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Before we start, I just want to preface this and let you know I did zero research on how to correctly install picture moulding. I just decided to jump in a wing it. I think it turned out beautifully if I do say so myself! My favorite thing is that it really elevates the entire space without adding more stuff.
I started by just taping out the general look I was going for. I want to add a gallery wall of family photos, so I took into account the size of my frames. Once I had it taped out, I decided to cut the lower middle box with these miter shears and tape it to the wall. I let it live there for a couple of days to make sure I was really loving it.
Once I was sure I loved it, I got to work making the rest of the lower boxes. The miter shears made it go super quick since there was no walking to the garage to make cuts on the table saw. I used this base cap moulding. Its super affordable at only $4 for an 8′ stick. This entire project only cost me about $75 in trim and $20 for the miter shears. I already had the rest of the materials left over from other projects.
Tip: After you cut your trim to size, take a sanding block and very lightly sand the end of your trim where you cut to remove any chunks that may get in the way and prevent tight seams.
After I got the lower boxes installed I didn’t love how much space was left above the upper sections. I raised them about 10″. This left enough space above in case I ever decide to add picture lights and it also looks good with the height of our doors.
I did not to use liquid nails, though I think it is recommended (rebel here!). I figured the nails and caulk on both sides will be enough to hold it tight to the wall. Time will tell if I made the right decision I suppose.
To set my first piece I used a laser level and double checked it with an extra long level. Juuuuust to make sure. Then I lined up my trim to laser line and nailed it in place with this cordless nail gun (which in my opinion is a must have in your tool box. It makes every job so much easier to not have to drag around a hose & air compressor!). To make install easier I used a block I could butt up against the trim that was already installed then hold the new piece of trim against the block. This ensures that the spacing between each box is uniform without measuring anything. Just be sure to triple check that the piece you’re working off of is level.
Once all the moulding was installed, I caulked all the edges & corner seams and filled all the nail holes with wood filler. Be sure your wiping off any excess of both, otherwise you’ll have a lump in your trim. Normally you would just sand any wood filler off, but since the profile I chose is so curvy i thought that might be more difficult & didn’t want to risk ruining the trim and making flat spots.
After the caulk and wood filler were dry I painted a light coat of Chantilly Lace over everything. I just put enough on to cover any caulk that would eventually collect dust.
I am obsessed with the new addition of picture moulding to our living space! It was such a budget friendly and easy DIY project that instantly made our living room feel way more custom.
Other projects you may have missed include: adding board and batten to Kate’s room, bead board to Ben’s room, and shiplap to the locker room. We even did custom, extra wide, shiplap in our primary bedroom. You can see more ways we added character to our custom home build here.