I pulled my completion date in by about three weeks last night!
After deciding on gold crown molding after looking at examples in this thread: Gold crown molding in red/black room
, I realized I didn't like plain crown molding in gold, I only liked the 'ornate' fancy crown molding. A good example was: Curtisg's 36 Month HT
So, I had decided on gold, but now I needed to pick crown molding!
I stopped by the local big box stores looking for the normal 12+ foot crown molding in fancy carved styles. Didn't see anything (except some $4/ft stuff at HD that I didn't like anyway). So I started poking around on the web and found places like http://www.wishihadthat.com/
that carry fancy crown molding. There are several in there I like, and they sell samples for $3 each.
So, things were stretching out. I would order samples, they'd take a week or two to get here, then I'd paint them up and/or antique them to see what I like, then order, then wait. It looked like it would be September before I was able to do crown molding. My light shelf completion requires the crown molding, so it was holding everything up!
I did more research on the topic last night, and was getting ready to order samples. I had learned by now that the 'ornate' crown molding is really polyurethane (expanded foam?), and the widest selection is available in 8' lengths for $15-$35 per 8' section. It would cost me maybe $425 to do the room with the $25 variety (~$60 shipping). I figured I would need 15 pieces.
Last night, I went to HD to get some paint and check out their molding again. Still nothing I liked. At Lowes, however, I found they had the same (or very similar) molding CurtisG had used. $23/piece. They had EXACTLY 15 pieces (at first, I saw only 13, then found two more partly hidden). I hadn't really noticed these during my first pass because they were expensive, plastic!, and I was looking for 12 foot lengths. I had since learned that plastic was fine, I could live with 8', and I wanted the look.
I sat there and stared and thought for about 10 minutes. Then I bought all they had.
By selecting an easily available and demonstrably acceptable alternative, as opposed to trying out all the options and picking the 'best', I shaved three weeks (and a lot of hassle) off the schedule...
Here's one, still in its plastic wrap:
Here's what it may look like painted