Cheater crown molding

May 23, 2013

Progress people!! It’s happening in the powder room! WHOOT!

I know I said I wasn’t going to show you much more before the reveal. I lied. :)

I don’t know if I’ve told you about the crown molding in this room before, but I thought it was post-worthy, because it makes installing crown SO easy.

I think I have written about it, maybe? I don’t know, remember it’s been five years.

Anyhoo, last I left you I was showing you the new paint color, and in this pic especially you can see how craptastic the crown molding looked:

Spell check doesn’t recognize craptastic. WHY?

I had installed the crown years ago and then never finished it. I know! I’m surprised too!

(That would be sarcasm if you’re new here.)

I installed the primed molding and then put one coat of paint on the cheater pieces (that I’ll tell you more about in a minute) and that was it – no more paint, no caulk:

I did fill the nail holes at least – but the putty was still on there, I didn’t even sand off the excess. ;)

Soooo. It was time to fix that. I started off giving it all one coat everywhere but the bottom. I was able to cut in on the top of the crown because of that lovely gap, but the bottom (that looked the worst because of all the painting I’ve done over the years) needed to be taped off with my trusty FrogTape:

painting crown molding

I used the yellow delicate kind because I had painted recently and because I just really like that version – it’s a bit thinner so it’s really easy to work with.

Everything got two coats and it looked SO much better. But crown still doesn't look just right till you get rid of all the gaps:

caulking crown molding

I still have these gaps in my office too, two years later and I still haven’t gotten up there to caulk all of it. Cause it’s about the most fun evah…can you blame me??

I used the little tool I told you about here to caulk and it worked great along the bottom and at the ceiling.

So now, the good stuff – I found these corner crown pieces years and years ago, before I knew how to cut crown molding: easy crown molding

Even if you know how to cut crown you know it’s still a major pain in the patoot, so these are AWESOME. They are just wood pieces you use on the outside corners (like above), and the inside corners:

easy crown molding

So instead of learning how to cut the angles just right, (I showed you how to do that here) or if you don’t have a compound miter saw – this is the stuff for you. You just nail it in and then the actual crown only needs straight cuts that butt up against them.

I love the little architectural flair they give a room! They are kind of expensive, so now that I know how to cut crown I don’t use them anymore. If you just have a square room they wouldn’t be that bad because the inside corner pieces are cheaper.

Painting and caulking crown is one of those things I put off, but when it’s done I can’t believe the difference it makes. Here’s the before:

And the after – bright white and look Ma! No gaps!:

crown molding corner pieces

You’ll notice the wood planks have been painted too, halleluiah! Now I feel like I’m really in the home stretch! Just need to finish painting the door trim and baseboards, get the other trim up over the planks, hang a mirror and then I can decorate it a little!

Have you mastered the crown molding cut? Or have you tried these cheater pieces? Someday I’ll have crown in every room of our house – I absolutely love it. And if you can install it yourself the cost isn’t bad at all!

Email subscription form header
Your email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide


  1. Oy... our home's previous owners installed crown molding in nearly every room in our house, but they used these "cheater" pieces everywhere. Now we're stuck with them unless we choose to re-do all the molding (not happening). I'm NOT a fan.

    1. You're right, it's better to purchase a house that you aren't a fan of visually, and then just complain about it.

  2. Whoa Sarah! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, WHOA! That looks great! I am still too scared to try it though...but if I keep looking at it, maybe I will get a bee in my bonnet and have no choice but to give it a go!

    1. I know you could do it!! These make it SO much easier to install.

  3. Yeah, I'm with the first commenter--I'm not the biggest fan of the architechtural interest the corner pieces provide--I prefer the cleaner look of just the molding. But, to each their own! The cleaned up/painted/caulked molding in your bathroom looks SO much better than before. Your bathroom is going to look great when it's all done!

  4. looks great Sarah! So professionally-made! Love the tip, should keep it in mind and pin it! Thanks!!!

  5. This looks fantastic! I love the interest that the cheater pieces add! Congrats on coming down the home stretch! You remind me of me though putting off the finishing touches! Love this! I haven't tried these because all of our molding was already installed.

