You picked the style of furniture for your house very carefully. But do your
interior moldings match that style or conflict with it? Most modern homes are trimmed
with minimal, economical moldings that are uninspiring. But with careful planning and
a minimum of tools you can replace existing trim and add more in a style that matches
your furniture more closely and gives your rooms a balanced, coordinated appearance.
Resources For Installing Moldings
Angle Grinders |
Biscuit Joiners |
Block Plane or Surfform |
Coping Saw |
Files and Rasps |
Miter Saws |
Painting Supplies |
Power Planers |
Many different molding profiles are available at lumber yards and home centers.
The Wood Molding and Millwork Producers Association, a trade group, publishes a catalogue
of numbered molding profiles that manufacturers most commonly produce. Use this
catalogue to special order profiles not available in your area (see source list at
end of text).
||Photo 1- This mockup of a proposed library wall and ceiling
scheme demonstrates how moldings
can be stacked together to achieve a striking visual effect.
Plan carefully what moldings you will use, and accurately tally the total lengths
of each profile you will need. Moldings are expensive, so cut costs by minimizing waste.
Buy short pieces of the profiles you plan to use, and build mockups of intersecting
corners for crown molding, fireplace surrounds, and door or window treatments (photo 1).
These mockups will show you what the moldings really look like in place far better
than sectional drawings or lineal molding on a lumber rack. Try different combinations
of moldings on your mockup to find what pleases you the most. To make wide molding
profiles, stack moldings together as shown in photos 16 thru 21.
||Photo 2- Glue vertical molding to plinth blocks with a biscuit joint.
CHOOSING A STYLE
Traditional wall treatments use various molding profiles arranged on the wall in
a classical design scheme discussed in the section titled "Classical Molding Treatments"
(see below). Modern wall treatments tend to follow this basic design scheme, but with less
fancy detail and generally not as much molding. For a contemporary look use painted trim,
with a greater proportion of wide, flat trim pieces and a lesser proportion of molded trim.
For a country appearance use stained knotted 1x flat trim, such as 1x4 or 1x6 pine, and adorn
to taste with moldings of the same wood.
PREPARING TO INSTALL MOLDING
Remove old moldings carefully with small prybars, being careful not to damage
adjacent areas. Observe whether door and window jamb edges are flush with adjacent drywall.
If not, reduce a wood jamb edge with a block plane or taper protruding drywall to the
jamb edge with a surfform. Your new moldings must lie flat against the wall and jamb
If you need a prybar, click here.
If you need a block plane or surfform, click here.