How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding: After the room makeover

In our Style Challenge series, we ask some of our favorite bloggers from around the web to surprise us with their ideas for creating a stylish and functional space using Home Depot products as a starting point. 

Carrie Waller, Creative Director of the Dream Green DIY blog, shows us how she completely transformed the look of her spare bedroom with a simple painted faux crown moulding. To complete the room makeover, she replaced a ceiling light and repurposed some decorations from her DIY wedding. As you’ll see, the results of this inexpensive project are simply stunning.

Paint is the single most frequently used supply in my arsenal of DIY materials and has quickly become the go-to standard when I’m dreaming up a room refresh. From furniture and accessories, to drywall and doors, paint has almost no transformational limit.

For this project though, I wanted to try something that I never had before. I have been itching to add crown moulding to our second bedroom (turned studio), but had neither the time nor the money to tackle the complicated project. Thankfully, inspiration struck before I grudgingly forked over the cash and set aside the weekend to get the update taken care of– and all it took was a can of paint and painting supplies. No saw required!

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding: The supplies you'll need

But before I jump into the project, allow me to introduce you to the space as it was before. The walls were the same boring contractor beige that they were when my husband and I first moved into the house. It was just begging for an update. The only light fixture was an old fan straight from the 1980s. It was well beyond time for a refresh.

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding: The spare bedroom before the makeover

The first thing to go was the paint. In the end I chose a cool shade of mint to help the room feel much brighter and more modern. After that, I filled the space with the necessary furniture– a drafting table, computer desk and a twin-mattress-turned-day-bed for lounging and for guests. Finally, I finished the room off with my favorite artwork, prints and a collection of paper pinwheels from our DIY wedding last April.

Yet despite all of the effort and updates, something still felt a little unfinished. Enter: A fresh take on crown moulding. Since our budget and hectic schedules couldn’t handle the upgrade this year, I had the epiphany that we could easily recreate the framing effect of crisp white crown moulding with paint, masking tape and just a couple of hours.

Creating the Painted Faux Crown Moulding

The first step in this unconventional approach? Choose a height.

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding: Using painter's tape to decide on the measurments

Since we wouldn’t benefit from the sculptural silhouette of real crown moulding, I thought it would be best to go a little thicker with my painted faux effect. In the photo above you can see where I masked out a 6-inch height and an 8-inch height. After stepping back to settle on the best measurement for us though, I decided to compromise and went with 7 inches.

Although I could have easily used a chalk line to get my straight line marked out, I made do with small pencil marks at 7 inches with a ruler every few feet across the room. Then I moved back around the room, periodically unrolling a strip of ScotchBlue painter’s tape using the pencil marks to keep my line straight and even.

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding

Time for paint. For the interior paint color, I went with Behr Ultra White in an eggshell finish, and started my first coat by cutting in around the ceiling, corners and tape lines with a 1-1/2 inch Wooster Angle Brush. Then I grabbed my 4-1/2 inch Wooster roller to fill in. When it came time for my second coat, I didn’t bother cutting in the details again. Instead, I just went over the masked section once more with my roller. Because I used white for my faux moulding, I didn’t have to worry about a crisp line at the ceiling– it blended right in.

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding: Wooster Pro 1-1/2 in. Thin Angle Sash Brush

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding

Wooster Pro 4-1/2 in. x 3/8 in. Cage Frame Roller

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding: The painting is completed

One hour later, it was “Moment of Truth” time… I slowly peeled back one corner of the tape and breathed a big sigh of relief. The ScotchBlue tape worked like a charm, and I could tell that the painted faux crown moulding was an immediate improvement on the room as a whole. The excitement continued to grow as I  gently peeled back the tape around the rest of the room.

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding: Removing the painter's tape

Once I had everything put back together and the supplies washed and put away, I stepped into the room and knew that it was officially complete. The new white faux moulding ended up taking only about three hours of work, time well spent considering how little this project cost in both materials and supplies. In fact, I can’t wait to try it out in all of the rooms in our house.

