Panel Moulding & Trim Tutorial

Diy Trim Moulding Tutorial. It is possible and this tutorial will show you how.
Have you ever imagined how your walls would look with panel moulding or a chair rail? Without any previous experience, I tackled this, and the result is even better than I imagined, and it’s easier than I thought it would be to make and install. As I mentioned in the previous post, I have partnered with Metrie to acheive this look. I was already choosing their products before and besides having a vast selection of affordable profiles, their MDF is made in Canada, Ontario specifically.

DIY Molding Tutorial

Moulding DIY // Shibang Designs

I’ve broken down the moulding applications into three categories: beginner, intermediate and advanced. I would recommend starting from beginner to get comfortable with the process. It takes some practice to wrap your head around angle calculations but once you start it begins to make sense. The chair rail that I used is this one and the panel moulding is this profile.

chair-rail-panel-moulding-diagram-text

The staircase was the hardest part to do. Not only are the angles up the stairs but there are a lot of irregular angles on the landings as well. Doing a staircase requires dusting off your geometry skills and it is not impossible, but if you area a beginner, I recommend starting with a typical room instead.

Staircase Diagram DIY // Shibang Designs

The process that I followed included some instructions I learned from books that I took out from the library, and some was my way of figuring it out. Planning is important to know how much material you’ll need and to consider how it will flow with potentially adding more moulding in the future. These are the books that I borrowed from the library that gave me some guidance: Decorating with Architectural Trimwork by Jay Silber and Trim Transformations. I found that these books were a useful reference and give lots more useful information as well.

Trim Transformations, Architectural Trimwork

Sketchbook Moulding Planning // Shibang Designs

To get started, choose your moulding and sketch it out in a little book. It helps with planning, if you have all notes contained in one place. To determine the placement and get a rough idea of how much material is needed, I found that using painter’s tape helped to get a quick visual. From there I was able to roughly figure out the size of the boxes and placement of the chair rail before sketching out and planning the exact sizes.

Calculating how much moulding is required for the paneled boxes requires a lot of planning. As a starting point, I used painter’s tape and placed it on the wall and adjusted as needed. You can also draw this out on paper, which I did afterward once I was ready to finalize the sizes. Even though I thought I had planned everything, little changes came up along the way so having extra material helped.

moulding-prep-shibang-designs

I am more comfortable using hand tools, but for the panel moulding, I borrowed my friend’s mitre saw to speed up the process. I also found that gluing the frames corners and then carefully installing the frame on the wall made it manageable to work alone. It is very helpful to write the length on the back because it gets confusing once you have multiple pieces cut.

moulding-frames-diy-shibang-designs

DIY Panel Moulding Frames // Shibang Designs

For frame assembly, I originally made jigs and attempted to use a nail gun, but it split the MDF that I was using. Instead, I ended up using construction adhesive to connect the corners, and after checking that the corners were square, I left them to dry and carefully moved them and hammered them to the wall as pictured below.

moulding-installation

To install the frames, I used a level and marked a consistent space between the chair rail and the top of the moulding frame. As I’ve mentioned before, I am more comfortable with hand tools and working with a hammer and nail setter allowed me to install the frames alone, which I couldn’t have done with a nail gun. That’s just my preference, but of course, nail guns work and are faster, just watch out for what’s behind the wall to make sure you don’t knick any wires.

The final step is caulking, which makes a huge difference for filling the cracks and giving the moulding a polished look. Of course, this doesn’t hide huge gaps but it does help get a nice finished look. I bought a caulking gun, just a basic one, and have found it to make a huge difference when applying caulking evenly. Cut the tip off with scissors to get a finer tip. On my model, if you use the spout cutter it cuts too big and makes the application sloppy.

DIY Panel Moulding and Chair Rail

I’m just about done, only part of the stairs remain and the whole process has become so much easier and it has completely transformed our home. Now the other walls seem so boring without any trim and after completing the staircase anything else will seem easy in comparison.

For more ideas of how interior finishing can be used, I’ve created an Architectural Elements Pinterest board which has some ideas from designers for inspiration. In addition on Metrie’s Pinterest page they show finished rooms using their Finishing Collections, which is helpful in selecting the right trim style and profile.

The previous post with before photos can be found below:

Entry Before

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Adding Architectural Elements – Before

Since moving into our home two years ago I have been on a mission to update, improve and add character to this builder basic home. The main entry and staircase are a focal point that I wanted to emphasize with moulding. I am so excited to be partnering with Metrie to use their beautiful mouldings to add the style and substance to our home.

Entry Before Adding Chair Rail & Panel Moulding

Before // Shibang Designs
The Main Entrance & Staircase Before
Rough Planning Sketch of Moulding
A Rough Sketch of the Moulding

I chose this chair rail for its thick profile and rounded shape that would work with the rest of the home. I had been searching for the moulding to use below the chair rail for quite some time then I came across panel mouding from Metrie’s French Curves Collection. It has lines that coordinated well with the chair rail I had selected.

Metrie Moulding Profiles - Chair Rail & Panel Molding

Refinished Banister -- Goodbye Golden Oak!

I started out by painting the walls and doors as well as refinishing the banister railing to get the other main elements in the room ready. Since I knew that I wanted a chair rail, I went ahead and painted the wall white, using painter’s tape to make a clean line on the lower portion of the wall. Going up the staircase I used the shadow that was cast by the railing to get an idea of the angle and adjusted it from there. Painting gave me an instant visual for how the walls would look with the moulding.

The installation of the chair rail has been a huge learning curve. When I started out, I had no idea about the angles so I bought a very basic mitre box, hand saw and nail setter. Thinking about how wood panelling would have been installed by carpenters before power tools gave me the confidence to ease into the project with limited hand tools.

These are the tools that I used to install the chair rail. If I had known how much I would use my mitre box and saw, I would have bought a slightly better quality one. This one works fine but there are others available for not too much more.

How to DIY Chair Rail Using a Mitre Box & Hand Saw -- No Power Tools Necessary!

Here’s a look at how the front entry is looking so far. The moulding makes the space seem larger in this tight space.

Entryway After Painting and Installing Chair Rail DIY

How to Install Chair Rail Moulding

Working through the main entrance was pretty easy once I got the hang of understanding how to cut the angles. What I didn’t consider was how angles would get a bit trickier on walls that aren’t square and staircases that have complicated angles.

DIY Chair Rail in Hallway Using a Hand Saw & Mitre Box

Here’s a look at the upstairs hallway where I’m continuing the moulding for a cohesive look.

Planning Placement for Picture Frame Wainscotting

I’ve begun cutting the panel moulding and I’m in the process of creating jigs to assemble the frames before attaching them to the wall. For this part and the complex angles on the stairs, I am using books for guidance and technical advice.

DIY Panel Moulding -- Making a Jig

Once I start to get the frames cut and up on the wall, I’ll make a tutorial showing more of the steps. What I’ve learned so far is that installing interior mouldings is much easier than I thought it would be when you’re sticking to rooms with square corners. Installing a chair rail in a powder room or hallway could easily be done with a hand saw if you don’t have a mitre saw.

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