How to Transport Crown Molding in 2023

how to transport crown molding

Photo by The Finishing Company Richmond Va / CC BY

Crown molding can make a beautiful addition to just about any space. Getting it into that space, however, can be a sensitive and somewhat difficult task to accomplish, even from the very first steps of just picking out the right crown for your desired space. There are so many different sizes and styles of crown molding available at most hardware stores today that choosing just one can be an everlasting search, pacing up and down the aisles, incessantly looking through the same selection of trim.

Unfortunately, you’re going to have to make that decision for yourself, but once you have, we’re here to lend a hand in getting it home. Figuratively of course, you’ll still be the one doing all the heavy lifting, although today you’re in luck, crown is pretty light.

Pro Tools

Even before we get the crown home and into the shop or garage, there are a few tools/materials we’re going to need just to get it there safely:

  • Shrink Wrap/Painters Tape
  • Moving Blankets
  • Ratchet Straps/String/Wood & Screws

Preparing the Crown to Be Shipped

You’ll want to start by laying your first piece on the ground or a table if the luxury is available to you. Any relatively flat surface will suffice. Lay the piece, or “stick,” as it is commonly referred to in the realm of trim carpenters, on its back so that the “style,” of the crown (the ornamental side) is facing up.

Now here is where our methodology is going to vary. If your crown is “finished,” meaning it has already been covered with the final coat of paint, you’re going to want to take extra precaution here. I suggest placing four paper towels, folded in half, on key contact points of the crown’s face on each layer where the faces touch. Place one on each end and split the distance on the other two so that when you lay your next piece on top the two faces have little to no contact. If your crown is raw or just primed and you plan to apply at least one coat of paint you can skip that last step and just place the next stick on top so the pieces are face to face.

Now stack four more sticks in this alternating fashion: back to back, face to face, back to back, face to face. I prefer to keep my crown in stacks of six or less, not to say you couldn’t stack more, but I’ve found it’s much easier to maneuver this long material in smaller stacks. Stacking our crown in this way ensures that the faces of all our trim are safe from any risk of denting or scratching, which is incredibly easy to do especially if you’re working with MDF.

Once your stack is… well… stacked, get some shrink wrap, or, if you’re in a pinch, painters tape will work just fine, and wrap the ends as well as two spots in the middle roughly equal from either side. If you are working with the more delicate painted material be sure to wrap around the points where your paper towels are placed between the faces. This disperses the majority of the pressure on the trim to the paper towels and limits our risk of damaging the product even further. Repeat these steps for as many sticks as you need to transport; thirty-six sticks, six stacks.

Packing the Crown for the Long-Haul

Whether your material is going across the country or just across the street, it is always wise to pack it in such a way that even if you hit the highway sideways, your material still arrives unharmed. It is for this reason I urge you to transport this material in a box truck, enclosed trailer, or large van.

Crown molding typically ranges from 8′-16′ in length so it’ll need to be a pretty large vehicle. You could move the material with a pickup truck as long as you tape a red flag on the exposed end to draw attention to the excess hanging out behind your bed. I wouldn’t recommend going this route for long distances though.

Crown is very flexible, and as a result of that, can bounce around a lot in transit which could weaken, or even break the product under the wrong circumstances. It is also not wise to travel long distances in this manner since crown molding can be extremely susceptible to harsh weather conditions like rain. If the trim gets wet it could cause swelling and essentially render the material useless… well not entirely useless, you can always use it to warm the fireplace but that is some expensive tinder.

Since we’ve established it would be most favorable to transport our crown molding in an enclosed vehicle of some sort, let’s run through the procedures for effectively packing our material.

Begin by laying out some of your moving blankets across the floor of your van or trailer where you wish to place the crown. The blankets should be nearly flat and long enough to accommodate all of your stacks without exposing any of their edges to the hard flooring. Lay your stacks on top of the blankets, side by side, and stack in a pyramid formation if you’re space is limited.

Once all of your stacks are on the blankets fold the excess on the ends up over the edges of the crown and then wrap the excess on the sides over them so that the crown is nicely tucked in. Now figure a way that you can secure your shipment with ratchet straps or string and if neither of these options is feasible you can screw some pieces of wood down to the floor to act as a skid stop so that the material can’t move even if you make any drastic moves while in transit.

In the Infamous Words of Porky

“That’s all folks.” You’re officially ready to get this show on the road, although I’m not sure what kind of show you would be running with crown molding… maybe an HGTV special. No matter. I hope you found this article informative as well as at least a bit entertaining, a lot of measures we took in transporting our crown molding may seem excessive and that’s because they are.

I assure you that you’ll be a lot happier taking 15 minutes for preventative measures than you will be spending more time and a lot more money going back to the hardware store to get some new crown because yours got damaged on the trip to the job. Keep this in mind with any transportation of finish materials and beyond for this foresight will serve you well. Good luck!

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  • Tommy Haverland is an independent contractor working out of Rockford, Illinois. He’s been a carpenter for more than 5 years, specializing in millwork, particularly cabinets and trim. From a young age, he has always been fascinated by woodworking, including building a full-sized deck at his grandma’s house at the age of 11. Samples of his work can be seen on Instagram, and if you have any millwork projects, you can shoot him a message at Haverland Cabinetry.

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