5 Easy DIY Molding Tricks

5 Easy DIY Moulding Tricks | ZenShmen.Com

Check out these 5 easy DIY moulding tricks! From crown moulding trickery to base moulding shortcuts, adding visual interest and faking built-ins, we’ve got a trick for you to try.

We’re not carpentry experts – just a couple of DIY renovating fools 😉 – but we’ve put up our fair share of architecture-enhancing tricks during our recent home updates, and wanted to share some of our hacks.

Looking for some very doable ways to add a bit of character or architectural interest to your plain-jane home?  Check these out!

We’ve transformed some ho-hum spaces ourselves by adding “architecture” to them with moulding — with impressive results.  If you’ve got a plain-jane room suffering from the dreaded shoebox syndrome, use some of these inexpensive tricks to help kick it up a notch or two.

1. Headache-Free Crown Moulding

Crown moulding is notoriously hard to put up because it’s angled, which gives it that beefy diagonal look where the wall meets the ceiling.

But things that are made on an angle are difficult to work with because they require too much math (for our DIY taste) to figure out the proper angular degree to cut them at, and typically need special tools and gadgets to make the cuts at those precise angles.

Plus, the thicker you want the crown moulding to look, the price goes up…  way up.

We came up with a cheat:  we used fatter, beefy baseboards — which are usually made with a flat backing, and thus, are much simpler to cut.  To make two pieces meet in an inner corner, you’ve got two simple 45 degree cuts to make and you’re done.

2. Add Height the Easy Way

If you’re a fan of extra-beefy crown molds but not a fan of its exorbitant cost, this trick is for you.

Here, we used the Headache-Free Crown Molding Trick above, and then added another strip of chair-rail molding about 2 inches below it.  Then, we painted the wall part in between.



Voila!  Extra-thick molding on the cheapie-cheap 🙂

3.  Save a Step on Base Molding

When we finished redoing the floors on the main level of our house, we were left with nasty, mangled-up walls that painfully needed their baseboards back.


Baseboards to be tacked with a nail gun.


Baseboards have a flat backing, see?

At first, we figured we’d install base molding the typical way we often see, with a flat baseboard and then 1/4-round at the bottom.  It would have cost more in materials and time… both things we didn’t have much of.

But then, we decided to skip the 1/4-round altogether.

We started to notice that more and more, contemporary spaces were omitting the 1/4-round, leaving the finished look flat.  We liked the more modern look, and were happy to save ourselves the trouble + the taping and painting time.  Plus, we finished much sooner than we planned!

These modernized baseboards skip the 1/4 round finish.

4.  Add Architectural Personality to a Boring Space

Our master bedroom was the proverbial shoebox.  No architectural detail whatsoever, no visual interest, nada.

Just a sad, sad rectangle.  So one day we decided to redo the space, and make the walls more interesting while we were at it.

Here is the new room!

You wouldn’t believe what this room looked like Before.


DIY wainscoting with pre-made frames and wallpaper

This project involved pre-made molding rectangle frames, textured wallpaper, and two strips of chair-rail for the bottom portion, and baseboards used as crown molding for the upper part.

You can check out our how-to here, in our Bedroom Makeover Part 1 and Part 2 posts.  We’re so happy with the results!  It was easy, and so worth it.

5.  Create the Look of Built-Ins

This was a fun project and an example of how to make faux built-ins.  We had two ordinary Ikea Billy bookcases that we wanted to transform into a built-in look.

We refinished them in new colors, paired them with a DIY dinette storage bench and, as a final touch, “built them in” with crown molding.

This is what happens when someone gets bored with a store-bought bookcase.

Check out how we did it right here in DIY Billy Bookcase Makeover!

You may also enjoy: DIY Banquette Storage Bench.

What do you think?  Would you give any of these a try in your home?

If you have any molding tricks to share, we’d love to hear them!  Please share in the comments below.


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Val Lonergan is the founder of ZenShmen.com, where she shares happiness hacks for purposeful people. To get the ZenShmen cheatsheet to jumpstart your joy - 10 easy things you can do right this minute to hack your way to increased happiness - join the free newsletter.
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    Crown Molding offers the old way to install molding in a radius or curve was to make a bunch of relief cuts and then fasten the molding around the radius and then apply wood filler liberally and sand until it looks decent.

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