If, like me, you live in an older house with older cornices around your ceilings, here’s a cornice decorating solution that saves time and makes them look better than they probably ever did. When painting the ceiling and walls, it’s time-consuming painting the edges of the walls where they meet the cornice. Even with a steady hand this can look rough because of old cornices cracking away from the wall, cables glued into the corner, or just many layers of old paint. I discovered a “lazier” way to do this, which turned out to be a better looking way, too.
First fill in any cracks along the cornice edges with a PVA filler in a sealant gun. Then paint the ceiling and the cornice too (or just the cornice), but paint about 60 mm down onto the wall. Select a roll of masking tape. Any width from 15 mm to 50 mm will do. (Different widths give a slightly different visual effect). Stick the tape around the room up against the lower edge of the cornice. Paint the walls and remove the tape. You now not only have the crispest edge between your wall and ceiling paint, but also the added visual effect of a bigger, more decorative cornice.
This article was originally published in the April 2016 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine.