Posted by David
on Mar 22nd, 2012 in Home Improvement
| 0 comments
Stately, ornate molding gives an elegant, completed feel to any room. Whether you’re painting the trim, or staining more expensive hardwood molding, replacing the old base or ceiling molding doesn’t require much experience or tools as a project (You’ll need a miter saw, measuring tape and a protractor for this job). Here’s how to do it.
Repairing Damaged Molding
If the trim is in good shape, and there are just a few rotted sections that you need to cut out and replace, you’ll likely end up saving some money. Some molding can be hard to match, especially for older homes, so try searching an architectural salvage store for matching sections.
- Take off the paint. You’ll need to strip the old paint from the molding and prep it for repainting so it will match the new stuff you’re putting in. If you find stainable hardwood underneath, you’ve discovered a hidden gem.
- Fill in minor damage. If you have deep scratches or dents, you can fill them in with wood-filler and sand it down before repainting. If you’ll be staining, make sure the filler will take stain.
- Mark off the sections you need to remove. The joint may be covered with paint, but you can find the ends of each section if you look closely. Small areas may be covered by just one, long, continuous piece, but you can mark the joints on longer stretches with a wood pencil.
- Cut out the bad sections. It can be tricky to cut the molding without damaging the wall, ceiling or floor beneath it, so take care using a rotary tool or saw to do the job in-place. Alternately, you might just want to remove the whole section and then use a miter saw to cut off the damaged sections.
When you’re done removing sections, you can cut new molding to fit and nail it in, using the instructions below.
Replacing the Old Molding
Sometimes the crown molding or baseboards are just too far gone, or the style doesn’t fit the room. Molding that’s too small just looks like an afterthought, and too large makes the room look cramped, so take care in choosing.
- Take off the old molding. You have to be careful removing the old stuff, since the wallpaper or paint can come up with it. That’s why it’s a good idea to score the edge between molding and the wall with a putty knife before prying it off. Take care not to damage the wall, and recycle the old trim if you can.
- Measure your distances. You’ll need a measuring tape and a protractor to get the lengths and angles for every wall and corner in the room where you’ll be installing new molding. Even if they look square, not every corner will be, especially in old homes where the houses have settled. Exact measurements will help you make exact cuts.
- Make your cuts. Cutting miter joints for crown molding, especially for outside corners, requires precision, but they’re relatively straightforward. All you need for that is your miter saw. Inside corner cuts will require a coping saw to cut the edges to fit seamlessly. You’ll also need to know how to cut scarf joints, for straight runs on long walls.
- Nail in the boards. You’ll usually be making cuts as you install each piece. This lets you make adjustments if needed when the joints don’t quite fit. Place each piece to get a feel for each joint before installing them. Nailing the molding in by hand is tough, but you can do it using penny finishing nails. Using a nail gun is much simpler. Start at the middle of each piece and work toward the edges so you have flexibility in adjusting the joint to fit before nailing it down.
- Caulk the edges. White molding, or molding that you’ll be painting, can be caulked to seal up the gaps between the walls or ceiling and your trim. Just apply the smallest bead of calk you can along the edge of the molding and into the gaps of each joint. Then smooth it with your finger. For stained trim, you’ll need to work with a color of wood putty which matches your wood color, applying it to each joint. (Some people use a wood stain marker along the inside edges of the wood on each joint to prevent unstained wood from showing.) If you want to caulk the edges of the stained crown molding or baseboard, use a clear silicone caulk.
When you’re done with all the finishing touches, you should have some attractive new trim that fits the room and didn’t cause you to go over budget. Have any of you ever done new molding in your house? How much of a pain were the miter joints?
image by DIY Life