Putting in trim simply received do-able for inexperienced persons! Crown molding, chair rail, window and door casing, and shadow field trim —  Jenny did all of it as a whole newbie and she or he’s sharing what she discovered so you are able to do it, too!

Extra for you: Final Information to Wainscoting  –  DIY Craftsman Window Trim (with no angle cuts!)  –  Trim and Molding Tutorials and Suggestions

Putting in Trim: A Newbie’s Information

This put up comprises affiliate hyperlinks, which permit us to proceed offering you a number of  DIY concepts for free of charge to you. Study extra right here

A fast Remodelaholic observe: Earlier than your choose up the proper trim and begin slicing, you’ll want to follow on a reasonable piece of molding (or scrap) till you will have an understanding of how the angles will work. Jenny recommends some sources under, so learn up, watch some movies, and follow, follow, follow!

by Jenny Macarthur

After I first opened the instruction handbook for a compound miter noticed, all I noticed have been warnings in regards to the appendages one may lose if the noticed was used improperly. I used to be so frightened and so intimidated that three months glided by earlier than I attempted to make use of the noticed once more.

Sadly, energy instrument manuals are written for individuals who already know easy methods to use the instruments, not for DIY newbies like me. A handbook gained’t let you know the fundamentals like easy methods to launch the blade lock. (It took me practically an hour simply to determine how to try this!).

However I caught with it. I figured it out and you may, too!

Installing Shadow Box Trim, From Remodelaholic

To finish a large-scale trim undertaking, I (not an expert, only a DIY-er) suggest the next:

1. Analysis Find out how to Set up Trim

After I began my first trim undertaking, I had no expertise putting in trim.

Earlier than I priced wooden or thought of what instruments I would want or did anything, I watched a number of YouTube tutorials. I searched beneath key phrase phrases like “easy methods to” and “wainscoting” or “easy methods to” and “crown molding.”

This gave me an concept of what I used to be getting myself in to. It’s additionally how I discovered to put in trim (together with the assistance of the 2 books listed under).

Installing Crown Molding And Shadow Box Trim For Beginners, From Remodelaholic

2. Create a Work Area

If in any respect potential, have a chosen work area the place your instruments are organized and accessible and the place there may be enough room to work comfortably with lengthy and unwieldy items of trim.

Tips and Tricks for Installing Trim and Wainscoting -- get your workspace and tools ready!

3. Purchase Instruments and Provides

I discovered the next instruments to be completely obligatory for my large-scale trim undertaking. Hire, borrow, or purchase, however you will need to have them.

(These instruments signify a major funding. Should you’re doing a big sufficient undertaking, it will likely be value it to purchase, however for a smaller undertaking, lease or borrow.)

  • A Compound miter noticed (a sliding compound miter noticed is good, however a 12″ common one will work simply high quality). I used a Dewalt.
  • 18-gauge brad nailer (for shadow containers) and 16-gauge end nailer (for crown molding) and an air compressor. I purchased them as a 3-tool Combo Equipment and have been very pleased with it.
  • Brad nails and end nails
  • A ShopVac to wash up all of the noticed mud you’re going to generate. I discovered an 8-gallon moist/dry ShopVac at Costco.
  • A 24″ stage and 9″ torpedo stage
  • Measuring tape
  • Multi-purpose protractor
  • Pencil
  • Wooden Filler
  • Sanding Sponge
  • Caulk. After attempting a number of, this DAP caulk is my favourite.
  • Caulk Gun
  • A crown molding chart that tells you what levels to set your noticed for slicing angles. I used the intensive chart out there within the e-book Crown Molding & Trim: Set up it Like a Professional, however I discovered all the sensible information I wanted for slicing crown molding on pp. 128-137 of the e-book Trim Full, which has glorious photos to accompany the clear directions.
  • A bag of pre-cut trim scraps labeled with their angles. I lower a number of completely different items of scrap trim (the ogee molding for shadow containers and the chair rail molding) in increments by diploma to make use of for determining angles. I most well-liked to make use of a protractor to measure angles for crown molding, however discovered that for chair rail and shadow containers, it was quicker to make use of my scrap trim samples. For instance, I lower items of scrap chair rail at 15-degrees, 18-degrees, 20-degrees, 25-degrees, and so on. Then, once I got here throughout a nook the place two partitions meet, I’d maintain up two items of my scrap trim (lower at completely different angles) till I discovered the two angles that got here collectively for the perfect match. That’s how I knew what angles to chop every bit of trim.
  • The BuildCalc app and This Is Carpentry’s tutorial on easy methods to use it. This app saved me all types of complications when designing the shadow containers. I merely measured the wall and found out what number of shadow containers I wished there to be after which entered the numbers into the app to seek out out the spacing.
  • Trim Wooden
  • Ladder or tall step stool

4. Plan Out Each Element

To give you a design for my trim work, I browsed websites like Houzz and Pinterest for concepts.

(Remodelaholic observe: We even have a put up right here with a number of wainscoting kinds.)

As soon as I made a decision what I wished to do, I measured all of the partitions and calculated how a lot wooden I would want.

