How to install a cornice

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How to install a cornice

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Project Overview

We’ll teach you how to handle this key plastering job yourself. You’ll learn how to trim cornice to size and stick it in place with cornice cement. We will also show you how to use a plasterer’s tool to give your work a clean finish.
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Ladder safety tip

Ladders are important tools but they need to be used the right way. Falling off a ladder is responsible for more hospital visits than any other accident in the home. The safest way to use a ladder is to open the legs fully and lock the hinges in place. This ensures the ladder won’t collapse and makes it as stable as possible.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure and cut your cornice to size
2 Install the cornice
3 Give the installed cornice a clean finish
  • Step 1. Measure and cut your cornice to size

    Cornice ends can be cut with a square edge or at angles to fit around internal or external corners. Measure your walls and transfer the measurements to the bottom edge of your cornice. Then use a plasterer’s mitre box to cut your cornice to size with the required angles on each end. In this case our room is an enclosed rectangle, so all four of our corners are internal. To learn more, check out our video on How to cut cornice.
  • Step 2. Install the cornice

    Mix up some cornice cement in a bucket and apply a 10mm bead to both back edges of the cornice. Once the cement is on, lightly press the cornice into place. Now put a bit more cement on each end to reinforce the corners. If you’re installing a long piece, it’s a good idea to have someone help you.
  • Step 3. Give the installed cornice a clean finish

    Use a plasterer’s tool to clean off the excess cornice cement. The square end of the tool is used for cleaning along the edges. The pointy end is for smoothing a little more cement into the joins. As a final touch, use a wet sponge to clean the cornice off for a nice smooth finish.
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