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Simple updates to our molding makeover that don’t need to be linked to a pillar page.

Half Bathroom Molding Makeover Update

tucson bathroom renovation

Our half bathroom molding makeover turned out beautiful!

Here’s the list of finishing touches to come:

  • Shadow box moldings with appliques on the ceiling
  • Build a new ornate heat/ac duct to replace the old one
  • New color for the ceiling
  • Full size mirror to fit the wall above the sink

The Joy of Moldings — 2013 Changes

Dear Subscribers to The Joy of Moldings,

It’s been a year since I went live with this blog, and the growth in readership has been tremendous.

I want to thank you for subscribing, commenting and sending pictures of your completed molding projects that the blog helped inspire.

Standard Theme

You may have noticed the recent changes to the blog theme.  The theme is the new version of Standard, the best-coded WordPress theme available.

Think of a blog theme in construction terms.  In the same way that a poorly-framed house will not function well, neither will a poorly-coded blog theme.  And Standard is coded with the same skill and passion as dedicated team of craftsmen building a house.

This new theme will make it easier for you to view the blog on all kinds of tablet devices, especially iPads.  It is also one of the fastest loading themes out there, and that means you get to the information you want faster than ever.  I hope you like it!


Ken O’Brien


Build a Valance Box Now, Save a Cat’s Life Later. Hopefully.

beautiful wife holding cat

By Jennifer

Ken and I are both constitutional over-planners.  We tend to produce detailed, elegant and highly optimistic plans partly out of sheer high spirits.  This makes us mildly smug at times: you won’t catch us making dozens of trips to a hardware store because we haven’t captured the right measurements.

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Quick Tip: When to Use Spackling and When to Use Caulk on Moldings

Beware of Shrinkage!

how to paint moldings

A small gap like this on can be filled with caulk because it is so small.

[This is part of my How to Paint Moldings series.]

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Half Bathroom Renovation: Crown Molding Design Change

Covering My Mistake with This New (and Better!) Design

crown molding

The crown molding model I made based on design elements from our new light fixture.

[This is part of Our Molding Makeover series  and my How to Install Crown Molding Series.]

Find Inspiration in Your Furniture, Lamps and Other Decor

A good place to find design inspiration for your moldings is in the decorations you already own, or the ones you’re planning on buying for that room.

Look for details that you can repeat in your moldings like scrolls, scallops, and, in our case, a series of flat steps.

It was the flat steps on the base of this light fixture that solved the crown molding design issue I’ve been wrestling with for two months.

Ever since I made that fatal, yet fortunate, installation mistake.

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Quick Tip: The Unifying Coat of Primer

The Importance of Priming Even Pre-Primed Moldings

how to paint moldings

After applying a unifying coat of primer on our half bathroom moldings. Before and after pictures below.

[This is part of our How to Paint Moldings series.]

Even if all of the flat-stock and moldings you installed come from the factory coated in primer, you still need to apply a final, unifying coat of sandable primer before you apply your first finish coat of paint.

Here are my four reasons why.

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Quick Tip: Scale Sculpting

How to Shape Spackling in Difficult Molding Corners

how to paint moldings

[This is part of our How to Paint Moldings series.]

The eye is naturally drawn to the intersections of moldings in corners, and so doing a really good job prepping them is time well spent.

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Finding Happiness in Our Local Lighting Store

sun lighting tucson arizona

Parking lot yoga. It helps her shop.

Our Bathroom Light-Hunting Safari Part 2

By Jennifer

Lighting our half-bath presented a Gordian knot of design challenges: limited space, basic functional requirements, and poor choices at our initial price point.  We can’t expand the bathroom and I don’t intend to give up hope of grooming in there, so price had to give.  We would find a specialty store, thereby resigning ourselves to paying for good materials, thoughtful design and an expert staff.  In this case, it was well worth it.

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Quick Tip: Blending Molding Scarf & Butt Joints Perfectly

Using a Primer Shadow as Your Blending Gauge

how to install bathroom moldings

Blending butt joints on our bathroom moldings.  Look for the primer shadow.

[This is part of our How to Install Moldings series.]

When two pieces of molding don’t quite lay flush with each other, you’ll have to do some blending.

This post shows you the trick I use to tell if my moldings are blended perfectly so the joint will not be seen after it’s painted.

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Half Bathroom Renovation: Installing the Baseboard Cap Molding

base cap molding

Yes, it is a large baseboard cap for large baseboard in this small half bath. But it is beautiful!

Installing the Base Cap is not hard, but it is a finicky task.  So make sure you allot yourself enough time so you don’t get frustrated with the pace of installing it.

This is especially important when working in a small, cramped room like this one.

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Jennifer & Ken Leave the Big Box

Part 1 of Our Bathroom Light-Hunting Safari

bathroom renovation

I think it’s ugly. She thinks it’s tolerable.

By Jennifer

Ken and I realized yesterday that for weeks we’ve been in the grip of what a friend of mine from graduate school calls the Serengeti Effect.  The Serengeti Effect originally described human behavior in relation to the refrigerator in a graduate housing apartment, but the following scenario may sound familiar even if you don’t write J.D. or Ph.D. after your name.

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Half Bathroom Renovation: Installing the Baseboard Fascia

diy georgian or neo classical skirting baseboard

The tall, flat portion of a baseboard or skirting board is called the fascia.

[This is part of Our Molding Makeover series.  See all updates here.]

We made this baseboard fascia 6-5/8″ tall, a bit taller than the one I made in our kitchen that is 5-3/4″ tall.

Jennifer and I arrived at this height after making several baseboard mockups of different heights, placing them in front of the already installed wall frames and then living with them for a day or two each.

We felt that the baseboard needed the extra height to balance the visual effect of the baseboards “supporting” the wall panels.

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Half Bathroom Renovation: Installing the Baseboard Nailers

how to install baseboard and skirting board moldings

The baseboard will terminate on top of the door trim/vertical stile.

[This is part of Our Molding Makeover series.  See all updates here.]

This baseboard is the same basic design as the one we installed in our kitchen.  (See How to Install BASEBOARD-110 for $2.00/ft for more details.)

We made two slight modifications to it for reasons that are specific to this bathroom and to improve the design over our previous installation.

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Half Bathroom Renovation: Moldings Around the Light Switch

How I Install Moldings Around a Light Switch

door trim next to light switch

Moldings around bathroom light switch.

Important:  I am in no way qualified to give electrical advice of any kind.   This post is simply to show you how I handled this part of the project.  You should consult a licenced electrician first.

[This is part of Our Molding Makeover series.  See all updates here.]

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