 03: Cut Your Crown Molding

Using a miter saw, cut the crown molding at a 45-degree angle. This will create a seamless join between the two pieces of molding. Try to cut the molding as precisely as possible to avoid any gaps.

Step 04: Install Crown Molding to the Wall

Position the molding against the wall and use a nail gun to attach it to nail holes. Be sure to use finish nails that are 2 inches in length. Do not use screws, as they will be more likely to damage the molding.

Step 05: Install Crown Molding in the Corners

You will require a brad nail gun with 1-inch brad nails for the outside corners. These brad nails are shorter than finish nails and will not protrude from the back of the molding.

Step 06: Finish Installing the Crown Moulding

Continue attaching the molding around the room, using a nail gun to secure the nail horizontally. Be sure to space the nails evenly, at intervals of 16 to 24 inches.

By following these steps, crown molding can be easily installed in your home. This task is simple enough for most people to complete, and it will add a touch of elegance to any room. Once you have finished attaching the molding, you can admire your handiwork.

Other Ways to Attach Crown Molding To Walls

Other Ways to Attach Crown Molding To Walls

Crown molding can also be attached to walls using adhesive or construction adhesive. This method is not as secure as nails, but it will provide a more finished look.

If you decide to use an adhesive like Loctite power grab molding, apply it to the back of the molding, and then press it into place. Be sure to use enough glue to create a strong bond. You may need to hold the molding for a few minutes until the adhesive sets.

Construction adhesive can be applied the same way, but it will take longer to set. You may need to wait many hours for the adhesive to cure fully.

Another option is to use a combination of nails and adhesive. This will provide a more secure bond than either method used alone. To secure the molding, apply adhesive to the back and use a finishing nail. For walls that aren’t perfectly straight, this method works best.

No matter which method you choose, take your time and measure twice before cutting. With a bit of patience and attention to detail, you should be able to mount crown molding like a pro.


Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the installation of crown molding:

01. Does Crown Molding Have to be Nailed into Studs?

Yes, it is essential to nail crown molding into wall studs for a secure fit. Any crown molding or corner interior trim should be nailed to a stud rather than simply to unbacked drywall. If you are attaching the molding to the drywall, be sure to use an adhesive.

02. Do Finishing Nails Have to Go into Studs?

No, finishing nails can be used to secure crown molding without hitting a stud. It is unnecessary to locate studs as long as the nails are inserted into the top three inches of the wall. There is one exception to this rule: crown moldings are unusually wide or have multiple pieces extending down the wall.

03. Does Crown Molding Need Backer Board?

No, crown molding does not require a plywood backer board. You can simply nail the molding into the drywall. However, it is always best to use a backer corner board for a more secure fit for a really huge crown mold.

04. Can You Use 18 Gauge Brad Nails for Crown Molding?

While this might be possible in some cases, it is not recommended. 18-gauge brad nails are less robust than 16 or 15-gauge finish nails and are more likely to bend or break. It is always best to use the most robust nails possible when working with crown molding.

05. Can You Install Crown Moulding Without Nail Gun?

Yes, crown moldings can be installed without a nail gun. You need to use adhesive or construction adhesive to secure the molding. Hold molding in place until the bond has been set.

In Conclusion

Crown molding is a simple way to add a touch of elegance to any room. It is possible to have crown molding installed like a professional with little patience and attention to detail.

If you are considering adding crown molding to your home, this article “what nails to use for crown molding” is for you. Crown molding can be installed with a nail gun and nails or adhesive to secure it into place.

It doesn’t take long and doesn’t take a lot of effort with the proper tools. Once your crown is complete, you can enjoy admiring it for years. Nails or adhesives can be used to attach this kind of decorative trim. Take your time to achieve a professional finish.

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