Affordable Alternatives to Crown Molding

by Team MD


The best alternatives to crown molding might not be what you think they are, mostly due to the fact that there are some solutions to make your home look expensive that you have never thought of before. This is why, in this article, we are going to explore all the alternatives that will not empty your pockets.

The way that a home looks like can be changed by adding some small details which will change its appearance completely. Crown molding is a great way to make your home look more sophisticated and the designs that you can choose from are various, but it might be an expensive way to do it. 

At least, if you’re planning to do a proper and elegant job, it is going to cost you a bit. There are certainly cheaper ways to incorporate crown molding, such as adding decorative elements that aren’t made of expensive wood or from plaster, but from foam or plastic. However, the downside to these is that the chances are higher that they’ll look somewhat cheap.

It’s true that in many cases, faux crown molding can still look as beautiful as real crown molding and some people will not be able to spot the difference if you decide to use classy designs. However, the appearance of a room can be highly improved if you use something that will change the shape of the corners by adding volume using color, like paint, wallpaper borders, or picture molding.


Crown molding has a few benefits:

  • If your walls or ceiling have irregularities, the crown molding will hide them.
  • You can hide cracks using crown molding.
  • Crown molding can give different perceived proportions to a room depending on how wide the molding is and on what shape it has.


Paint it all the way 

People usually use crown molding because they want to make a room look neater, but crown molding manages to make a smoother crossing between the ceiling and the walls and also makes the walls look taller and the ceiling higher. If you are not an artist, it might be harder to imagine how paint can change a room.

This effect is actually achieved by the creation of shadows and the change in volume. There are two ways in which you can use paint: you can actually paint the shadows created by crown molding or you can repaint your old one without taking it off. 

If you choose the second option, you will be able to reduce the amount of work and physical effort that you have to put into it especially because you will not need to lift the heavy crown molding and you will not need anyone else to help you. You will only need a ladder, paint, and a paintbrush.


Make the most of a wallpaper border

Wallpaper comes in many styles and you don’t have to think of it like going back to live in your grandma’s house. There are millions of versions of wallpapers that are modern and you can use most of them to make a wallpaper border that will dramatically improve the way that a room looks like. 

You can either use it on walls that are already covered in wallpaper, or you can use it on painted walls. You will be able to easily integrate it in any style if you choose a wallpaper that can easily blend in with the design. You can choose between different colors, patterns, and textures and you will have great success in improving the appearance of your home.


The MDF molding alternative

MDF comes from medium-density fiberboard and it is a material that is often used as a cheap alternative to wood because it resembles it a lot if you paint it. Because it is a cheap alternative, it is often used for different types of furniture like kitchen cabinets, closets, and even tables.

MDF is made of resin, wax, and sawdust that, mixed together, become relatively strong panels that are produced at very high temperatures. The great thing about medium-density fiberboards is that they are very versatile and can take a lot of shapes and be matched to any room interior design color because they are very easy to paint.

Also, in terms of weight, MDF is a lot more practical than wood crown molding because it is much lighter and you will be able to install it without having to put in high amounts of physical effort, which will also reduce the time you spend doing it.

However, MDF could be a lot easier to scratch than wooden crown molding is, and, compared to other alternatives, it is more complicated to install because the process is similar to the one used for wood crown molding.


Peel and stick crown molding

If you are looking to use materials that mimic actual crown molding, the peel and stick alternative is a great choice because it looks almost the same but the costs are dramatically reduced. 

Made of plastic with an adhesive on the backside of the product that will be attached to the wall, peel and stick crown molding is very easy to use. You simply peel off the plastic wrapped around the product, measure your walls, adjust the molding’s length accordingly, and stick it to the wall.

The drawback when it comes to peel and stick crown molding is the fact that it is not so sturdy and connoisseurs might spot the cheap material that is used to produce it. In general, people don’t usually see this, but the adhesive used to hold it to the walls might lose its properties over time.

However, you can improve their quality by adding a stronger adhesive and make sure that you are not using any heat source that directs the heat straight to the molding. Also, when you decide to purchase a product, search for something made of polyurethane, which is a durable material and can be made to look like wood.


Rubber crown molding is a great choice

Yes, you have read correctly. Rubber crown molding is a great alternative to conventional crown molding because it is very flexible and lightweight and, if you decide to install it yourself, you will find it a very easy process. This is an amazing choice for rooms that haven’t got a rectangular shape, like round ceilings, windows, or circular doors.

However, there are two important factors that you need to take into consideration before you decide to use rubber crown molding: the fact that rubber does not find adhesive as a great friend and the fact that it is not very sturdy.

It all depends on your purpose. For example, if you decide to use it only for the ceiling, it will not be a problem because nobody will touch it and it will have no reason to break or get scratched, but it might detach because the adhesive will not stick very well to the rubber. If you want to use it as a temporary solution for a few years, it will work just fine.



This is an alternative that is not yet very popular, but the great thing about it is that it has great resistance to moisture, which is great because there are some environments that require materials that have this property. 

The ones that you should look for are those made of polyurethane foam which is more durable than other versions. Compared to other alternatives, this one is great because styrofoam can very easily blend into the room due to its texture. 


Crown molding FAQs

Even though crown molding is a term that people use to define the decorative wood attached to the place where the ceiling meets the walls, most of the time it is used for other types of molding as well, like the windows or entrances.

Crown molding dates to the 19th century, and there are two types, Greek and Roman. The Greek models are often using shapes like a parabola, hyperbola, and ellipse, while the Roman models use half-round and quarter-round shapes.

If you have been searching for crown molding on the internet, you might have encountered spellings like ‘moulding’ which is the same thing, but in British English, they are not two separate types of molding and both spellings are correct.

Crown molding is a great way to hide wires in your home by using a classy design that will make it look a lot more expensive.


Final thoughts

Adding crown molding dramatically changes the appearance of any room and you will be very happy that you have added it to your home. However, you will not have to use a lot of money to do so because you can invest in the different types of products that we have talked about in this article which are a lot cheaper while still looking great.



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