Installing cornices: The common pitfalls and how to avoid them
Cornices are probably the last thing that many of us think of in terms of simple home improvements, but it is their simplicity that often makes them a great little thing that you can adjust.
Cornices, especially very decorative ones, can often tie in the room together, adding that special little something for those who also focus on the finer details of interior design.
Best of all, cornices are relatively simple and easy to install, and anyone with a ladder and patience can do it. However, there are a few important things that you will need to know about the job to get it done properly.
Many of these things are self-explanatory, however are often overlooked by many, even professionals at times. We’ve gone through the three major ones, that will not only allow you to avoid the common pitfalls, but also get your cornices in place properly and looking fantastic.
Take your measurements
The one great pitfall of cornices is the precision with which they require to be installed correctly – especially cornices that overlap tricky corners.
Take care to measure precisely the length of where you are installing the cornices, as well as the angles. This will in turn make your job of cutting them easy if need be, as well as making sure you get the right amount, or length, or cornices that you will require.
In terms of angles, this will be crucial to get the measurements as accurate as possible. There is nothing worse than noticing halfway through the job that where your cornices meet up are off by a few millimetres.
When this is done, and you have bought your cornices, carefully mark in greylead where you will need to cut, based on what your measurements tell you, and cut accordingly with an appropriate saw, or a purpose cornice cutter.
Using the right cement, and in correct position
One part of cornice installation that is often overlooked is using the right adhesive, and on top of that using it correctly so that you can utilise its full effect.
Whilst liquid nails can be used for cornice installation, the adhesive does not have a long shelf life. If you are looking for a long term solution, liquid nails will require the cornices to be replaced in due course.
Many hardware stores now sell purpose built cornice cement. This adhesive is strong, and was specifically formulated to survive the varying temperatures and natural movement that the cornices will endure.
It can be a bit on the pricey side, however, so you will have to evaluate the cost-to-benefit yourself, depending on what your budget is.
It is best to avoid cheaper heavy duty super glues, as these will not last the test of endurance and can even slip during the drying process, depending on its varying quality.
Bead the cement or adhesive on the rear of the cornice, as well as the edge, and hold firmly to the wall. Try not to be too forceful to remove the risk of damaging either the walls or the cornices themselves.
Clean up after adhesive
Once you have placed your cornices correctly, and everything is satisfactory in appearance, then the next step is to remove any standing traces of adhesive that may be present.
This is important to remove any chance of the adhesive from bubbling under pressure, and lifting the cornice off the wall, as well as to remove any standing glue that could be simply unsightly.
Doing this will also make the process of painting your cornices much easier and much more appealing when you’ve finally finished.
The adhesive can easily be wiped away with cloth or paper towel. Make sure to hold down the cornice when doing so with one hand so that the glue underneath can still stick tight to the cornices.