How to Install Baseboards, Tim or Crown Molding

In room renovation projects, we have found through the process of redoing our entire home (which we are still in the process of doing) that a room does not look quite finished, no matter how much work you have done in it, unless trim, baseboards and/or crown molding are put into place. Until they are put in, something always just feels ‘off’ in the room. The following steps will guide you through the installation process. It takes a bit of time to install trim simply because it goes completely around the room, but the final look leaves the room feeling finished. Also, with such a wide variety of these types of products available on the market today, the look you can pull together or achieve from the various types of molding and trim can be quite beautiful.

The first thing you want to do is take accurate measurements of where you are going to be working. The pieces you use are going to be cut on forty-five degree angles to match seams flawlessly, so add a bit extra to your measurement to ensure you have enough of the product to work with.

Now it is time to go shopping. The following items are all you need for proper installation:

The actual product itself. There is a wide variety of widths, shapes, sizes and styles. Choose the type that best fits the overall design of your room. For example, if you are installing crown molding and it is going in a room that is going to be the library and you already know that the room is going to be very elegant or sophisticated, then choosing a very wide width with intricate or very ornate design can provide an astounding result. If the look of a room is going to be comfortable or simple, then likewise, the trim, molding or baseboards should be as well. Make sure to purchase a bit extra to make up for mistakes and cutting room.

Miter Saw

Stud Finder


Plaster of Paris

Caulk (the same color as your crown molding, trim, or baseboards)


Tape Measure

Nail gun to countersink nails


Finish Nails


Paint each piece on the front, sides and back (to detract moisture and insects) and allow to dry completely.

Now you want to take your pencil, and using your stud finder, mark out the places where you locate studs. This is important because you want to nail your work into a stud to ensure it is going to stay properly mounted, most especially so where the seams meet.

Measure each section of wall carefully and cut trim accordingly with your miter saw. It is okay if you cut a bit too long because you can modify that, if you cut too short, however, you will not be able to fix it, so take care with that point in mind, while you are cutting.

Dry fit your molding, trim or baseboards in place. When placing molding, if you have to use more than one piece on a width of the wall, cut each end on a forty-five degree angle and caulk the seam. Allow to dry. Sand and touch up with paint, if needed.

Use your nail gun to affix the work. This is better than hammer and nails because the nail gun will allow you to countersink your nails, which is what needs to be done with this type of product.

Spackle over the places where you have put in nails. Allow to dry completely and then sand smooth. Touch up these areas with paint.

Apply caulk to the corners.

If your corners have too much of a gap to be sufficiently covered with caulk, use plaster of paris instead. Once dry apply spackling on top of it and allow to dry. Sand smooth and touch up with paint.

Carefully apply a thin layer of caulk around the entire placement of your new product, on the top and the bottom and allow to dry.

You now have a wonderfully and noticeably finished look to your room.

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