20th Jul 2023 -

If you are seeking a simple yet effective way to transform your home, coving repair and renovation might be just what you need. Also known as cornice moulding, coving can add elegance, character, and a touch of luxury to any room. By renovating your coving, you can create visually stunning transitions between walls and ceilings, bringing a sense of cohesion and sophistication to your home's interior design. In this article, we will provide you with expert tips and ideas for a successful coving renovation journey, allowing you to elevate your home's décor and create a space that truly reflects your style. 

Is coving still used in modern construction?

While the popularity of coving has fluctuated over the years, it remains a common choice in many architectural styles, particularly in traditional or classical designs. Coving is widely used in residential settings and commercial environments as a functional element to conceal wires and lighting fixtures, or as a decorative coving feature to enhance the overall design of a space. Learn more about modern coving construction techniques and how to incorporate coving into your interior design with our article. 

What is important to consider before you start coving repair work?

Before you embark on the coving renovation, it is crucial to take several important factors into consideration. From assessing the condition of your existing coving to making decisions about restoration versus replacement, careful planning is key to achieving a successful outcome. Below are the 9 essential points you need to consider before you start work. 

1. Assess your coving

Prior to making any decisions, you should evaluate the condition of your existing coving. Look for any damage, cracks, or deterioration that needs to be addressed. From here, you can assess whether your coving can be restored or if replacement is necessary.

2. Restoration or replacement

Make a decision on whether restoration or replacement is the best option. Restoration preserves the character and historical value of the original coving, while a replacement cove offers an opportunity to update the design or materials.

3. Historical significance

If your property has historical or architectural significance, it is advisable to consult with preservation specialists or experts to ensure your restoration efforts align with the original style and period of the coving.

4. Coving material selection

Choose the appropriate material for your coving restoration. You should consider factors such as durability, authenticity, and compatibility with the existing style and design of your property. Read more about the different coving types with our article.

5. Budget and estimated cost

Think about how much you are willing to spend on the restoration project. Research the costs involved in materials, labour, and any additional repairs that may be necessary. Be sure to obtain quotes from several professionals to understand the overall costs involved.

6. Professional advice

Unless you have experience in coving restoration, you will need to hire professionals for the job. Skilled craftsmen or restoration specialists have the knowledge and expertise to handle the intricacies of coving restoration, ensuring a high-quality outcome.

7. Lighting and electrical considerations

If you plan to install or update lighting fixtures - or if your property requires electrical wiring modifications - account for these factors during coving restoration. Be sure to plan ahead to accommodate the necessary electrical work. 

8. Finishes and coving designs

Decide on the desired finishes and aesthetics for your coving. Consider options such as leaving it in its natural state, how painting coving will enhance your interior, or applying decorative finishes such as ceiling beading. 

9. Maintenance and longevity

It is important to understand the maintenance requirements of the restored coving. Consult with professionals for guidance on cleaning, upkeep, and any specific considerations based on the material and finishes used. A high level of maintenance will ensure that the restored coving remains in good condition for the long term.

How to repair damaged coving 

With its decorative and functional role in enhancing the transition between walls and ceilings, coving is susceptible to cracks, chips, or detachment. In this section, we provide essential tips to guide you through the process of repairing damaged coving. Whether you are a construction professional or a seasoned DIY enthusiast, this guide will help you bring your damaged coving back to its original beauty. 

Step 1 - Gather tools and materials

Depending on the type of damage, you may need a few tools and materials to successfully complete any repair work. Below is a list of all the products. 

Safety goggles, dust mask and glovesStep ladder
Putty knifePlastic cover sheets
SandpaperJoint compound or filler
AdhesivePaint brush
Caulk or sealantSponge
SawPainter’s tape

Step 2 - Prepare the work area

Before you begin, make sure to clear the area around the damaged coving to create enough workspace. Cover the floor or furniture with a plastic cover sheet to protect them from any falling dust or debris.

Step 3 - Fix cracks and chips

For small cracks and chips, be sure to use a putty knife to apply a filler or joint compound. Smooth it over the damaged area, and make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow it to dry completely and then sand the coving down to create a smooth surface.

Step 4 - Repair loose coving sections

If sections of the coving have come loose from the wall or ceiling, carefully remove them. Clean the back of the coving and the surface it will adhere to. Apply a suitable adhesive or glue to both surfaces, then press the coving firmly against the wall or ceiling. You can use painter's tape or other suitable support to hold it in place until the adhesive dries.

