I Crown Thee, Crappy House

My hallway has a slight funhouse quality to it, minus all the warped mirrors and scary clowns. In other words, it’s got a lot of odd angles. Could I have installed crown molding by myself?

Hell, yes! I totally could have. But why? I have nothing to prove. I installed crown molding in my dressing room all by myself and it came out awesome. It only took me 9 hours

There’s something to be said for experience. Experience turns a job that would take me 9 hours into a job that takes like 2. If I had to guess, installing crown in my crooked living room (check out that wavy ceiling in the pic below…) and crazy ass hallway would have taken me something like 27 hours. My carpenter cousin did it in only 5.

Still, this carpenter cousin with the mad experience actually said that installing crown molding in my house was the most difficult project he’s done for me yet. Um… is he kidding? This is the cousin who removed two load bearing walls. Who dug out my foundation exterior and waterproofed my leaky basement. Who completely replaced the back of my house. And crown molding was harder? Seriously?? So maybe I couldn’t have done it by myself…

F that. Yes, I could. Maybe it just would have taken me more like 42 hours. But the cost of the material that I would have wasted more than justified hiring my cousin to do the work for me. I’m ambitious, but I’m not stupid.

Aside from the occasional assist (“go hold that end”), I did nothing regarding the installation. I worked in my office and listened to my cousin on the other side of my door curse the hallway angles and their mothers. Here’s a drawing to give you an idea of exactly what he was sending to hell:

With the (mother f’ing) hallway finished, he was free to move on to the living room.

Remember that wavy ceiling? It left a lot of gaps above the crown.

The way to handle these gaps is to try to get the crown as level as possible on the bottom edge so the paint line will be even. That’s where your eye will be drawn to. Makes sense, right? I am soooo smart.

Yeah. OK. My cousin told me that.

With round 1 complete (installation), exit carpenter cousin. Round 2 (filling the gaps and holes) was my job. Most of the gaps could be caulked, but there was one major gap over the left side of the window (right about where my cousin is standing in the picture above) that was so big I decided to try to fill in the ceiling a bit with spackle. I despise spackling, so you know it must have been bad. I’m not all that good at it either, as you can see…

But I’m also a perfectionist, so I didn’t quit until it looked… well, perfect. I filled the nail holes with this stuff. It says you don’t have to sand it, but I did anyway. It’s that whole perfectionist thing again. Being perfect takes a lot of effort. I’m pretty tired.

Good thing painting trim is so easy! No, it’s not really, but at least I don’t have any more trim to paint. OK, yeah, I have tons more trim to paint, but I’m trying to pretend for a while. Can’t you just let me have this?

With the final painting round complete, the judges (You didn’t even know there were judges, did you?) have made their decision. I’m pleased to present Ms. Crappy House, USA.

Ms. Crappy House is wearing Snowbound, a lovely shade of white semi gloss from the Sherwin Williams Collection. What poise! What grace! I think she wears her crown beautifully. Too bad there’s no prize money. She could really use some prize money…

Next up? All of the door casings and base board molding. I’m flying solo on that project, but don’t worry. Ima kill it! Please like me on Facebook! Share me with your friends! And subscribe below so we’ll never lose touch and drift apart. It always makes me sad when that happens.

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  • Sarah

    So pretty! I desperately want crown molding, but we have those splooshed-on textured ceilings (that I hate with a burning passion) and they’re off-white. I’m afraid to try to add white crown molding, because we just painted our bedroom white and it looks AWFUL where it meets the ceiling. I’m actually going in and painting a yellow faux crown molding stripe to separate the white and off-white, just so I don’t lose my mind.

    • My Crappy House

      I’d definitely Google this, but I feel like caulk really might fill the bumpy gap that your textured ceiling would create with the crown. Caulk hides a multitude of sins. It would probably suck to paint your ceiling, but you could do it, right? I can’t say for sure, but the clash of whites could be due to their undertones. White can have an either cool or warm undertone. It sounds like your ceiling may be warm – if you used a cool white with that, it would look crappy. A warm white though, that might look fine. Food for thought

    • Sarah

      Gah, I hate that colors can be different. I found a blog once that had an entire post dedicated to all the different whites in the world. My brain cannot even process that sort of information. I just curled up in the fetal position and rocked for a few minutes. Maybe if I had paid more attention I would have found a white that matched my ceiling white and saved myself some grief. 8}

    • My Crappy House

      I agree! There were like 50 whites at Sherwin Williams. Just keep cool and warm in mind and that simplifies the decision immensely. Colors that are adjacent really influence each other!

  • Sylvia

    Your “very cute” house is looking great. Love the crown and everything else you’ve done. I also really appreciate your sense of humor. Makes my day when you have a new post.

    • My Crappy House

      Thank you! Yeah, my ceiling is terrible – I really needed to bust out the spackle or I don’t think I could have gotten it to look good. I’m really happy with how it turned out!

  • ChrisB

    Bellisimo! Your inspirational posts have got my lazy butt in gear. I will be sporting Warm Caramel paint myself this weekend. I too guffawed. I love word of the day; played it with my boys as they grew up. They now have impressive vocabularies.

    • My Crappy House

      I would imagine you have an excellent chance of getting daughters in law that aren’t idiots, as men with impressive vocabularies attract women with similar attributes. Personally, I won’t date a man who doesn’t know the difference between your and you’re…

  • Mom

    Awesome! I love it. I really get a kick out of your blog. I’m still laughing. I only pray I live long enough to see your house finished:)

  • Liz

    So beautiful!
    I wanted to put crown molding in my mom’s bathroom when my husband and I were doing some light renovation work in there, but its an 1890s house with those tall ceilings, steep rooflines and dormers for the windows so that the angle of the roof juts into part of the crooked plaster walls.
    It would have been a nightmare, and after reading this I think I am glad we didn’t attempt it on our own! Maybe someday we will hire my carpenter cousin (doesn’t everyone have one these days?) to do that for her/us.

    • My Crappy House

      Well, everyone definitely should have a carpenter cousin. It sounds like your crown project would be even more challenging than mine. You lost me at tall ceilings. I need both hands to hold the ladder for dear life, so I get pretty useless above 8 ft…

  • Christine

    I am a latecomer to this blog. Your poor cousin. I’ve had similar experiences with my husband cursing up a storm about nothing square, not a single straight line etc in the whole (fixer upper) house. We’re on year 5 of the process. Congrats – love the ceiling light!!

    • My Crappy House

      You’re not late. You’re just in time. Welcome! I don’t think any houses are 100% square, but yeah. Mine is pretty bad. I see more F bombs in my future, for sure…

  • layla

    LOL Being broke, delusional,conceited, a Pinterest addict, and wanting to be a superhero to my mother, and most importantly being halfway crazy. Has led me into day 8 of trying to install decorative trim as a cheap alternative to crown silly rabbit tricks are for kids.. keeps echoing in my head… ohh the joy of meter cuts ect with out power tools.Call me a dumb a$$ then I need your empathy and prayer.. Venting done … Getto crown molding Not..

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