Our customer needed to create large, “built-up” crown molding that could be installed on the wall to be used as shelves. They did not want the weight of wood molding and had a limited budget. They contacted Universal to see about using expanded polystyrene (EPS) for the crown molding. EPS molding is sometimes mistakenly referred to as Styrofoam molding.
EPS has texture, and even when coated with various hard coat products, the surface textures remain, although not quite as defined as the unfinished material. Other concerns the customer had were the strength of the material and how they would be able to install it on the wall.
Universal Foam Products worked with the customer to finalize the design of the crown molding. The molding was wire cut from .9 lb Virgin EPS. The molding was then coated with ready mix drywall compound that was slightly watered down to create a consistency just thin enough that it could be brushed onto the EPS instead of needing to be troweled on. The compound was allowed to dry overnight and then sanded with both 150 and 220 grit fine sand paper to a perfectly smooth finish. The trim was then painted with one coat of latex semi-gloss paint. After the paint dried the crown molding was ready for installation.
A single strip of Incrediseal ¾” x 1/32” double stick foam construction tape placed across the center of the back of the trim. Two lines of “foam compatible” construction adhesive were applied above and below the tape to the back of the molding also. The trim was then pressed firmly to the wall. The purpose of the tape, in this application, is to hold the molding in place until the construction adhesive has time to set-up.
The finished product looks exactly like wood crown molding at a small fraction of the weight of wood.
Additional Benefits of EPS Architectural Moldings by Universal Foam
EPS is used for a variety of architectural moldings including crown molding, columns, capitals and bases, dental molding, balustrades, brackets and parapet caps. It can be finished smooth to look like painted wood or coated with a cementitious coating to look like concrete. Lightweight and easy to install, it is an excellent alternative to wood, plaster and concrete architectural shapes offering substantial cost savings as well.