On the blog I like to answer questions I get on email/social media all of the time. One of the most common is “how did you put up the picture molding?” “Did you do it yourself?” I am working on my bedroom and so I figured that I’d use it as an excuse to show you how I put up picture molding. First of all, a before of my bedroom:
Sure this view is pretty, but the truth is that one wall was still grey because I didn’t have a big reason to update it. I have two projects in my house making me crazy (I’m sure I’m not the only one right?!), and this was the one I decided to tackle first.
When we first bought at our house (8+ years ago), I could picture decorative molding adding some personality to the home. Last year, I finally bit the bullet and did the project. I remember being terrified to start. I had NO clue what I was doing. What if it didn’t work out? I was scared of failure, but it is one of my favorite projects I have ever done. It’s a pain to do, but it adds so much character! It designates zones in our house. I honestly love the effect it gives. This weekend, I decided to put the last of it up in our bedroom (unless I change my mind and put some up in Don’s room). I have a friend who wants to do the same project, and so he requested that I video it. I have two blog posts on how to put up picture molding (part one and part two), but no video. So I went for it!
Here are some tips that I have learned as I’ve gotten better at this project #practicemakesperfect-
- Paint the wall first. It’s so much easier to just roll on the paint and then paint the trim once it’s installed. I’ve tried both ways and I totally prefer to paint first, put up the trim, caulk, and then paint the trim. It’s less cutting out with the paint brush and less time #winning
- Measure your wall and use an index card to write down your measurements. On the back of the card I make a note of the cuts I need to make (cut 8 of the 54″ trim) and then cross it off as I cut
- After you cut the trim (and before you install it), you might notice that even if you have 4 pieces of trim with the same measurement, they might not be exactly the same length. Pair up the ones that are closest so that they form a square. This is the easiest way to keep your picture molding uniform.
- When you’re putting the trim up, use a level for the first three pieces of trim. Make sure that you are using a level on the most important pieces (the ones at eye level). So put up the three main pieces and make sure they are level. Don’t nail up the corners of the top of the top square or the bottom of the bottom square. Then place the last piece of trim up so that it fits squarely and don’t worry about it being level. It probably will be, but if it’s off it likely won’t be noticable. If you nail the trim up level on the last piece, you might have a noticable gap between the pieces and it’s really hard to make that look correct (even with caulk)
- Don’t glue the trim up- use a nail gun. Confession time- I’ve messed this project up, a lot. I’ve had to take the trim down and re do it. When I first did this project I both glued and nailed the trim up. That’s totally overkill. AND if you have to take the trim down, the glue rips the wall apart and it’s SO much more work to patch the huge mess then patch a few tiny nail holes.
- When you’re nailing the trim up, be careful and put the nail through the thickest part of the trim, going in straight. If your nail goes in sideways, and through the side its a pain to get out and fix.
- Caulking is the least fun part of this project, but the most necessary. It is slow and it’s not a huge difference before and after like the trim going up is, BUT this is the part where the detail makes you look professional. So take the time and caulk your trim!
- Give your trim a few coats of paint and you’re done!art
Tools needed to put up Picture Molding-
Paint Brush (this angled one is SO good and cheap too)
Nail Gun and Compressor Kit (I use this kit all of the time! Totally worth it!)
Workbench Work Table (we don’t have space for a workbench in our garage and so I LOVE that this one folds up compact. I used to saw crouching down and it sucked. This is honestly a game changer.)
You’ll also need paint and trim of your choice.
Here are some pictures of how those walls are looking now:
Much better! I need to finish caulking and painting. I have to say I feel bad for my husband that this is the last wall that needed painting because it’s his corner (sorry babe!). BUT I do have some fun art planned for him. Stayed tuned next week for that and the entire reveal. And if you’wanting to do this project I wanted to leave some encouragement that you can do it! It’s not that hard and you’ll be SO happy you worked hard to customize your house! Let me know if you have any questions, I am more than happy to help.
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