cost to hire finish trim carpenter to install crown molding wainscoting

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

If you’ve ever wondered how much money it would cost to hire a good finish carpenter to install your moldings versus installing and painting them yourself, then this detailed post should help.


Hiring a qualified finish carpenter (if you can find one) to install really nice moldings (the kind you see here on The Joy of Moldings, for example) — one who is running a legitimate, licensed and insured business — will probably cost less than many home improvement projects, but it’s not a low-budget item either.  Consider the example below.

12′ X 15′ Master Bedroom Example: $3,200.00

Let’s say you want to decorate your master bedroom with a full set of moldings.  Let’s also say you’re going to hire a well-qualified finish carpenter to install the moldings and a professional painter to make it all look perfect.

I’ve included labor and materials in these prices, and the prices themselves are based on what I charged back in 2008.  The DIY prices have been adjusted to reflect 2012 material costs.  Remember, these prices are for a quality installation and paint job.

CROWN MOLDING-103 (54′ lineal feet)
  • Professionally installed for about $648.00
  • DIY for about $162.00
  • You Save $486.00
DOOR TRIM-103 (3 ea., entry, closet and master bathroom)
  • Professionally installed for about $225.00 (3 ea.) = $675.00
  • DIY for about $75.00 (3 ea.) = $225.00
  • You Save $450.00
WINDOW TRIM-112 (1 ea. Think DOOR TRIM-103 but with window sill and apron)
  • Professionally installed for about $325.00
  • DIY for about $95.00
  • You Save $230.00
  • Professionally installed for about $10.00/lf (45 lineal feet) = $450.00
  • DIY for about $205.00
  • You Save $245.00
Molding Installation Total
  • Pro Install $2,098.00
  • DIY $687.00
  • You Save $1,411.00
Professionally Painted With Two Coats of Premium Paint on Moldings, Ceiling and Walls
  • Professionally painted for about $1,100.00
  • DIY about $270.00 in Benjamin Moore paint
  • You Save $830.00

Grand Totals

Professionally Installed and Painted $3,198.00

DIY Installed and Painted $957.00

That’s a $2241.00 savings on just this one room. Think of how much you’ll save by learning to install and paint your own moldings in the rest of the house. You can justifiably buy the best tools available when you save that much money.

Will it take longer to finish your molding makeover if you do it yourself? Yep, your nights and weekends will be spoken for just like with any hobby. But if you work one room at a time, one pattern at a time, and clean up in between projects so you’re not living in a construction zone all the time, then the rewards are certainly worth it.

No matter which way you go — contracting your molding makeover or doing it yourself, we wish you good luck.  And don’t hesitate to ask us design or installation questions, we’ll do our best to answer them. Use the comment section below.

Cheers, Ken

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