how to install moldings in hallway

Start and finish all the moldings in one room before moving on to the next.

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

This post was inspired by reading molding installation posts on other decorating blogs, and my own experience with the many people I’ve helped design moldings for.

Are You a Lost Cause?

If you’ve already installed a three-piece crown molding (or even if you’re just thinking about installing one) and your little heart skips-a-beat with desire when you look up at it, you’re a lost-cause my friend.

So based on twenty years of experience, I predict you will no sooner roll up the last tarp and hang the last picture before you become conscious of how impotent your remaining contractor-grade door trim and baseboards are.

You will want all the other moldings in the room to be bigger.  Much bigger.

There’s no way back from here, I’m happy to say.  You’ve discovered the joy of moldings.  I’ve seen it before.

So let me help channel your new-found affection by suggesting you abandon any notion of upgrading your moldings piecemeal.

Because eventually you will only want to come back and upgrade all the other moldings in that room, and that will mean you will try to do it without marring the finish on your painted walls.  And that will lead to frustration.  You also have transitions to consider.

Transitions Between Molding Patterns

Let’s consider a typical kitchen molding makeover like what Jennifer and I are doing.

We want wainscoting in the kitchen.  But the wainscoting, like most wainscoting, will terminate at door trim molding.  To make the transition from wainscoting to door moldings we have to upgrade the door trim.

But we don’t want really nice door trim and then have skinny little baseboards, so we have to upgrade the baseboards too.  Not to mention, properly installed wainscoting has the baseboard wrapped around the bottom of it to act as a foundation, it’s an integral part of the design.

So it’s much better to tear one room apart and upgrade all the moldings at once, and then apply your finish coats of molding and wall paint.

Only then move on to the next room.  You’ll be much happier with your room if you do.

[This is a follow-up to One Room at a Time,]

[It also part of my How to Install Moldings Series.]