How to Layer Crown Moulding for Victorian Effect

How to Layer Crown Moulding for Victorian Effect thumbnail
Victorian homes are known for their extensive moldings.

One hallmark of stately Victorian-style homes is their extensive moldings, which usually include baseboard, door, window and crown moldings. Crown moldings in particular are associated with Victorian style, with larger, more elaborate moldings preferred. These larger scale moldings are called "built up" crown or "two layer" crown. Decking out an entire home or even a few rooms with ornate crown moldings can quickly become very expensive. Layer different moldings to cut down on costs and create a one-of-a-kind crown molding for your Victorian-style home.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Crown molding
  • Other decorative moldings
  • Stud finder
  • Miter saw
  • Nail gun
  • Caulk
  • Latex glossy interior paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint tray
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    • 1

      Measure your room's dimensions to determine how much molding to buy. When you're at the home improvement store, hold different pieces of molding against each other to find a profile that appeals to you and fits your home's Victorian style. Purchase your moldings once you've found the right combination.

    • 2

      Use a stud finder to locate the joists in your wall. Mark their locations with easily visible dots.

    • 3

      Cut the moldings to match your room's length and width. Use a miter saw to produce 45-degree angles for the corners. Divide the moldings into groups, placing them along the walls where you'll install them.

    • 4

      Create "scarf joints" where you'll join two pieces if your moldings aren't long enough to go along the entire wall. Scarf joints meet at overlapping 45-degree angles. The trim pieces must overlap and interlock in this way so you can nail them together while you nail them to the wall.

    • 5

      First install your crown molding by nailing it to the wall at your joist marks. Install your decorative moldings directly beneath the crown molding, using the pattern you conceived at the beginning of the process and, again, nailing the molding directly to joists beneath the wall.

    • 6

      Fill your nail holes with caulk. After the caulk has dried, cover everything with paint to achieve a unified, one-piece appearance.

Tips & Warnings

  • For a layered crown molding effect on a shoestring budget, first install the molding, then install another piece of small, inexpensive molding about 4 inches beneath the crown molding's bottom edge. Paint everything, including the wall space between, the same color for a "faux" layered effect, also known as "dropped" crown.

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  • Photo Credit victorian home image by Michael Shake from

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