How to add trim boxes to walls

May 21, 2008

I am obsessed with molding in our home. I mean, seriously. Obsessed. I can't even remember the first project I did with it, all I know is I've always loved the look of wainscoting, beadboard and chair rails. 

No matter what the molding project, it always adds tons of character and interest to a space. You can change up the design, size and color and get creative with the look as well. 

So when we moved into our house, I set out to figure out how to do it on my own. I've gone from using an electric saw (REALLY REALLY not the best idea) to cut my wood and pounding in every nail with a hammer to now using my trusty miter box and a nail gun:
white molding boxes on lower wall

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Molding, I believe, is hands down the number one way to update the look of your home. It makes it feel fresher, more customized and it sets your home apart from all the others in your neighborhood.

The greatest part about molding is it is easy to do. I'm not just saying this -- it really, really is. I was handy with a hammer before we moved into our home, but nothing else, so if I can do it, so can you. 

There are three main tools you need to install molding

miter box and saw

level set
  • A nail gun. I know, not quite as simple as the other two! If you don't have one, you can rent it from any home improvement store. They are SO simple to use -- fill with the nail size you need, turn off the safety, put the gun against your surface and shoot. It is FUN to use a nail gun. My first time I put about 20 extra nails in, for good measure. :)
If you don't want to use a nail gun, just do what I did when I started out...nail every hole in. It takes longer but it works just as well. Use a drill bit to drill a hole for the nails though, because the wood may split if you just hammer the nail in.

Once you have your tools, it just takes measuring to see what length you want your squares. Use your miter box to cut the ends of the molding at 45 degree angles. That way, they match up in the corners to create a box. Make sure the wood is level before nailing in, and then go for it. I like to paint my projects white when everything is installed. It gives it a nice, crisp look. This is what I did to the island in my last post, but with black paint obviously.

Here are some more examples of where I've added molding to our walls: 

foyer with wainscoting and bench

dark blue walls large trim boxes

dark gray wainscoting full wall

Once you do it one time, you'll be a pro! The best part -- it's an inexpensive project. 

The decorative molding typically comes in eight foot sections and these run anywhere from $5 to $10 (and up) a piece. You can transform your room, stairway or hall with around $25 to $100, depending on the project.

**See ALL of my trim work and molding projects here!

See more of our home here. 

To shop items in our home, click here! 

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  1. Love the new blog! I can always use ideas for inexpensive and easy ways to decorate. Thank you for sharing your expertise! : ) Jenny

  2. I just found your blog, and I am starting from the beginning... because I am ocd like that.

    I have wanted to know how to do this for my soon to be new home. The best part is I know how to drive to Home Depot, swipe a card, and use a nail gun... I've got the basics covered! Thanks for making me realize I can do it! Whoop Whoop!


  3. Thank you so much for the "how too's" of molding. SOMEONE TOLD ME YOU CAN BUY STYROFOAM MOLDING. I think you can paint it and it is supposed to look just like wood.
    Check out my un-do of my kitchen re-do if you want A LAUGH! You have to scroll down a little but the dumb look is there, ha,ha.

  4. I love all of the molding you've done! I'd like to do something similar in my home but have oak trim and doors all over the place. Do you think it would look weird to have oak trim and white molding on some things? I'm a new "do it yourselfer" and always doubt what I'm doing, so I chicken out. Any thoughts would be most appreciated!


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!