Crown molding is often considered the most difficult type of molding to install because it is hard to cut the correct angles. Many homeowners make mistakes when cutting or installing the molding. Fixing crown molding flaws does not have to be time- or labor-intensive. Most repairs can be made in under an hour. In cases where the molding is damaged beyond repair, you may need some extra molding to replace the damaged section on the wall.
Drywall Mud or Wood Putty
Common flaws in crown molding include nail holes, dents and gaps between pieces of the crown molding. The easiest way to fix these flaws is by applying drywall mud or wood putty to the holes and gaps. Typically, drywall mud is the best option if you have painted crown molding. Stained crown molding should be filled with stainable wood putty. The putty and drywall mud molds easily to the shape desired. Fill the holes and gaps then let the putty or mud dry for 24 hours.
After crown molding installation, there is usually a large gap between the crown molding and the wall or ceiling. Latex caulk is a good way to fill these gaps. Spread a bead of caulk along the gap with a caulk gun. Smooth the caulk with your finger and let the caulk dry overnight. Silicone caulk can be used, but it is messy and hard to clean up. Paintable latex caulk can be painted to match the wall or the crown molding.
Some crown molding flaws are extensive. If your crown molding is damaged or cut much too short, you may want to consider replacing that piece of molding. Find a crown molding profile that matches the original crown molding. Cut the piece to fit on a miter saw and replace the damaged molding. You do not need to replace all of the crown molding; you just need to replace the run of molding that is damaged.
Stained crown molding can add a richness and depth that painted crown molding cannot. However, stained crown molding tends to show gaps and mistakes in the molding much more than painted crown molding. If your crown molding has a lot of flaws, consider painting it. Most crown molding is painted with a glossy or semi-gloss finish. An eggshell or flat finish may hide more imperfections in the crown molding than a glossy finish.