Molding Installation

by Ashley Horne

I hope by now we’re learning that home projects aren’t as scary as they may first seem. Once you get comfortable with the tools and possess a can-do attitude you’ll go a long way.  Another home project that can jazz up any or all of the rooms in your home is molding installation.  Molding is the trim that goes around the ceiling, doorframes and windows in a room to give a decorative, finished look.

For this project you will need the following supplies and tools:

  • Finishing nails
  • Wood putty
  • Molding kit
  • Trim
  • Miter saw
  • Pencil
  • Tape measurer
  • Nail gun
  • Putty Knife

A tip before we get started: you can purchase a molding kit which comes with pre-painted trim.  This will save you the time of sanding, priming and painting your trim.  If you choose to prep your trim yourself, this should be done before putting it on the wall – it’s much easier to do on the floor.

Start your project by measuring all the spaces you want to put your molding.  If you will include doors, windows, etc. be sure to measure them. When you purchase your trim you should buy about 10% more than you measured (ex. 40 ft needed, buy 44 ft).  Having the extra will allow you to make mistakes and have enough trim to fix it.  Anything you don’t use now will come in handy when you need to make repairs.

Next, you will need to remove your old trim or molding if you have it.  You can use a putty knife or pry bar to do this.  You need to be careful though as the tension caused by the prying motion can easily cause damage to your drywall.  That, of course, creates another headache you don’t need – so pry carefully!

Once your old trim is removed you want to open your molding kit. Read the instructions so you understand how the trim is put together.  When you have read and understand the instructions start measuring. You will need to take precise measurements as the pieces will fit together snuggly.  Remember that you can only cut the piece once, so be sure you have taken proper measurements before cutting.  You will use your miter saw to cut the trim to specifications.

With each section you finish cutting, you want to piece the trim together.  Make sure all cuts and joints are just as you imagined before nailing the trim to the wall.  When you are sure you are happy with your handiwork use your nail gun and finishing nails to put the pieces in their places for good.  Countersink the nails, making sure the head of the nail is below the surface of the trim.  When your room is complete go back through and fill in the holes the countersinking creates with the wood putty.  This will give your trim a smooth finish.

When your project is complete step back and be amazed at the way in which such a small addition can have such a big impact.  Most importantly, have fun!

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