Coving is a simple way to finish off the look of a room and thankfully it does not require any special skills to hang it. Coving comes in a choice of materials: Plaster (usually the most expensive), expanded Polystyrene and Paper Covered Gypsum and Plaster.
Coving also comes in a variety of sizes so you can choose the depth required to suit your room area. As a general rule smaller rooms look much better with relatively narrow coving.
The following are some helpful hints to help you to hang your own coving:
- Cut away a small piece of the coving to use as a template. You can use this section of coving to pencil mark where the top and bottom edges of the coving will sit all around the room. Join up the marks you have made around the room using a rule or spirit level.
- As with almost all DIY projects, careful preparation makes for easier work in the long run. You can only fix your coving to dry, sound, clean walls. Any chipped plaster or paint and wallpaper must be removed from the area where you will be hanging the coving.
- The next step is to key (scratch) the area with a sharp knife. This is best done in criss-cross strokes. The scratching will help to provide grip to the adhesive which will attach the coving. Remember to clean away any dust from the scratched area.
- Use a mitre block to help you cut a mitre at the end of the first piece of coving. Remember to take care that you are cutting the angle in the right direction. When cutting you should use a fine toothed saw, in the case of polystyrene coving you can just use a sharp knife. Cut edges should be smoothed off with some sand paper.
- Using your mitred piece of coving evenly spread the adhesive on the top and bottom edges – the parts of the coving which will be in contact with the wall and ceiling.
- Following the pencil guide you marked out on the wall, press the coving into place, gently pressing all along the length of the coving to ensure that your adhesive is sticking evenly.
- If you are hanging long pieces of coving it may begin to sag before the adhesive has had the opportunity to set. It may be necessary in such cases to temporarily support the coving by placing one or two nails into the wall under the bottom edge of the coving. Once the adhesive has set you can remove the nails and fill the holes.
- If you have adhesive oozing out from the edges just remove it with a damp sponge or a paintbrush. Continue to hang your coving around the room matching one piece up with the next using a simple straight join.
- Corners will require that you cut the two ends which will join with mitres in the opposite direction. This part can be tricky. To cut a left hand corner place the mitre block to the left of the piece of coving and line up with the appropriate mitre block slot. In the same way, when cutting a right hand corner place the mitre block to the right of the piece of coving and line up with the appropriate slot.
- Try to make as few joints on the walls as possible. If you have two shorter lengths of coving, it is worth buying one long length rather than adding to joints.
Remember to following the manufacturers guidelines on hanging the coving you have purchased as different coving types may have very specific requirements.