DIY Crown Moulding 102 with LED Light Strip

modern dining room lights crown moulding

Continuing our discussion from Crown Moulding 101, LED lighting strips above your dining room table just felt like the obvious next step. I encourage you to read through the 101 to get a hang of the basics, while I’ll talk about some minor variances here.

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  1. Mitre Saw
  2. Brad Nailer
  3. Angle Finder
  4. Right Angle Ruler
  5. Laser Level or Level


test moulding around bulk head
  1. Determine the placement of the trim. Before putting our boards up, I nailed some cutoff pieces at different levels to visualize the look I wanted. Obviously, the higher you put your trim, the less light will reflect against the ceiling. Conversely, the lower you put it the more light will spread but the weaker the strength. We eventually settled about 1 inches off the bottom of the base of the bulk head and we’re very happy with our choice. That being said, a simple search online will yield all sorts of random heights. Surprisingly, dining room LED strip doesn’t give you that many hits.
moulding trim against backboard
  1. Cut your backboards. Since you can’t nail the mouldings to your ceilings, you need some support from behind to hold them up, otherwise they’ll shift in time. The base of our moulding was about a quarter inch, so if you want your trim exactly 1 inch from the base of the bulkhead, you will need to mark 1 1/4 inch up as the level point for your support block. Use a long level or laser to mark your line around the entire room. Honestly don’t over think this as it’ll be all hidden behind the trim anyways.  I had a bunch of scrap wood that I cut at a 52 degree angle. Long story short, most trim will be at a 38/52 degree slope or a 45/45. A simple way to figure this out if you through away the description is to lean the board against a right angle ruler, mark the two points and punch it into a triangle calculator (enter the rise and run to find the degree of the angle against the wall. Now set your table saw to this angle and rip your back support pieces. Easy right? Of course I forgot to take photos of that, so you’ll have to settle for the photo above.
  2. Work your way around the room by screwing the backboards to your studs along the wall of your level line. You don’t have to have fill every spot, as this will not be carrying a heavy load.
  3. Cutting your Moulding. Much like the 101 DIY, the math remains simple. Since these are likely all to be obtuse angles, use your angle finder to generate the angle. Mine were all around 130-138 degrees. Divide the total by 2, and subtract that from 90. Example, 130 degree angle / 2 = 65 degrees. 90 – 65 = 25 degree cut on both sides. When joining these two boards together you will get a perfect 130 degree joint board. 
  1. Once complete, you can hang the moulding up normally, as per the previous crown moulding tutorial step 3. Note: since these boards are not nailed into the ceiling, it helps to glue the edges of the boards together with wood glue (or instant bond). Be sure to line up the tops of each board so that you don’t visually see a step down between adjacent boards.
  2. Finish off as always by filling your holes with wood filler. Wait until dry, sand, prime and paint.
  3. Caulk the edges and seams.

Light it up.

  1. This is actually super easy, the backboards create a ledge of sorts. I purchased some cheap LED lighting from Aliexpress, plugged it in and roped it around the dining room.
  2. At the end points, you can snip off the excess lightstrip along the cut lines.
kasa smart lights
  1. Lastly, since this outlet is wired to a light box, I swapped out the light controller to a Kasa Smart Light Switch unit so that I could integrate it into my home automation. This of course, is optional.

Hope you guys enjoyed this quick tutorial on inside cuts.

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