Molding ideas -- five tutorials for pretty wall trim

August 01, 2017

As I've been packing up our home over the past couple of weeks, (if you missed the big news, go here) I have noticed that even without art or decor, it's still a beauty. I told a friend the other day it's made me super proud of what I've created here because the beauty of each room is there even without stuff in it. I'm quite enjoying seeing the bones of what I built and also seeing each space "quieted."

A lot of that is due to the calm colors I've picked for our home, and the built ins of course, but also all of the trim I've installed on the walls. I knew when we starting building this house 14 years ago that it was something I wanted to add to give a our home more character.

So today I'm sharing all of the trim I've put on our walls and tutorials for all of them. None of them were terribly expensive (I'd say board and batten was the most). But they all make a room feel more expensive than it really is!

One of the first molding projects I ever did was the wainscoting in our front living room and foyer. They've stayed for around for the nine years or so since I did it and still look beautiful:
How to add wainscoting to walls

I did a design with both larger and smaller boxes to give it some interest, but you can do whatever you want!:
Wainscoting tutorial for walls

I actually made videos back in the day on how to install this -- you can see how to install this molding here and some more tips on this kind of wainscoting here. WARNING: These videos were before the slick stuff we make now -- it was a little different back then. 😂 I say "um" a few too many times and it's a little jerky, but again, these were made wayyy back. 

Our main wall in the guest room has undergone a few makeovers, but the one I landed on (and love the most) is this simple trim in a square pattern. I shared how I added this board and batten look for only $13 here
Square board and batten trim design

When I made over our loft last year I added quite a bit of the "shiplap" look to the walls. Back in the day us old fogey bloggers called it planking a wall -- but Joanna changed that. ;) 

I used the same super inexpensive material and it makes a dramatic difference: 
How to install shiplap for less

You can see my full shiplap tutorial here. It's a very easy project and is easily removable if you ever change your mind. 

Speaking of -- one thing I always like to note NOT use glue to add your molding to a wall if you can help it. Nails into studs should be plenty. Many tutorials tell you to use glue but I really recommend you don't. If your style changes (whose doesn't) and you decide to remove it down the line you'll have lots of fun drywall fixes to make. It's just not needed in most cases. 
How to add shiplap to walls for less

One of my favorite ways to add character to the walls in this house has been board and batten. It's such a classic look and makes a room feel casual but gives it just a little something extra that most houses don't have. 

How to add board and batten molding

Board and batten tutorial

I love it!! It also looks super sharp in a dark gray -- really any color. You don't have to go white with any of these looks!

And finally, one where I mixed up the looks and it's a favorite too -- I did the planked walls with the board and batten over it in our powder room: 
Shiplap and board and batten on walls

You can see my planked (or shiplap) wall tutorial here. Again, not an expensive project -- just time consuming. It took forever to paint this stuff and looking back I should have sprayed it. It would have taken a fraction of the time! 

I get asked a lot if there's such a thing as too much molding in a house. No, I don't. :) I've been in houses where it's on every wall -- and it just feels expensive and classic. I love it. I do think changing up the look like I've done is good. You don't have to stick with one style! 

If you have questions on any of these projects feel free to ask! You can see all the paint colors for these rooms here. The big question is -- will I add any of these looks to the new house? I'm sure I will. I already have a wall in mind for shiplap. But like this house, I'll have to live in it for awhile before I decide. It's been so much fun dreaming up projects for the new house! :) 

Email subscription form header
Your email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide


  1. I have shown my hubby you projects numerous times, and always say..."SHE did this herself". My oldest loves her power tools and I think that is very empowering for a girl. Thanks for the encouragement over the years.

  2. Your home is lovely! I can't wait to see how you add some flair to the new home.
    You may have answered this in another post, but I'm wondering how you finish Board and batten and shiplap when you get to a rounded corner and you're not planning to continue around the corner to the other side. (Does that make sense?) We're finishing the basement and I have no Idea how that part works.

    Thank you for sharing!

    ~ Emily from So Sunny Day

  3. hey ! Your home is stunning and I can't wait to see what you do with your new one ! A few questions : where did you find your inspiration when choosing moldings for each rooms ? I don't see a lot of blog posts about it.. If you have any rec' I'd love to hear ! And do you already know which room you will first tackle in your new house ? Have a good day ! Marie

  4. Do you have a link to the wood wall you did leading into your basement? I have a dream for something like that in my how you put these all together here - thank you!!

  5. Wow. These are the perfect ideas that will make us able to have perfect design to follow for indoor decoration of our homes. Thanks for sharing.
    Emma Charlotte | Dissertation Help UK

  6. My only concern for white trim is the dirt! How do you keep it all clean??

  7. I'd love to see an 'empty house tour' before you move out!

  8. You inspired me so many times with all of these tutorials. It's fun looking back down memory lane with you. :) We have a pretty small house, so when we added bead board to the kitchen and dining room, it changed the feel of the entire house. People now say "Your house is so charming!" Or "SO adorable!" and I really think we have the bead board trim to thank for that, which was totally inspired by you! Thank you! (also I can't imagine the roller coaster of emotions you are experiencing right now!)

  9. I love all the woodwork in your home! Have you ever done a tutorial showing how to add trim around windows like yours? My home has no trim around any of the windows, and they look so!

  10. Love all of your projects! I was looking for a source on the living room and can't find one...could you point me in the right direction?

  11. I work part time and my youngest will finally be in school full time. I will miss my buddy so much but I am excited to tackle a few projects. We have a small craft room and I am toying with putting up shiplap in that room or maybe our powder room. I have done small projects and a lot of plumbing repairs but nothing like installing shiplap. Is this something a beginner could do without help?

  12. Hey Sarah.... been following your blog for a while and finally thought I'd message. You're such an inspiration and love how you've transformed your home. So looking forward to seeing how you interior design your new home. Only thing is that when I see stuff I love in your home I look to see if I can buy it here and I'm always disappointed. You see.... I live in Perth ... but the WA doesn't stand for Western Australia... it means Wait Awhile.!!!! We either can buy the good here or most of the companies won't deliver here. For example. .. I've been looking for your gorgeous round coffee table you have in your living room and I just can't find a similar version that I like that will deliver to Perth! Hooo Humm! One of the few down sides of living in Perth!!!

    1. ... meant to say.. can't buy the goods here.. !

  13. I've been a fan for a couple years at least! You are truly inspirational. I have a similarly sized family room as your current, beautiful home now. I never added crown and have 8' ceilings. Do you think the board and batten would look as good without crown? PS, can't wait to see your posts as you go through the building process :)))

  14. Where is the round chandelier from? I am thinking of putting one similar in my foyer. I love the one from Williams Sonoma for $995 with removable white fabric shades. Something not as expensive would be nice.

  15. This is my first time on your blog. I really like the wall accents. Really makes a huge difference in the look of the rooms. Thanks, Chris@hometrendydecor


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!