Coving is used to add interest to the join between the wall and ceiling of a room. It comes in both plain and decorative styles so you should choose a product that suits the age and status of the room you are decorating (highly ornate coving looks out of place in a worker’s cottage).

It can easily be installed on a DIY basis. Just follow our illustrated guide below.

Tools & Materials Needed

  • Coving
  • Adhesive/glue
  • Saw Mitre block/box
  • Pointing trowel
  • Scraper
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer and nails
  • Sponge Filler


How to put up coving: Steps 1 and 2

1. Position a piece of coving in place, then mark the walls and ceiling in each corner. Next, draw a straight line with chalk to join each point, indicating the edges of where to fix the coving. It is worth scratching the plaster within these lines to allow the adhesive to grip better.

2. To cut the coving, there are usually paper templates provided in the pack for both the internal and external mitre joints. However, for accuracy, it is far easier to use a mitre block/box which has the four required guides cut into it: left and right internal, and left and right external. But first, measure and mark the coving’s required length.

How to put up coving: Steps 3 and 4

3. Mix the adhesive with water as per the instructions on the pack. Apply the adhesive, top and bottom, with a pointing trowel. For an easier, cleaner option, you could use a water-based glue intended for a sealant gun.

4. Using the chalk lines you marked earlier as a guide, press the coving in position. Sometimes ceilings are out of balance: if this is the case, still fit it straight and fill any gaps with filler or adhesive, then paint over when dry.

How to put up coving: Step 5

5. Tap in a few nails underneath the coving, to hold it in place while the adhesive dries. You could fix these before fitting the coving if you’d prefer. Scrape off excess adhesive with a trowel and then sponge the area clean. Fill and paint over any holes and joints when dry.

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