How do I Remove Crown Molding Without Damage?

Crown molding is a common decorative trim between the top of the wall and the ceiling. When painting or making other repairs to wall, it is sometimes necessary to remove the crown molding. Removing crown molding without damaging the molding or the wall is a time-consuming process. However, this prevents having to replace the molding or making unnecessary patches to the wall. Crown molding usually secures to the wall with a combination of nails and glue. Prying the molding away from the wall evenly in small increments prevents cracking the molding during the process.

Step 1

Score the paint seam between the crown molding and the wall with a sharp utility knife. Score at the bottom of the molding and the ends. Cut in between the seams where corners meet as well.

Step 2

Slide the blade of a rigid putty knife between the crown molding and the wall on one end of the molding. If necessary, tap the putty knife handle with a hammer to slide the blade between the molding and the wall.

Step 3

Gently pull the putty knife handle away from the wall with your hands to pry the molding 1/8 inch from the wall. Do not pry the molding any further until you have the complete piece 1/8 inch from the wall.

Step 4

Remove the putty knife and slide it down to continue prying the molding from the wall 1/8 inch. Look in the gap between the crown molding and the wall for the brad nail shanks.

Step 5

Pry the molding evenly away from the wall with a flat pry bar. Place the pry bar near each nail shank to pry the molding away. Pry evenly down the length of the molding, moving the molding away from the wall evenly until the crown molding is completely away from the wall.