How to Remove Crown Molding

Crown molding creates a border between walls and ceilings. It is held in place by finish nails. The nails are either driven into studs with a hammer, or shot in with a finish nail gun. The main concern when removing your crown molding is to get it down without creating holes in your drywall, or tearing the paint. You can accomplish a clean removal without damage, if you take your time and cut through the caulking first.

Things You'll Need

  • Step ladder
  • Utility knife
  • Stiff 4-inch putty knife
  • Flat bar
  • Hammer

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Cut the caulking across the top and bottom edge of your crown molding. The edges of your crown molding were caulked when it was installed. Caulking closes any gaps between your molding, walls, and ceiling.

Place the blade of your utility knife at the point where your crown molding meets your wall. Run or pull your blade down the entire length of molding, in the space between your wall and crown molding. Repeat this process on the opposite side of your molding where it meets the ceiling.

Begin your removal at one corner of your room. It does not matter which corner you start in.

Place the tip of your flat bar on the top edge of your crown molding, between the molding and your ceiling, and hit it with your hammer. This will drive your flat bar behind your molding. When the head of your flat bar is behind your molding, pry up with your flat bar. Your molding will begin to pull away from your ceiling. Repeat this process on the bottom edge of your molding, but pry down instead of up.

Move your ladder approximately 16-inches from where you began. Place the tip of your flat bar on the top edge of your crown molding and again, hit it with your hammer. Place your 4-inch putty knife in the gap before you pry out on your crown molding. Repeat this step on the underneath edge of your crown molding. Your putty knife will prevent you from gouging a hole in your wall or ceiling if you cannot see where the nails are. Nails should be driven or shot into a studs, but there could be nails in your crown molding that are not in studs.

Repeat all steps to completely remove all of your crown molding.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not cut through your caulking first, you will most likely rip sections of your paint.

References

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