Whether baseboard, crown, trim or all of the above, installing moulding in your home not only adds great visual interest, but also value! Better yet, as Frank Di Leo explains below, you can do it yourself! Here's how.
mitre saw or mitre box saw
baseboard, trim, chair rail and crown moulding
laser level or level
safety glasses (for mitre saw)
Before you begin...
Take into consideration the proportions of your room. How high are your ceilings? Thicker baseboard and crown can make a space with a standard-height ceiling look smaller.
Always buy/use the longest length for baseboard, chair rail and crown moulding that you possibly can to avoid jointing. Wood materials expand and contract, which can cause gaps and other issues.
Prep your trim (i.e. prime and paint) before you start cutting /installing. However, you can prime and paint on the wall.
This is a two-person project if you've never done it before.
Cut mitre joint on left side and place baseboard up against wall. Make sure you're running a level line as floors may not be. (It's not a good idea to do this project if your floors are extremely wonky.)
Make a pencil mark where your next cut should be, then return baseboard to mitre saw and cut.
Affix baseboard to wall, nailing into studs where possible, putting a nail every 16 in. If you don't connect with a stud, make sure to hit the base plate at the bottom.
Fill nail holes with wood filler. Let dry, then sand, prime and paint to finish off the hole.
2. Chair Rail
For standard 8-ft. ceilings, measure 30-34 in. up from the ground (depending on the treatment you're using) and use a laser level and pencil to mark a nice straight line all the way across the wall.
Follow baseboard steps above.
3. Trim (rectangles above and below chair rail)
There's a lot of prep needed here in order to get all the measurements straight. Make sure to not measurements on your walls with pencil.
Divide wall space according to the dimensions that will work best for your walls. You don't want to end up with a half-finished rectangle at the end of the wall! (We assumed a 6-in. gap between rectangles to determine the size of ours.)
Cut a mitre angle on one side of the top part of rectangle.
Take it to wall and mark trim with pencil for next cut. If you're making 20 rectangles, put a stop on your mitre saw so you can do all your long and short pieces at once.
When affixing your trim to the wall, secure the top piece first, then nail in the side two pieces. Only hammer in a couple of nails on the sides to start so you can make sure that your rectangle is straight before attaching the bottom piece.
If you've chosen a 5-in. baseboard, opt for a similar-size crown to balance it out.
Cutting the corners of crown moulding can be tricky since you're working with a couple of angles: the angle of the crown on the wall and the angle of the corner itself. The best thing to do is to buy a prefab corner crown piece to avoid having to make this cut altogether.