Step 5 - Replace severely damaged coving sections

In some cases, severely damaged sections may need to be replaced entirely. Measure the length of the damaged section and add a new piece of coving that matches the existing style. Use a small saw to carefully cut and remove the damaged portion and fit the new coving in its place. 

Step 6 - Finishing touches

Once the repairs are complete and the adhesive has dried, use sandpaper to smooth any rough edges or excess filler. Also, you will need to wipe away any dust or debris from the repaired area. If needed, you can repaint the coving to match the surrounding colour.

Can you repair all the coving material types?

Repairing coving materials can be a cost-effective and practical solution to restore their functionality and appearance. While the state of repair depends on the material type and extent of damage, minor issues like cracks and chips can often be fixed with appropriate techniques and materials. But in cases of severe damage, replacement may be necessary. Below are some considerations for common coving materials.

Type of covingReason
Wood covingThis coving can often be repaired rather than replaced. Minor damages, such as small cracks or chips, can be filled with wood putty or filler and sanded down to restore a smooth surface. For more significant damage, sections of the coving may need to be replaced.
Plaster covingRepairing plaster coving can be challenging, especially if it has sustained extensive damage. Small cracks or chips can be repaired using plaster filler or patching compound, followed by sanding and repainting. But for significant damage, it may need a replacement.
Polystyrene covingThis type is generally less durable than other materials. It can be challenging to repair without leaving visible traces of repair work. With minor damage, you can use polystyrene filler to patch small cracks. However, for more severe damage, it may be more practical to replace the coving.
Polyurethane covingOverall, polyurethane coving is durable and resistant to damage. Small chips can be repaired using polyurethane filler or adhesive. The coving can be sanded and repainted to match the original finish. For extensive damage, you may need to replace the affected sections.
PVC covingGenerally, PVC coving is easy to repair. Small cracks can be fixed using PVC adhesive or filler. With larger damage, you may need to replace the damaged sections. PVC coving is also more resistant to moisture, making it a suitable option for areas prone to dampness.

How to remove coving without causing damage

When renovating or updating your home, removing old coving may be necessary to achieve a fresh, modern look. But this task requires some care and attention to ensure a smooth and damage-free process. Below, we provide you with valuable tips for safely removing old coving, regardless of its material or age. By following these steps, you will be well-equipped to tackle this project with confidence.

  • Prepare the area: Be sure to clear the surrounding space of furniture, cover the floor with protective sheets or drop cloths, and wear appropriate safety gear such as safety goggles and gloves.
  • Loosen the coving: Make sure you use a putty knife or a small pry bar to gently loosen the coving from the wall or ceiling. Start at one end and work your way along the length of the coving, applying pressure to create separation.
  • Apply heat: If the coving is made of plaster or has been painted multiple times, applying heat can soften the adhesive. Use a heat gun or a household item such as a hairdryer to warm the coving, which will make it easier to remove.
  • Be cautious with older coving: Some older coving may contain asbestos, especially if it was installed before the 1980s. If you suspect that your coving contains asbestos, it is best to consult a professional for a safe removal process.
  • Work in sections: Trim the coving into manageable sections using a utility knife or a fine-toothed saw. This can make it easier to remove and minimise the risk of damaging the surrounding wall or ceiling.
  • Remove any remaining adhesive: After removing the coving, you may find residual adhesive on the wall or ceiling. Use a scraper or a putty knife to scrape off the remaining adhesive. You can also apply a solvent or adhesive remover to help dissolve the residue.
  • Prepare for new coving: Once the old coving and adhesive have been removed, inspect the wall or ceiling for any damage. You will need to repair any cracks or holes with appropriate filler or plaster, and smoothly sand the area before you install new coving.

Buy coving repair materials with speedy UK delivery

At Building Materials Nationwide, we provide the best coving materials from top-quality manufacturers at competitive trade prices. We pride ourselves on being a convenient one-stop-shop platform for all the wall and ceiling coving tools and materials you will need, whether you are planning a home renovation or starting a job for a new client. Browse our website and find the perfect solutions for your project.

For our construction professional customers, we offer a trade account service to make shopping for tools and materials a simple and straightforward process. Your dedicated trade account manager arranges speedy delivery to every corner of the UK and also advises on which tools and materials are the most suitable for you. With a strong commitment to customer satisfaction, we strive to provide you with a seamless experience that exceeds your expectations. Give us a call for more details or you can sign up online.