20 Feb 2024

BLACK+DECKER Reveals How to Transform Your Home with DIY Trim Moulding

Typically found in traditional homes, moulding has been used throughout architectural history to add personality to walls and ceilings. Although moulding has an association with period properties, it also has a place in modern homes as one of the easiest ways to make a room look more expensive.


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Installing trim moulding can be a rewarding and transformative DIY project that can elevate the aesthetic appeal of any room, whether it’s crown moulding, baseboards or other decorative trim. The process generally involves measuring, cutting and securing the moulding to the walls or ceiling. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help DIYers through the process.

Planning and preparation

Prep work is the most crucial part of any home improvement project and can be the key to ensuring you nail it the first time. Firstly, don’t rush, especially if you’re a beginner; allocate at least double the amount of time you think a project should take. Rushing might cause you to overlook important details or make mistakes that require you to redo certain parts, like sanding the project again, leading to wasted materials, time and money. To avoid these mistakes, prep the workspace and make sure to check your tools are in good shape; inspect the power tools for any signs of wear, such as frayed cords, cracks, loose parts and any other issues that could affect the performance. I would always recommend reading the instructions twice. Reading through the full instructions ahead of time will clue you into difficult and time-consuming steps and let you know if you need to prep anything beforehand.

Start by measuring the perimeter of the room where the trim will be installed. Make sure to account for the corners, doors and windows, as these are often missed out, and you’ll find yourself short of trim moulding. You should also add a little extra when measuring to account for any mistakes.

To ensure you’re properly prepped, you’ll need to gather the necessary tools, including a mitre saw, coping saw, measuring tape, level, pencil, nail gun or hammer, nails or finishing nails, wood putty and safety gear like goggles and gloves. Choose the type of trim that suits your room’s style and size. Consider the width, profile and material of the moulding.

Steps to install the trim moulding:

1. Prepare the area
Ensure you have a clear workspace to avoid accidents, and make sure the walls where you are placing the trim are clean and dry. If necessary, paint or finish the trim before installation.

2. Cutting the trim
Measure and mark the lengths needed on the trim. Use a mitre saw to make precise 45° cuts for corners. For inside corners, you might need to cope the joints with a coping saw for a tighter fit.

3. Installing the trim
Begin with the longest, most visible wall. Apply construction adhesive on the back of the trim or use a nail gun to attach it to the wall. Make sure you use a level to ensure the trim is straight and adjust as needed. Nail the trim every 12 to 16 inches, making sure the nails are countersunk to allow for putty.

4. Dealing with corners
For outside corners, cut the ends of the moulding at a 45° angle so they meet neatly. Inside corners might need coping: cut one piece at a 45° angle and use a coping saw to trim the profile of the other piece to fit snugly against the first.

5. Finishing touches
Fill nail holes with wood putty and sand the surface lightly to create a smooth finish, and touch up paint or stain to match the rest of the trim if necessary.

6. Repeat for other sections
Work around the room, following the same steps for each section of moulding until all trim is installed.

Tips for success

To ensure the trim moulding looks perfect the first time, practice cutting on scrap pieces of material; this will help you to get comfortable with your tools and cutting angles. It is always recommended to take regular breaks, too, as this sort of project can be time consuming, and increased tiredness can cause mistakes to be made. Take breaks to avoid fatigue, ensuring accuracy and precision.

Once you have completed the trim moulding and are happy with the results, it is always recommended to check for gaps or unevenness. Sand or plane edges for a smoother fit, and use caulk to fill gaps between the wall and trim. If nails are visible, use a nail set to sink them deeper before puttying over.

Installing trim moulding can significantly enhance the visual appeal of your space. While it may seem intimidating at first, with careful planning, precise measurements and patience, it can be a satisfying DIY project. Take your time, follow each step diligently, and don’t hesitate to seek guidance if needed. Once completed, stand back and admire how the trim has transformed your room into a more polished and elegant space.

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