Tools Recommend To Install Cornice Mouldings

Cornice Mouldings InstructionsSetting for Miter Saws

 Many people think that cornice is very difficult to install. Others think it very simple because they saw the guy on T.V. do it in half an hour. The truth is cornice can be done by the do it yourselfer, with the right tools and a little bit of patience. Please be aware that this guide is meant for the first time installer, so some of the terminology and things that come as second nature to professionals will be explained thoroughly. There are many schools of thought when it comes to installing cornice; this guide will teach you the method our installers use. It's not to say that the other ways are wrong but we find that this method works very well for us.

One of the advantages of MDF mouldings, unlike plaster, is that the walls and furniture do not have to be covered or draped. If your house is under construction, the cutting can be done anywhere. If however you are living in the house, we ALWAYS cut our wood outside, in the garage. The fine MDF dust would otherwise take days to completely vacuum out.


 Cutting is done using a Compound Miter Saw with a 10 inch draw. The draw is the distance the saw arm can cut in one pull. Although the cornice comes in various widths up to 7 inches, the width of the cornice increases in direct correlation with the angle of the miter.

The difference between a compound and a normal miter saw is that the compound allows you to make both a Bevel and a Miter cut at once. For best accuracy, cornice mouldings should always be cut flat not on a 45 degrees angle. Cornice requires a two angled (compound) cuts because it is installed onto the wall and ceiling on a 45 or 52 degree angle. Unlike baseboards which are installed flat onto the wall and only require a single angle cut (or a miter).

Measure as accurately as possible down to the closest 16th of an inch. Make sure you note the Inside and Outside Corners. To explain inside and outside corners, imagine a perfect square, if you are standing inside the square, you will only see inside corners. If you walk around the outside of the square all you will see is outside corners.


Before we begin cutting we must determine the correct angle using an Angle Finder. A perfect 90 degree angle should never be assumed, what looks like a 90 degree angle may be off slightly. If the two joining cornices are not a tight fit, the glue will not adhere well. Once the angle is determined use our Cutting Chart to set the compound miter saw in order to get a nice tight corner.

Using the Angle Finder and our Cutting Chart you should be able to set the Bevel and Miter angles required to make the proper corner. We normally recommend that you make yourself small inside corner and outside corner samples before you begin cutting into the long lengths that will be installed.

Compound Miter Settings
45 Degrees
52 Degrees

  This should allow you to visualize what each corner will look like before cutting. Now that we've cut a few pieces, it's time to pin them up in place. We will require a Compressor and a Pneumatic Finishing Nail Gun. Movie showing brad nailer working The reason for the nail gun is simple, when set properly; the nail gun automatically counter sinks the nail heads about a