How To Cut Coves With A Mitre Saw

There are plenty of DIY jobs that will always need done around the house. Coving is probably one of the hardest to do, and in the main that comes down to cutting the right angles, in the right places. It sounds like an easy thing to do but it is a lot more difficult that you may initially think.

If you are lucky enough to own a mitre saw, this will make the job a great deal easier. If you don’t then you can either buy one, rent one, borrow one or buy a cheaper alternative like a mitre box.

List of Tools

The other tools you will need are:

A standard saw normally used for cross cutting. Try to use one with a stiff type of blade.

  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Spitit level
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk Line
  • A mitre saw or mitre box (If you are going with a box make sure it is wide enough to handle the size of coving that you have.
  • Sandpaper
  • Coving Adhesive – around 2 tubs will do an average living room
  • Joint cement
  • Caulking gun,
  • Filling and trimming knives
  • Cove primer

Armed with the above you should be able to start on your project. Just do a quick check and make sure that you have all of the above, before making a start. As they say if you are well prepared, then you are in a much better position to do a really good looking and professional job.

Coving Jigs

best cornice jigIf you have never heard of these, and plan on doing a lot of coving or cornice work, then have a long look at these.

I would actually go a step further and just recommend that you go and buy one of these.

They will save you time, money and hours of frustration. You can read about those by clicking here. The bottom line is that owning one of these simply cuts out all of the mistakes.

If you have one of these, then coving does actually become easy.

Types of Coving

There are a number of different styles of coving available in the market place. Some are a lot easier to work with than others. The standard basic shapes are the easiest to work with, but invariably, those with a more complex design look more ornate, and that is what many people choose.

Coving usually comes in a standard white colour and almost always in packs. A pack of 6 standard coving strips costs on average about £30, so a price point of around £5 per length. A typical standard length is 3000 mm or 9.8 feet. They are usually made from Polyurethane or polystyrene, but you can also get these in what is called plaster coving. This article doesn’t cover plaster coving.

There are plenty of design choices and I have included a couple below.

simple basic covingstandard coving shapestandard coving

 Avoiding The Waste By Properly Measuring

The amount of coving that you will need is of course dependent on the size of the room. Measuring the size is fairly straightforward. All you need to do is measure along the length of the ceiling, and make sure to allow for any parts that sit out such as a chimney breast, or an alcove.

Then add on a little extra for cutting and natural waste. There is not a great deal of waste when cutting coving and it is also pretty inexpensive. I always add on around 10% more than I need and that is a pretty good guide.

So if you have the coving, your adhesives and tools, then it is time to get started. Check out the video below to see how to get started.

A Simple Job?

You will notice that people selling DIY products always say that this is a simple job. It is simple enough if you do it every day and not many of us do that. If you have never used a chalk line before, then you should as it is a very quick and accurate way to get a nice straight line, and it works like a treat.

It really does take some time and patience to work out each joint, and let me tell you it can get very frustrating indeed, and you can waste a lot of coving. Using the little corner pieces of coving does cover up a multitude of sins.

Hopefully this has helped you out, and you can now go about having a go yourself. If it is possible always start with a smaller room, and ideally with walls that are just flat, and without any external corners. Once you do this a few times, you will quickly work out what type of mitre joint is required.