  6. I love the molding! It adds so much character! Caulk really is ones best friend! Looks great!

  7. The bathroom is looking good.
    I like the squared moulding piece but not the two "triangular" ones together. Maybe if I had a good look in person, they would look differently than in the pictures?

  8. I love crown molding and I love the way yours turned out!

  9. I'll high five you on the cheaters! I chose to use them too. Initially from necessity tho later by choice (I must have latent victorian in my veins as I just never get 'nuff' busy/detail/visual fussy lol)

    A-MAZ-ing what a diff the caulk will create, eliminating gaps, shadows and all general (moulding) evils! I confess I can never wait to arrive at the caulking phase. There's something (for me) soothing about the smoothing-finish of caulk. I know, weird :-) On the other hand I dispise painting it. I installed egg and dart in the first room I tackled and nearly hung myself chasing drips (luckily no chandelier in that room, lol). I learned instantly the value of "paint prior to installing".

    Your room is going to be stunning when complete. Can't wait to see......


  10. I have been repeatedly defeated by crown molding, and I used the same cheater corners that you did in my powder room. :-) I could have saved myself a mountain of aggravation if I would have just gone with the cheater corners from the beginning. But no, I had to try it! I don't know about you, but I would love to be an apprentice to a master carpenter on some projects just for the learning experience!

    It's looking fantastic and I'm always happy to read about your extended timelines on projects, because we are kindred spirits like that. ;-)

  11. Those of us who are geometry challenged need cheater ways and means of getting the look. These are a great idea!

  12. Oh my word!! Cheater pieces?? Never heard of them before.... amazing!
    We just did a re-do on our large lake home. (it was a re-po & was a MESS)
    We did crown molding thru-out & it was quite a job. I can not tell you how many ends got thrown away because it was at the wrong angle. Husband even had me take pics of the angle of the saw & we still would get it wrong... What a lot of work & frustration. BUT it is done, looks amazing & we are very happy with it. Now my darling husband can not look at any crown molding without pointing out all the flaws...(where our's is flawless : ) Thanks for sharing... I will definitely look for those when re-doing our living room....

  13. "Spell check doesn't recognize craptastic. WHY?"

    You make me laugh!

    And you make me want to put crown molding up! I just worry that it won't fit in with the style of my house, ya know? Like, would I need to put it up in every room? If you have any tips for me, I'm all ears!

  14. It is looking fabulous! We also did crown molding recently (, and we chose to use the cheater pieces because we were trying to match what was already in our living room. And I agree, I think they're beautiful, especially in a square room. :)

    Rachel at

  15. Looks great!! I think trim work can be so frustrating! It brings back my math anxiety:) This is a great solution and is looking very cool!

  16. Crown moulding has been the hardest project for us! We finally figure it out and then forget how to do it by the next project, lol. I'm so thankful we're all done with that! I'm so on board with anything that makes it easier.

  17. I think it looks gorgeous! I love love love the wall color. Crown is like icing isn't it? Ok without but SO much better with!

  18. My little 4 year old niece says crown moulding looks like birthday cake icing..I can totally agree with her now. Looks beautiful! I looooooove that outside corner piece. I looooove all the pieces, actually.

  19. That looks really good! I think the cheater way is fine, it looks stunning!

  20. My best friend's husband used the easy crown molding too! I've been begging Hubster to use it in our master bedroom & en suite bath... and in the powder room... and dining room... and formal living room. hehe

  21. Oh my word, it is looking fabulous. Can't wait to see more. Hugs, Marty

  22. Looks great! Crown molding is one of those things that makes me 'cringe'! LOL!! But I love it when it's done!!~~Angela

  23. Great job. I bet you're so happy to finally have that done. Great tip on the corner pieces!

  24. thank for the tips, we have some major crown molding issues to tackle!

  25. i found cheater pieces at lowes the other day that are actually exactly like the crown - not larger or different - looks just like you put crown up the old fashioned way, but the inside and outside corners allow a straight cut to butt into them just like these do. they are cheaper than the more elaborate ones too. i almost peed my pants. can't wait to start a new project!

  26. We used the cheater pieces in one room in our 100 year old house. None of the corners were square and that room was the worst. They work great when you need them!

  27. what a great tip! the corner pieces AND the caulking! it really does make a huge difference!


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!