Phrase to the clever, give your self loads of overage. You gained’t be capable of use the whole thing of each piece of trim and you’ll definitely make errors.

Should you’ll be endeavor a big, multi-room undertaking like I did, I like to recommend doing a small room first to get a really feel for the way a lot wooden you’ll actually need (it will likely be greater than the precise measurements) and for the way a lot time it takes.

Installing Wainscot Trim In Small Bathroom, Before And After, On Remodelaholic

Among the rooms in my residence already had crown molding and chair rail, so I merely matched what was already there for the brand new trim work.

Installing Trim To Match Existing Trim, On Remodelaholic
Installing Shadow Box Trim With Existing Chair Rail, Before And After On Remodelaholic

I priced the wooden I wanted at Lowe’s and Dwelling Depot and at my native lumber yards. I discovered I may get the perfect deal at a neighborhood lumber yard and ordered from there.

The lumber yard additionally delivered (for a charge), which, given the scale of my undertaking, was enormously useful. Retailer the wooden indoors the place you’ll be putting in it and provides it 3 or 4 days at room temperature earlier than utilizing it.

5. Draw in your partitions.

I drew each final piece of trim on my wall earlier than making any cuts or nailing something in place. It’s loads simpler to make changes with pencil drawings than with wooden.

I measured from the ground to the highest of my chair rail molding, making a mark on the wall about each 18 inches. I then used my stage to attract a straight horizontal line connecting all of the marks so I might know precisely the place to position the trim.

Identical factor for shadow containers. I measured then marked the place they might go and used my stage to attract straight strains connecting all of the markings. Additionally, once I drew the strains, I measured them proper then and wrote the measurements on the partitions (I double-checked the measurements earlier than slicing any wooden.)

When it got here time to connect the wooden, I may simply line it up with the pencil markings (although, on the time of set up, I nonetheless double-checked that the trim piece was straight utilizing a stage).

Tips and Tricks for Installing Trim and Wainscoting -- yes, it's okay to draw on the walls!

6. Nailing

When it comes time to nail, keep in mind you’ll must fill every nail gap with wooden filler. Don’t go loopy, however you additionally need your trim to be secure and safe.

I discovered that if I put a nail at every nook (not too near the sting, although, otherwise you’ll threat splitting the wooden) and about each 8 to 10 inches, that was lots.

Tips and Tricks for Installing Trim and Wainscoting

7. Ending

The end work (wooden filling, sanding, and caulking) appeared to take so long as the measuring, slicing, and nailing, but it surely’s the end work that basically makes your trim look beautiful.

  • Nail holes. Use wooden filler, not caulk to fill your nail holes. Use a lightweight hand with the wooden filler as you’ll must sand no matter dries in your trim. I counsel utilizing a lightly-damp rag to wipe over newly-filled nail holes to attenuate sanding in a while.
  • Sanding. Sanding sponges are nice for carved moldings and most trim work with minimal wooden filler to be sanded.
  • Caulk. It’s going to really feel such as you’ve caulked miles of seams, however do it! It gives you that seamless look the place the wooden seems to simply develop out of the wall.  As talked about above, that is my favourite caulk (I attempted a number of completely different varieties over the course of my undertaking). Purchase by the case to economize. You’ll use a ton of the stuff!
Get ideas for caulking like a professional right here.

Better of luck to you in your undertaking. If I can do it, you may!

Installing Crown Molding And Shadow Box Trim, Before And After, On Remodelaholic

I put up lots of of ft of trim: chair rail, crown molding, and dozens of shadow containers.

Installing Chair Rail And Shadow Box Trim In Hall, Before And After, On Remodelaholic

(The cabinets and mantel across the fire within the household room have been constructed by a carpenter, not me).Installing Trim To Update Fireplace, Before And After On Remodelaholic

I did each final little bit of the job solely on my own. I had a normal contractor come by to try the entire trim work I did. He advised me that if I’d employed him to do the work, he would have charged me at the very least $10,000. The wooden for my total undertaking price me about $1,500.

Installing Trim To Two Story Windows From Remodelaholic


Paint colours are Benjamin Moore White Dove (white) and Restoration {Hardware} Silver Sage (gentle blue).

Installing Trim For Beginners, From Remodelaholic 


With Sherwin Williams Naval for the darkish navy blue

Sherwin Williams Naval Paint Color With Trim In Benjamin Moore White Dove On Remodelaholic

I employed somebody to color all of it after I completed putting in trim.

Installing Shadow Box Angled Trim, On Remodelaholic

It took about 200 hours over virtually 4 months. I began once I was 8 months pregnant and completed when my new child was about 6 weeks outdated. I don’t suggest doing it that manner. 🙂 Nevertheless, I find it irresistible all and am so glad I labored by means of my fears and accomplished this enormous undertaking. I find it irresistible!


Thanks a lot for sharing your ideas and your beautiful residence with us, Jenny!

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Please pin this for future reference!

A Beginner's Guide To Installing Trim From Remodelaholic

Initially revealed 07.07.2015 // Up to date 04.14.2021

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About Jenny McArthur