how to install moldings

The one to buy, Trim Carpentry Techniques.

If you’re looking for just one book on finish carpentry tools and techniques to rely on, then I’d have to point you to Trim Carpentry Techniques.

Authored by Craig Savage, one of the most-published finish carpenters in the business, this current edition of Trim Carpentry Techniques shows you the right way to use molding installation tools like table and miter saws, biscuit joiners and nail guns.

It’s the only finish carpentry book you’ll really need, and it’s the primary reason I don’t go into much tool use detail here on The Joy of Moldings, because Taunton’s stable of authors like Clayton DeKorne and Craig Savage have got that covered.

Note: This is not a paid review of any kind.  I just love Taunton Press books on finish carpentry and want you to know about this great resource.

My own copy (published in 1989!) is still my most-referenced molding installation book in my personal library.

But after looking through the newest version while Jennifer and I were out molding shopping at Lowes, the improvements they’ve made to the book are so impressive that I though I’d make you aware that it’s the one to buy.

best finish trim carpentry book

My old copy of Trim Carpentry Techniques is always close at hand.  Published in 1989.

Hey Ken, Why Don’t You Cover These Topics?

My vision for The Joy of Moldings has always been to stay focused on the specifics of stacking the molding pieces together that make up my designs.  Oh, and painting moldings.  I’m really good at hand-painting moldings.

Taunton Press For Pros by Pros Series

When I first discovered the joy of moldings there were only a couple of finish carpentry technique books and no books on design.

Now there are a lots of both kinds, and sifting out the lesser ones might be confusing to a beginner.

Who’s advice should you trust?

You’ll be safe if you stick to the books published by Taunton Press in their For Pros/By Pros series.  There’s quite a few now, and all are great.

What About Other Molding Installation Books?

Some of these diy books are just downright silly.  They’ll show you some beginner steps — like how to cut a picture frame molding with a plastic miter box — but then the rest of the book is full of glossy pictures from expensive, six-figure molding installations in the homes of the world’s rich and famous.

I’ll take Better Homes and Gardens advice on napkin rings, I’ll take Popular Mechanic’s advice on how to build a hover-car out of pop cans and duct tape, but for advice on how to design and install a three-piece Classical crown molding, I’ll stick with Taunton Press.

What About Gary Katz?

Gary Katz is one of the best finish carpenter authors out there.  You can trust anything with his name on it.

Spare Chage?

Most of these books will set you back a whole $20.00 if you buy new, or you can look around for used copies that only cost about $5.00, like at or Amazon.

Now that you know what to buy, it’s time to grab some spare change and go buy a few of these books, and then come back here to The Joy of Moldings for the inspiration and practical step by step tutorials.

We’ll be waiting for you!

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

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