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding: The finished room makeover

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding: The faux crown moulding adds height to the room

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding: Paper fans add color to an inexpensive room makeover

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding: The finished room makeover

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding: A new ceiling light completes the room makeover

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding: The faux crown moulding adds visual appeal

Replacing the Ceiling Light

The other major update I managed to squeeze in involved replacing the dated ceiling fan with a new light fixture. I’ve always been drawn to drum shades, and when I saw that The Home Depot carried a mod semi-flush mount version of this favorite silhouette, I jumped at the chance to make it mine. With the help of my husband, we managed to install this Hampton Bay Edgemoor fixture in under 30 minutes.

If you’ve never changed out a light fixture before, don’t be intimidated. We’ve changed out four in our little townhouse and have never run into any major issues.

Hampton Bay Edgemoor Ceiling Light Fixture mounted in bright, newly decorated bedroom

Hampton Bay Edgemoor Ceiling Light Fixture in its box

Here’s basically how to do it:

  • The first step is to turn off the electricity to the fixture you’re replacing.
  • Once that’s done, remove the screws holding the old light (or fan) in place and then carefully disconnect the wires and lower it to the ground.
  • Next, use the instructions that come with your new light to install any new ceiling mount hardware.
  • Then it’s just a matter of connecting the ground wire to the screw that should already be present in the ceiling electrical box and connecting the colored wires to each other. In our case, it was the black wires to the black and the white wires to the white.
  • A few more screws should be all it takes to finish installing the new light fixture.
  • Turn the electricity back on and enjoy your new light!


Wires for a ceiling light fixture are reconnected

A ceiling light fixture about to be mounted to a ceiling

Hampton Bay Edgemoor Ceiling Light Fixture mounted in a bright and cheery home office

Paint Rocks

All in all, if your schedule and budget are tight, this simple project will inject your space with the sophistication and dimension of crown moulding without the added labor and materials that go along with it. Paint has easily scored some extra points with me after completing this project, and I’m definitely inspired to take it throughout the rest of the house.

How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding: The home office after its makeover

Thanks to The Home Depot, I finally feel like my studio is the creative, welcoming space that I had always dreamed of!

Carrie is a freelance writer, blogger and designer living in Lynchburg, Virginia. Aside from indulging in tasty local food with her husband, most of her spare time is spent crafting DIY projects at home, or digging for buried treasure at local thrift and estate stores. For a real-time rehash of her home renovation projects and other DIY how-to’s, click over to her blog Dream Green DIY.

To update her space, Carrie used the following Home Depot products:

For more painting ideas, see other Style Challenges, and follow our All About Paint board on Pinterest.

Style Challenge is a series of posts from guest contributors who aim to bring you fresh inspiration and ideas for your home and garden using Home Depot products as a starting point. Carrie received a collection of Wooster painting products from The Home Depot and a gift card, but The Home Depot provided no other compensation. The opinions and ideas Carrie expressed are her own.


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Leave a Comment

  1. TIffany says:

    what color mint is that? It’s beautiful!!!

  2. Nan Anderson says:

    Where did you get those cool paper flowers!!???

  3. lisa says:

    I like it…..don’t love it. I think the idea is fantastic but I think it needs a little work. To me the result you achieved looks more like the molding Victorian homes (used to) have from which they hung framed paintings/photographs. I would like to try your idea in my home but with shadowing (in the corners?) to suggest real crown molding. I am certainly not artistic enough to know where to put the shadows though.

    • Craig Allen says:

      Your shadowing idea could work– sort of a trompe l’oeil effect, I imagine.

      Thanks for commenting.

      -Craig, from The Home Depot

  4. [...] Home Depot (tutorial for at this [...]

  5. [...] and aqua area rug, installed a fresh new modern Hampton Bay semi flush mount ceiling light (learn how to install your own ceiling light here on The Home Depot Blog!) and hung some artwork that had been bouncing around in the back of [...]

  6. [...] about interior design, entertaining and affordable style. Carrie dazzled us last year with her faux crown moulding project, as well as her Christmas tree decorating ideas in the Holiday Style [...]

  7. Laura says:

    This room is beautiful. Love the paint effect. So simple, but such an impact!

