How to fit coving

Updated April 17, 2017

Coving creates an attractive boundary between the wall and ceiling, giving any room a smart finish. Coving consists of a length of concave moulding. When attached to the wall and ceiling, coving creates a "scalloped" effect, helping to make rooms look less angular. Buy ready-made coving strips from home improvement stores and cut them to the correct size before installing them.

Use a tape measure to calculate how much coving you will need to edge all wall/ceiling corners in the room.

Cut a small piece from the length of coving and use this to measure where the lower edge of the coving will sit on the wall. Mark this position on all walls with a pencil. Repeat this process, marking the position of the upper edge of the coving on all ceilings.

Cut the coving to size with a sharp knife; use a metal rule to ensure you get a straight line. Where two lengths of coving join at a corner, use a mitre block to ensure that you cut the coving in the correct direction and that the angle of the joint is accurate.

Scratch the wall and ceiling surfaces between the guidelines with a sharp knife or screwdriver. This will help the coving adhesive grip the wall and ceiling.

Spread adhesive along the upper and lower edges of the coving. Apply the adhesive with a regular paintbrush. Use a gypsum-based adhesive to provide the necessary "grab" to keep the coving in place.

Press the coving into place, ensuring the upper and lower edges are flush with the guidelines. Clean off any excess adhesive with a damp cloth.


Elaborate, patterned coving is called a cornice.


Use a stepladder to reach the top of the wall safely.

Things You'll Need

  • Cornice
  • Sharp craft knife
  • Mitre block
  • Gypsum-based adhesive
  • Paintbrush
  • Cloth
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About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.