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Decorate Your Home with Moldings, One Room at a Time

how to install diy moldings

I installed the foyer and hallway moldings first, and then did the kitchen.

[This post is part of my How to Install Moldings Series.]

Let’s say you just found our blog and are still breathless after running in and out of each room thinking about all the moldings you’re going to install.

But you have to sit down for a moment — not just because you’ve realized you can have the same beautiful moldings historic homes have — but because you’re going to save thousands and thousands of dollars by installing and painting them yourself.

You’ve decided on a period style, but now what should you do?  Where do you start?

You will be tempted to install a crown in this room, a fireplace in that room, a door trim in this one; but that is not the best way to go about decorating your home with moldings.

Pick one room and finish it before you move on to the next.

And it’s best if that room is a subordinate room for a few reasons:

  • You want to build confidence in your diy molding skills before you tackle more elaborate rooms.
  • You need the rest in between projects rather than living in a perpetual construction zone.
  • Painting the walls is the very last thing you do, so all the room’s moldings need to be installed and painted first.
  • Your tastes will probably change after you finish that first room.

That final point is the most important.

When you see a small guest room in your own home with proper foundation moldings installed; three-piece crown molding, big door and window trim, all resting on a substantial baseboard and painted with a high-resolution paint job, I can almost guarantee you will create more dramatic moldings in the next room you work on.

And when you’re finished with that second room you will be even more bold.  I’ve seen it time and again.

Start and finish one room at a time is the best way to decorate your home with moldings.

Good luck!

[This post is part of my How to Install Moldings Series.]

4 Responses to Decorate Your Home with Moldings, One Room at a Time

  1. Aleece February 6, 2013 at 7:55 PM #

    Ken – when you install moldings, does it make sense to do things in a certain order? For example, baseboards before doorframes, wainscotting before window trim, etc.? I can certainly see how trim work is addictive and I don’t want to box myself out of certain kinds of molding by trimming the wrong things first.

  2. Ken February 7, 2013 at 5:51 AM #

    Aleece, I like to install in this order:

    1. Crown Molding (unless I’m integrating the crown into a door or window entablature, then build the door surround first).

    2. Door and Window Trim

    3. All other feature patterns like wainscoting, newel posts, fireplace mantels and such.

    4. Baseboard and chair rail

    Good luck Aleece!

  3. Jessica February 28, 2013 at 8:16 PM #

    Is it okay to install crown moulding in a bathroom? We live in CO so it is pretty dry but I am was still worried about the moisture of the bathroom creating mold behind the crown moulding.

  4. Ken March 1, 2013 at 3:44 AM #

    Yes you can absolutely install crown molding in a bathroom. Instead of using regular painter’s caulk to caulk the moldings, use a bathroom caulk. Then put two good coats of paint on the moldings and you should be just fine.

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