Adding a ceiling molding treat- ment that is then painted with contrasting colors com- mands attention in almost any room. This article will cover how to apply astragal molding on a ceiling. Astragal molding has a profile composed of a half-round surface surrounded by two flat “fillet” planes. An astragal is an architec- tural element used at the top or base of a column, and is also found on furniture, French doors (as a door stop) and other wood- work. In the last 20 years or so, astra- gal molding has also been used as wainscot wall molding. In this ituation, the astragal molding is used to simulate decorative panel outlines on walls, which add depth and character. I call it the "cheap man’s" wainscoting. ASTRAGAL MOLDINGS COMPLEMENT CROWN I’ve yet to find a carpenter that will argue with me that crown molding does not change the perceived shape of a room. In a space that's tall and narrow, adding a crown accentuates ceiling height while creating the illusion of width. Crown molding is just plain sexy. In fact, astragal moldings applied to ceilings can complement a
crown molding and create a more intricate aesthetically pleasing look. Astragal ceiling moldings are almost exclusively paired with crown molding. When painted a trim color they add a nice layering contrast of light and dark convex shadow lines. This contrast gives definition to the crown and astra- gal moldings, and is a nice archi- tectural effect. Many folk will paint the crown, the astragal and the small ceiling space in between the two all one trim color, and then paint the rest of the ceiling a different color or shade. The effect is the illusion of a stepped or larger crown/ceiling molding. Sometimes people will add an astragal ceiling treatment to frame the perimeter of a room with a hanging light and architectural ornamental rim.
WHAT’S THE PROPER
SPACING? After the crown molding is applied to the room it is time to decide on the spacing for your astragal ceiling molding. Astragal molding can be spaced according to your desire, but In my experi- ence they are typically deployed 8 to 10 inches away from the crown. For this project we chose 8-in. spacing. The ceilings are 8 feet tall, and we felt that the 8-in. space had a nice proportion. To test our 8-in. spacing idea we used a laser level to shoot a line on the ceiling for a visual reference. Once satisfied, we measured and marked 8 inches off each wall, and then snapped
Treat Your Ceiling
By Rob Robillard
Apply an Astragal Molding Treatment to a Ceiling