  8. [...] about DIY, design trends and life on her blog Dream Green DIY. Take a look at her tutorial on how to create a faux crown moulding here on The Home Depot [...]

  9. Tammy says:


    I liked what you did! I probably would not do it in my home but you obviously have a good eye and think outside the box! It is rude how some people expressed their opinions of your room. Could have been a little less harsh. Good job and I hope to see more of your inspiring ideas in the future!

  10. Marvel Sandoval says:

    What a great DIY project. It’s beautiful. Please can you tell me where you got the pin wheels or how do you make them. They are so pretty. Thank you

  11. Frank Smith says:

    That looks absolutely nothing like a crown molding— it looks like a white stripe painted around the top of the wall.

    • The great thing is that it can be whatever you want it to be! I see it as a crown moulding effect, you see it as a decorative stripe. Either way, it’s an inexpensive and easy fix that we can all try at home!!

      • Gramacat2U says:

        I agree with Frank ! Although “it can be what you want it to” be, may be a true statement, it is NOT Fau anything. Crown Molding has dimension, and a little creative stenciling, or just plain artistic shading could have made all the difference in the world ! I do love the re-purposing of the “pinwheels”, and the general arrangement of the room, great job there ! Sorry, I’m not at all impressed with the ceiling ‘drop’ look.

  12. Dr Betty Schueler says:

    I like the idea of the faux moulding. I plan on doing something similar but I’m going to use stick-up moulding, along with paint, for a more authentic look. I think your approach is just fine for a home office but I’ll be doing our living room. I figure my faux moulding will only cost about 20% of what real moulding would cost me.

  13. Tammy Bridenbeck says:

    I would like to see a closeup of how sharp the line came out. I’ve used tape before and the line when I took off the tape was all jagged!

    • Our lines turned out fine, actually! No problems whatsoever. If it helps, I used a credit card (as you would a squeegee) to get the tape nice and stuck before painting.

  14. Renee says:

    I love it. The whole room looks very fresh! We had a temporary move out of state and had to rent for a year. The home had 9 foot ceilings and the landlord had done a similiar effect using a small crown moulding, then wall space, then a trim piece placed several inches down to make it look like a big 8 inch fancy crown moulding. We never would have known had I not killed a spider and had to get on a tall chair to get up high to wipe off the splat he left! We are planning on doing something similar in our new home as we have high ceilings in a few of our rooms.

  15. Randy says:

    It just looks like a cheap paint effect. Go real or forget it!

  16. Brad says:

    Crown moulding is usually about two inches in height. Why didn’t you paint a two inch strip of white? I like that mint paint.

  17. Martha says:

    I love how “un heavy” (is that a word?) this room looks! So light and fresh. Nice work.

  18. Charlene says:

    Rather a disappointment.
    The furniture looks like “dorm room out of the 70s….
    this space could have been really pretty as well as functional.
    I am just glad that I have an eye for decoration.
    She needs to look at a few magazines on home decorating….like ‘Better Homes & Gardens”.
    Living in OK I feel that a ceiling fan in every room is a must. I would have bought one of the new style ones that Home Depot has.
    I feel that Home Depot could have found a better example to use.

    • Sorry you feel that way!! And I have to chuckle because I was actually just featured in the last issue of “Better Homes and Gardens.” ;) Thanks for your candid feedback!!

  19. [...] How to Create a Painted Faux Crown Moulding (and Change a Ceiling Light) [...]

  20. Lorie says:

    Where did the bedding come from. Just what I have been looking for.

  21. Bambie Lockhart says:

    Where did you get the wall decoration that looks like buttons?

  22. Kathleen Weinstock says:

    where did you get the shelving tower?

  23. Carrie, your made-over office is looking so gorgeous!! I love the updates you made, especially the lovely light fixture – yum!

  24. Anastasia Stogianis says:

    What was the color of mint she used? I love it!

  25. Alex says:

    I am renovating my room to make it look cute, I’m installing a floral lamp, I got the idea from a magazine. thanks for giving me the idea about ceiling lights, I will try to make one as soon as possible.